The word revolutionary has great significance in our American society. Our forefathers were revolutionaries, and it is our heritage. But which type of revolutionary are we? Merriam-Webster defines revolutionary as both a noun and an adjective. As a noun, the meaning is defined as ” one engaged in a revolution; an advocate or adherent of revolutionary doctrines.” As an adjective, the meaning changes form and is often regarded as “constituting or bringing about a major or fundamental change (a revolutionary new product) .” Our society needs to have something revolutionary happen, but the use of the adjective is far preferred over the use of the noun.
In a recession like no other, one that is far more similar to the Great Depression than any recession, many people are confronted with the worst that the world has to offer; abject poverty. Some 99ers are going on over a year without any form of support via unemployment benefit continuation. Their numbers are projected to be over 6 million U.S. citizens with hundreds of thousands joining them every month; many with spouses and children that are becoming homeless with them.
They work to try to find a job in an economy that is not creating jobs. They are at the end of their rope and hanging by a thread, and yet they continue to fight for recognition. They continue to fight for some compassion. They continue to fight for a lifeline back to sanity and gainful employment. I admire their courage in the face of this disaster, but I wonder, where are my fellow citizens, and why are they not demanding rectification, now, immediately?
I am reminded of the words of Thomas Paine in the Revolutionary War as I see these people continue to fight for someone to pay attention to their plight:
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
The 99ers are no sunshine soldiers. They continue to battle day after day knowing how difficult it is to do the same thing that didn’t seem to work in the past over again, and again, and again. They pull their boots up every day and live the words of Thomas Paine by standing up now. They are revolutionaries in the sense that they are pressing for change in the way that we treat each other when in great need. They are supportive of each other and work diligently every day to try to change that “one mind” out there that will now turn towards support instead of ridicule. Those that can now understand that these people have lost their jobs by no fault of their own, but are paying a very dear price for it. They want a job, not more rhetoric.
Will you be the one that says “I’m sorry, I didn’t know?” Will you be the one that decides to lend a hand and contact your representatives, senators, governors, local media, and tell them that supporting our unemployed and fixing the economy so jobs are produced needs to be our number one priority? Will you be the one that puts the smile on the face of a 99er that hasn’t smiled in months by saying I’ve got your back now, lets get this done, and lets get this done now! If not you, then who? If not now, then when?