The times they are a-changin’.

by Jeff Odell

At the beginning of what looks like a difficult new year, we’d like to pause and say: We’re grateful you’re with us in these challenging times.

Concord Indivisible led a rally for democracy on January 6 on Monument Square.

The times they have a-changed.

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
The battle outside ragin'
Will soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

— Bob Dylan (The Times They Are A-Changin', for you youngsters)

When Dylan penned these words in 1963, they were a warning to reactionary Americans to accept the progressive changes to the social order, including civil rights, that were coming. 

After decades of progress — uneven progress, to be sure — the same lyrics hold a warning for everyone who cares about American democracy. The rising flood that threatens to drench us is the politics of hate, division, and disinformation. The battle shaking Congress’s windows became literal on January 6, 2021, incited by an authoritarian trying to hold on to power illegally. 

The times are changing. Gone are the times when:

  • We could take democracy for granted
  • Nearly everyone put country above party
  • Voting was a shared value
  • Overt racism was beyond the pale
  • The idea of politicians overturning an election was inconceivable
  • Political violence was unacceptable and unthinkable

A call to action for an historic moment of crisis

Also changing: the times when we could tune out the news, focus on our own lives, and leave politics to other people. The future of American democracy — and critical issues of equity, health care, human rights, and the sustainability of life on Earth — will be determined in 2022. We who believe in the dignity and value of every person — the fundamental American ideal that all people are created equal — must stand up and determine that future.

Every week, we offer actions small and large that you can take to help push things in the right direction. Please, do what you can. It can be hard to see that your actions make a difference, especially when we suffer defeats. But you’re joining forces with millions of like-minded people around the country.

And millions of people standing up for democracy, progressive values, and the environment is the only way we’ll save the precious gifts we received from our forebears and nature, so we can pass them on to future generations.

Whether you make occasional donations, write hundreds of postcards, or join text banks, phone banks, and rallies, thank you for your contributions. Please consider doing more this year than last. And, if you’d like to get more involved with Indivisible Mass Coalition, please sign up. Or find a local group here.