One Newspaper at a Time

When the Oklahoma Observer arrives, I peruse it gratefully, impressed twice a month by the persistence it represents. Frosty and Helen Troy exemplify the principle that each of us must do what we can to bring the possibilities described by all the prophets into being. As Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero said, “Everyone can do something.” There are many arenas needing action:

Some do RELIEF work … delivering as they can the food, clothing, shelter, and literacy programs which those without so desperately need.

Some do DEVELOPMENT work … like World Neighbors, going to where the needy live, facilitating development projects to remove barriers to health and self-sufficiency — to address what World Neighbors calls “the limiting factors” to better living.

Some do EDUCATION work …. as do Frosty and Helen at the Observer, speaking and publishing the issues, perspectives, and facts which can empower citizens to make decisions and apply the ounces of our influence from an informed perspective.

Some do ADVOCACY work … as does Childrens’ Defense Fund, Bread for the World, and RESULTS, lobbying for specific policies to relieve economic injustice, social injustice, and environmental degradation.

Each arena demands tireless toil, enduring hope, and the capacity to survive a thousand broken hearts, as examples of vulnerable humanity falling through the cracks are manifested in the presence of the homeless, hungry, mentally ill and — in impoverished nations — those 20,000 who die needlessly every day from the ravages of malnutrition, AIDS, TB, malaria and other afflictions mostly preventable with cost-effective strategies that are simply underfunded.

Politically, I believe that Party will be unbeatable which takes a clear and uncompromising stand for policies defending the economic security of working families and the working poor, for good public education, reasonable access to health insurance, economic nets to catch the vulnerable, and environmental policy sustaining earth’s natural systems.

A national and global awakening are urgently needed for policies in the tradition of Franklin Roosevelt: to put millions to work rebuilding the infrastructure society needs — bridges, railroads, schools, public buildings, water treatment facilities, national parks, the infrastructure so neglected as deregulation for bigger corporate profits supersedes sound policy in the public interest. Imagine the possibilities of a global “New Breton Woods” resulting in building railroad networks connecting Western Europe with the Pacific Rim, criss-crossing Africa and Latin America. Imagine a commitment by the 30 wealthy nations to eliminating the global holocaust of AIDS, TB, and malaria, which kill 6 million people every year.

Ironically, such policies — hated by “conservatives” and loved by “liberals” — are the only hope for resurrecting the dangerously stressed national and world economies, which, as in 1929, accelerate us toward the catastrophe when, once again, “the warehouses are full but people cannot buy.” Economic collapse then was turned around by putting millions to work building what society truly needs to make a healthy economy work.

It could happen again, if more people would take up the cause as their own: speaking, writing, lobbying, organizing, agitating, demonstrating, marching, praying and working for the world we all know is possible… just around the corner.