I'm a little burnt out on politics these days. It's not because I don't enjoy following the political process and monitoring what is going on in St. Paul and Washington, D.C. I do. It's not that I don't find the ridiculously exaggerated claims during policy debate amusing. I do. I think my fatigue comes from the division of the potential that I see in the political process and the reality of how it is currently playing out.
My interest in politics is rooted deeply in my passion for social justice. In it I see the vast potential for our nation to band together for the betterment of our society. At it's best it is a catalyst for justice. A great example of this (and the major reason for the name of this blog) is the 1948 Democratic National Convention speech of then Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey.
In my opinion, this is an example of politics at its best. A moment when our leaders stand up and fight for what is right, even in the face of opposition. A moment when the fight isn't about what will get you elected next cycle, but about what will make our country better. Growing up, a teacher of mine had a sign on her desk that read "What is popular is not always right. What is right is not always popular." That's the spirit I'd like to see more of in politics. I'd like to see more concern over what is the right thing to do and less about what will boost approval ratings.
Today ushered in a new governor for the state of Minnesota. Soon we will see a new crop of legislators both locally and nationally. I hold out hope and keep looking for elected officials who will walk in the example of Hubert Humphrey and fight for what they believe is the right thing to do. We need to stop seeing government merely as a ledger sheet of expenses and start seeing it as what it was intended to be, an entity that seeks to serve the best interest of its citizens in order to make this a nation that lives up to its reputation as a land of freedom and opportunity.