Eva KATAJA remembers the day more than two decades ago when she told a friend of her desire to become more active in liberal causes — to “take responsibility” and help make the world a better place.
The friend, a longtime activist, leveled with her. Don’t do it, he advised. You’ll lose friends. You’ll become isolated. People will see you as a downer. You’ll regret it.
Kataja was taken aback but vowed that she would never become burned out and embittered.
Fast-forward two decades through countless meetings, protests, projects, petitions, phone banks, wars, elections and Sept. 11.
Now Kataja, a marriage and family therapist in West Los Angeles, says: “As the years have gone by and I’ve gotten in deeper, I’m beginning to experience what my friend talked about. I feel discounted and marginalized a lot of the time.”
Championing a particular cause or course of action often can be a lonely crusade, but these are particularly tough times for liberal activists.
Red-state dominance in the last election, the war in Iraq, changes in environmental policy and the possibility of a more conservative Supreme Court have left many local activists feeling as blue as the state they live in.
What they need, one longtime activist recently decided, is some therapy — a good old-fashioned support group tailored for the liberal activist in need of emotional rejuvenation.
Sigh. Now I’m feeling a little depressed.
My grandfather was a bodyguard for Harry Bridges. I think he had other things to worry about than self-esteem.