America was born, as a nation, 248 years ago this year. We said "No!" to tyrannical England, signed the ultimate "Bye, Felicia" letter and started to become what we've become. There is history in our government's actions and policies that have been, to put it quite simply, shameful. (Tough word to hear, but this is a #nospinzone campaign.). Sometimes things look so bleak, you wonder if the world really is just full of asshats and jerkoffs (especially so during commute time).
Then I participated in my hometown parade as part of the D33 (District 33) Democratic Club contingent. I rode rather than walking, nursing a broken fibula (courtsey of a work-related soccer game). The parade route was super packed. Driving by and waving at the kids and looking into everyone's faces, really looking and not looking away, was so incredibly touching. It was a moment to realize that we all want to have joy in our lives and live in peace with our families. There was unexpected power and poignancy to this experience I hadn't anticipated. The parade concluded in the parking lot of a senior living facility with all of the residents seated in rows of white chairs, under the shade of a giant tree (nature's A/C). They were waving their small flags and as I took in the scene, I thought to myself, "What would it be like to see through their eyes, to see how they've experienced America evolving through the decades they've been alive?"
The Severna Park 4th of July Parade was so beautiful and gifted to me such profundity, igniting my spirit so. While slowly cruising through the streets*, I just kept thinking to myself, with a couple flares of goosebumps,"I want to serve these people. I have to support these people. They deserve true representation in our federal government from someone who is embedded in the community."
Not sure where Rep. Sarbanes was, but he was not at that parade (dude doesn't even LIVE in the District 3). His AI-bot (or staffer most likely) did manage to ploop out a canned tweet about "fundamental values of freedom, yadda, yadda." I guess he figures if he dumps a few million federal dollars into District 3 each term, we'll be pacified, but really any entrenched, establishment congressperson can horse trade in DC. But you know what's better than money (not much I realize this) and takes actual time, effort, sweat and outreach? Listening, leadership and inspiring others. These are what create sustainable wealth for all. Give a bunch of Marylanders a bushel of crabs and they'll eat for a while; teach a bunch of Marylanders how to catch crabs and they'll eat for a lifetime.
*Thank you to my driver, Casey, who showed remarkable grace under fire as our hood bunting kept flying up and blocking the windshield. Masking tape on the hood of a car at a 4th of July parade is no match for the heat generated in that time and place.