In Ancient Greece, the ancient city of Athens brought us many cherished things including Democracy and the Olympics. Democracy is the rule of the City State by the people. The Olympics an athletic contest for all with a single victor for each race. For democracy to work, all citizens had to participate. It was not a spectator sport.
Today is Superbowl Sunday. It is an incredible spectator event with millions of viewers on TV, cable, internet and lucky thousands in the arena. Playing on the field are professional athletes who were groomed, trained, and work full time playing football.
I think this is many peoples view of our modern Republic. We have professional politicians, a chosen class that are qualified to spar in the arenas of our State and National capitols. Qualified to run — extremely wealthy families that can afford to pay for TV and radio ads, billboards, rallies. Qualified to govern — Lawyers trained in Constitutional law.
Where do I, Nick Strauss, fit in to this big picture? Certainly, if I lived in Athens 2500 years ago, I would have an important role to play in the politics there. But I don’t come from a wealthy family and I am not a lawyer. I do however, have a calling — I hear a voice that tells me that I am needed to serve, or at least is is needful for me to run.
I do have a Camelot story that I can share. I can say that the Lady of the Lake appeared and shewn me a sword in the stone, and told me that it would be mine, if I were only strong enough to hold it. I can say that I took one course in Political Theory from Mr. Winner and I got an ‘A’. But enough of stories that I may share.
Today, we are struggling with our personal liberty against our shared responsibility. As Americans we value our own individual freedoms, our own paths to happiness. We, can just hop on the train and go where ever we want to — hop in the car and drive where ever we want to. But the pandemic has brought home a truth which has always been here. We have a shared responsibility. No one wants to be in a 40 car pile-up on the Interstate. No one wants to be in a mass peaceful rally that turns into a violent riot. No one wants to hear that their kid has died in a school shooting. No one wants to die from COVID-19, and certainly no good man or woman wants to be responsible for another’s illness and/or death.
And we have social media, which I can use to inform, convince and argue — and which I can use to organize my run for office. I feel comfortable here, I feel qualified here, writing this blog. We each has our own voice and our first Amendment right to speak our minds, spin whatever theories we are brave enough to imagine, yell the truth out the windows of our rentals. But we have a shared responsibility to tell the truth and work for the good.
Work with the realities of force and energy. Own up to the realities of ownership.