I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” He was right; and that vigilance can be taxing. Similarly, social progress requires persistence, and most of us tire of activism in the long run. “Cause fatigue” is human–but not helpful.
I’m beginning to see that fatigue in Indiana’s gay community. The national trend is toward equality; polls show that once my generation is dead, the fight for equal civil rights, including marriage, will be won. So a lot of well-meaning folks–gays and straight allies alike–are easing up on their support for the organizations doing the heavy lifting.
In Indiana, dwindling support can have very significant, very negative consequences: the right wing may yet get a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on the ballot. And of course, Indiana still doesn’t protect even the basic civil rights of its gay citizens. So it isn’t a good time to let up on our support for groups like Indiana Equality.
That support can be as simple as attending the upcoming holiday party being held to benefit IE. If you are one of the people who’s feeling burned out, at least party for equality! And if you can’t go, send money. You’ll feel better, and so will Thomas Jefferson.
One thought on “This is a Test”
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” is often misattributed to Jefferson or Franklin, but it is in fact simply a popular saying that probably originated with the following:
“It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”
– John Philpot Curran: Speech upon the Right of Election (1790)
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