This will probably meander a bit, so I apologize in advance.
I used to be pretty active in political/social causes. In college I was part of a group called the Coalition for Social Change. We were anti-war, pro-troops, pro environment, pro gay marriage, pro womens rights, pro responsible food providers, pro DIY movement, etc etc. We held marches and rallies, plastered posters everywhere, arranged speakers and events – all the normal trappings of political youth groups who feel like their passion can actually make changes. Eventually, of course, that kind of thing burns you out, when you pour in so much effort and rarely see any solid changes as a result. That’s exactly what happened to me. And many other members of the group, too.
I still have my beliefs and causes, I just don’t think the everyday person can really do much to affect the decisions of the people in power. I also don’t bother arguing politics with people because no one ever changes their mind. Maybe this is pessimistic of me. I still vote (futile), sign online petitions (also futile), and occasionally donate to various causes (slightly less futile because money is at least concrete). Mostly because those are the only options really open to me, and partly because I think you forfeit your right to complain if you didn’t even go to the voting booth. And while the end result may align with what I wanted (i.e. the candidate I voted for got elected), I don’t ever feel it was because I personally did something. A single person’s vote or signature is not significant in the scope of our political world.
This is why I was so glad to hear that the President FINALLY came out in support of gay marriage yesterday. Especially in light of the asinine ruling in North Carolina the day before. Aside from the fact that I can’t believe a person’s right to marry the person they love is even an issue, regardless of orientation, the President is at least in a position to DO something about it. This particular individual’s action is very significant in the political world. And while I can’t help feeling he only made this announcement because Biden forced it on him, and for political rather than solely moral reasons, I’m glad for it nonetheless.
Here’s hoping he actually follows up words with actions, because his actions can actually make a difference.