“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. “
These were the words that inspired a revolution and for some reason I keep hearing them echo in my thoughts. I notice them most as I contemplate news reporters talking about how abandoned the supporters of Bernie Sanders will feel if Hillary Clinton does not find a way to show him and his supporters more respect. It saddened me greatly to learn that a lot of voters could not vote in the recent primary in New York and other states because in those states only registered Democrats or Republicans could vote in their primary. Had that been the case I would not have been able to vote in the primary myself because even though I vote Democrat most of the time, I like to keep open the option of voting for whomever I think will do the best job. It hurts me personally to think of independents being denied the chance to be heard.
That is when the preamble to the Declaration of Independence starts to echo in my thoughts. The things that Bernie Sanders is fighting for are not trivialities. Raising minimum wage so that people can afford to support themselves and their children, and not forcing young people to start life in overwhelming debt just to get the education they need to be competent for the better than minimum wage jobs available. As well as being able to believe that our politicians are not all owned by big money. Those are the things we really do need for “the people” of this country to have a proper chance at “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
It is not by accident that I reference “The Hunger Games” in my title. The themes in the book series are of huge disparities between rich and poor, corruption, media used to distract people from the true enemy, a discontented populace waiting for a leader to ignite a revolution and a game in which violence and popularity decide a winner rather than truth and virtue. Look around and you can’t help noticing all these themes playing out for us today.
Ironically, in the book the “girl on fire,” Katniss is not all that likeable, but she is a fighter experienced at survival against the odds. The real hero in the story is Peeta, who says:
“I wish I could show them that they don’t own me. If I’m gonna die, I wanna still be me.”
This inspires Katniss to be the leader that starts an uprising. He inspired her to not just settle for winning the “game,” but to turn the tables on the game maker, so that there are two united winners in a game that is supposed to have only one lone survivor. It is the partnership of the two of them that gives people hope.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could do the same?
I can’t afford a car, so I put my bumper stickers on my house.
But wait, we can. Politics doesn’t have to be some sadistic game of kill or be killed in a fictional post-apocalyptic future. Nobody has to eat poison berries to make a point. Still there are a lot of little people who do need to be heard and helped and I fear what will happen if their needs are not met far more than I fear any foreign enemy.