Don’t Be A Crab In A Bucket
By: Josh Cameron | Our Voice Contributor
I say to all of you, don’t be a crab in a bucket. What does this mean exactly? Effectively it is the idea, ‘if I can’t have it, neither can you!’ It comes from putting crabs in buckets where if one crab manages to get a claw on the outer rim of the bucket to pull itself up, the other crabs will pull that one down in an effort to liberate themselves first. At all cost, even to the expense of those around them, they will be hyper focused solely on their own needs.
We don’t need crabs in buckets. We need humans looking towards human and humane elevation. What do I mean by this? Let me answer through an analogy.
I suspect many of you see either on social media or in real life, people you know expressing interest to run for some political office or another. Often we can know quite little about these people, or even if intimately acquainted, little about the motivation for their desire to run for this office.
Our first move, quite often, is to ask some approximation of the question: “who are you to run for this office?!” Almost as if to say, “How dare you aspire to something greater when I don’t, or I can’t.” Politics and political office is often covered in an opaque and mystifying nature. Often we think that the only people “worthy” of political office are people who have the pedigree of Brett Kavanaugh. And yet, how many people were like me and threw up in their mouths a little when he was sat as a Supreme Court Justice?
If we leave the “same ol’ same ol'” to run our country, how can we realistically expect anything to change?
We had a civil rights movement from the 30’s through the 60’s, leading to the Civil Rights act of 1964. How did we get there? By asking nicely? No, by mobilizing in the streets and demanding it. After enough bridges and thoroughfares were blocked, it got the attention of the law makers. It took so much effort, because they were of the “same o’l same ol’.”
Since the act of congress was signed into law 50 years ago, things must be much better now, right? Well New York City, a reliably blue state, has the most segregated schools in the nation. Don’t we hear that Republicans are the party of racial segregation? Well that’s strange. Wealth and income inequality among Black and Brown Americans is actually worse than at any time during Jim Crow.
Why is that?
Again, let me attempt to answer this through another analogy. Many of you may have had some form of dental corrective procedures be they braces, invisaline, retainers, etc. This forces teeth from their natural state to a more desired state. Once you remove your braces, it is necessary to have a retainer. Otherwise your teeth, over time, will revert back to their natural state. The Civil Rights Act was signed into law, by forcing these same ol’ politicians to be moved to represent in a more desired way. And yet, after it was signed into law, most activists who were responsible for forcing these politicians to move in this desired way, then went home, patting themselves on the back for a job well done.
It was a great job that they did, but it wasn’t done. It was simply part one of a multipart process. Forcing these politicians to bend to the will of the people is akin to dental hardware forcing teeth in a more desired place. Going home once done is akin to removing those braces and slowly, over time, allowing those teeth, or in this case the same ol’ politicians, to undermine this very progress, because we didn’t put a retainer in place. Too many people, even those who moved the legislature to act, allowed themselves to get brought down by the crabs around them and didn’t run for office.
We are now at a time where we see people like Bernie Sanders getting arena’s packed just to hear him speak. This is great that his often non-partisan ideas get so much attention, but what does Bernie say over and over again? Does he say, “thank you for your help and I will take it from here”? No. He often says “it is not about Bernie (speaking in the third person), it is about you”. It has always been about you. It has always been up to you. It has always taken you to get the results you want. The question we need to ask though, once we obtain the desired progress, what do we plan to do to keep it?
If we get a Single Payer healthcare system, free college at the point of admission, living wage jobs as a minimum wage, no more illegal wars, breaking the prison industrial complex with a real rehabilitation justice system and not a punishment justice system, celebrating teachers and education with funding and evidence based approaches, what, then, are we willing to do to keep it? Can you honestly look around our political system and say to yourself that the people in office want this for you? Do they want this for your children? Do they want this for your grandchildren?Sure there may be some – but not enough – to make this a legislative reality.
So what will it take?
It will take you, yeah YOU, to run for office. Even if you don’t win, running makes it harder for your ideas to be ignored. Bernie didn’t win, and yet his non-partisan ideas set this country aflame with righteous fury. The question has now been posed. We are wearing braces right now. We are getting them tightened on the regular and perhaps soon they will come off. What will you do to make sure our teeth don’t revert back to their crooked ways?
Coming back to a crab in a bucket. You may ask yourself, “Who am I to challenge people with the Kavanaugh pedigree?” If this is you, I suspect you’ve a much closer approximation of what constitutes working class needs and desires than any Kavanaugh.
How can you compete with that? With the Our Voice USA mobile app for Android and Apple! Not only does this connect you to your local (municipal and county), state and federal elected offices, it gives you free tech for canvassing. This tech allows you and your canvassers to probe voters on their political interests, and it doesn’t handcuff you into a political identity or make you accountable to a political party. This can literally save you hundreds to thousands on a campaign cycle. This enables you to run on your ideas, not solely your cash flow.
Who am I? I am someone with free tech, a voice, an idea and perhaps a fair amount of anger. This is who I am. This is who you are. And the “same ol’ same ol'” politicians should fear the reckoning you are going to bring.
Remember, the reckoning isn’t just one day. Progress isn’t just one day, it must be constant.
Who are you? Someone I hope will join me. Be that rock. Be that foundational support. Be that change. The time is now. Be that constant!