Have you had the urge to shout, “to hell with this” or “enough is enough!”? Now is the time to raise your inside voice and start acting. Our personal anguish does little to effectuate change. We need to band together for a little rebellion.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that “a little rebellion now and then is a good thing.” Jefferson understood rebellion as a way of holding governments accountable. Even an unsuccessful rebellion serves to establish an encroachment on the rights of disadvantaged people. The challenge is to discern which rebellions are necessary and holy.
In Torah, Korach and 250 leaders of his generation spoke against Moses’ leadership. The rebels claimed that Moses elevated himself above God’s holy people. At first glance, their argument appeals to democratic principles. Upon further examination, their claims were baseless. While the mob claimed to be proponents of equality, I believe that they really wanted to usurp power from Moses and Aaron. The rebel leaders failed the test of the fire pans. Thereafter, their minions were swallowed up by the earth.
Another unholy rebellion took place in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021. The righteousness of that rebellion fails the test of our constitutional system of government. Those rebels are judged by their emails and texts rather than firepans. If justice prevails, many will be swallowed up by the legal system and incarcerated.
We who love democracy and protect human rights bristle at the idea of rebellion. We are horrified to think of conflict to protect these principles. Yet, there are times when a little rebellion is needed to restore dignity and freedom. The rebellion we need will be a storming of the polling stations and not the Capitol. The insurrection we want will redirect the focus of government toward the people’s aspirations and away from special interests. The uprising we require will restore balance to our nation and diminish incivility. The little rebellion is already underway.
Instead of taking up arms, take out your credit card. Support not-for-profit organizations that seek to safeguard individual rights. Instead of watching the protests, march in demonstrations. Share your optimism with friends and encourage their participation as well. Together, we can fashion a little rebellion that will protect our democratic and free nation.
Evan J. Krame