A very dear friend sent me a quote recently. It’s an excerpt from a speech given by Paul Wellstone in 1985 to the Minnesota Nurses Association. Paul Wellstone was a college professor and community organizer who died in 2002 with his wife and daughter in a plane crash while campaigning for a third term as a US Senator from Minnesota. Here’s the quote, and here’s a website where you can find more Wellstonian words, many related to politics and civic life.
There is an elementary aspiration which undergirds the humane impulse in our history and our culture and binds us together as political activists. This is a simple, irreducible, indisputable aspiration. It is the ‘dream of justice’ for a beloved community, in which the level of terror in people’s lives is sharply reduced or maybe eliminated. It is the belief that extremes and excesses of inequality must be reduced so that each person is free to fully develop his or her full potential. This is why we take precious time out of our lives and give it to politics.