Progress, progress is the law of nature; under God it shall be our eternal guiding star.
— Booker T. Washington
When in the mountains, looking at the expanse of night sky with millions of stars arranged in constellations that have been visible and identifiable around the world and throughout the ages, I am often struck with awareness that we live in a time when humanity no longer shares a pristine view of the universe. Where once we looked up at the night sky to find a guiding north star, now light pollution obscures our views of the cosmos. We can no longer collectively define our position based on a heavenly object held timelessly in a vast region of space and untouched by humankind. We no longer have that common bond. Instead, we are fractured and from our siloed spaces we are guided by humankind—by our creations and our interpretations. In our sociopolitical world, those varied interpretations are often selfish and intended to keep power for the powerful, to separate rather than connect us to one another. It is noisy in this world of nearly 8 billion people, and that noise can adversely affect progress. But it doesn’t have to.
Angry mobs gather at a busy Albuquerque intersection—distrustful of science and attempting to fuel cynicism because they base their interpretation of policies and current events on fear and misinformation. They wave the US flag and ask others to share their distorted definition of freedom and democracy. The messages they hear and believe buzz with racist rhetoric, misogynistic ideology, oppression, and an embrace of ignorance. Yet on a freeway overpass, not far away, another group of people holds signs spelling “HONK 4 VOTING RIGHTS USA.” It’s a message of hope asking people to look toward a guiding star that has long been a fundamental right upon which all our civil liberties rest. Organized by Indivisible Albuquerque, these activists believe in justice, truth, equity, and a democracy that works of, by, and for the people. They believe in progress and they work for it. For them and for each of you who works for a more just equitable sociopolitical world, I am filled with gratitude.
The Democratic Party is the party of hope. We are the people’s party. We believe in progress not for the few but for the many. These times are difficult, and the noisy rhetoric and disruptive actions can be distracting but if we hold true, we shall overcome. Together we are building the bridge to a more inclusive, just, and equitable democracy while crossing it.
Yours in service and with gratitude,