We must continue the journey in the face of burn-out and other political challenges. Our fates are tied together, and when elections don’t turn out the way we’d like, we have a common responsibility not to give up our fight for a better world. The challenge is to work even harder in difficult times. Loeb says, “What we have to say is part of the challenge, and this is the core message of Soul of a Citizen, you act even in difficult times, and sometimes because of your actions, times change. Jim Wallis of Sojourners uses the phrase, ‘Hope is believing in spite of the evidence and then watching the evidence change.’ And I would argue that it is only by this kind of leap of faith, and practical on-the-ground action, where we reach out to other people, that cultures ever change. This is the task we have now. It is just more difficult, and our progress is probably going to be slower than it would have been, had we been taking up this mantle right after Obama was elected.” Loeb encourages us with stories and anecdotes not to give up in despair, but to persist with ever more vigor. (hosted by Michael Toms)
Paul Rogat Loeb has spent over forty years researching and writing about citizen responsibility and empowerment. He has been a guest lecturer at many colleges and universities including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and MIT. And, he has been a keynote speaker at a myriad of conferences. He blogs regularly for the Huffington Post and is the founder of the national nonpartisan Campus Election Engagement Project which worked with 750 colleges and universities in 2012 to engage students in the presidential election. This organization continues to help engage students in state and local elections.
Paul Rogat Loeb’s books include:
- Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in Challenging Times (St. Martin’s Griffin 2010)
- The Impossible Will Take a Little While: Perseverance and Hope in Troubled Times (Basic Books 2014)
To learn more about the work of Paul Rogat Loeb go to www.theimpossible.org.
Topics explored in this dialogue include:
- How we must have a sense of common responsibility because our fates are tied together
- How political redistricting can affect the outcome of elections
- How we are going to have to reach out to people with whom we disagree
- What is the “multiplication of courage” and how does it work
- How political change has to come from us, everyday citizens
- How does clean elections campaign funding work in several states
- How grassroots efforts can and much change campaign advertising
Host: Michael Toms Interview Date: 11/8/2010 Program Number: 3389