By any standard, they are poor. They can’t find jobs, and those who do make next to nothing. Their children go hungry, and their healthcare is nonexistent. Many live in crowded cities, huddled together and protected, they hope, only by their numbers, like small prey circled by predators. They have no protection, no government, no democracy to fall back on, no charity to help improve their lives. They have no vote, no educational system, only hopelessness, anger – and their religion.
You see their pictures and hear about them in the news every day. You read about their leaders. They do have leaders – with militias and weapons, and the power to recruit children and beat down revolutionaries. Even after centuries of living in these conditions, the poor seldom revolt.
The “Arab Spring” – sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But revolutions are not usually peaceful, much less bucolic. Revolutions are horrible and deadly. They too often involve the poor and religion. So, to me, it seems particularly important to remember, especially at election time, that we came to this country to avoid religious persecution, as well as religious prescription, and to eliminate poverty. Failing those objectives can lead, over time, to revolution, no matter where you live – no matter how rich you are.
Jac Flanders is the author of “What I Learned On The Way Down,” eBook and paperback versions from Amazon.com