Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Policy for the People

"...the values of liberty, equality, and social justice (fraternite) are realized in two ways of understanding equality-as both liberty of the individual to pursue opportunity, and provision of a level playing field.  Also embedded in this intertwined credo is the principle of the social body of which each individual is a part and outside of which no individual can survive."
-Janet Giele, Family Policy and the American Safety Net

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
-James 1:27 

I've never seen myself as a political person.  If you had told me two years ago that I would be taking graduate courses in public policy, I would've laughed at you.  Politics are stupid, I would've said.  Why not do something more practical?

And yet here I am, two courses shy of a child and family advocacy certificate.

I still think politics, at least as portrayed by the media, are stupid.

But I am beginning to see the value of knowing how the system works in order to use it for the good of others.

 As a staunch conservative, Hubs has been horrified at the level of "hippieness" my studies have brought out in me.  Hey, when we got married he knew I was a Simon and Garfunkel fan-that should have tipped him off.

I've seen how reactive American policy making can be.  I've seen it be driven by the money, the lack of money, the choosing between the bad and worst choices, the individualism driving it all at the sacrifice of the more vulnerable among us, especially the children.

It makes my heart hurt.

Maybe it's just the idealist in me, but I want to constantly remember that politics isn't just about the broken systems and the bottom line. It's about the people.

Individualism and capitalism are all well and good, but don't forget the people.  Let's use our freedom and our power not just for our own good, but for the good of others and especially for the more vulnerable among us.

*cue the hippie music*