Why Ady Barkan has hope even in this dark hour

Attorney and activist Ady Barkan was diagnosed two years ago with ALS, at the age of 31. Ady has channeled his illness into some remarkable activism on health care, but also on progressive issues across the board, from tax reform to helping elect progressive candidates across the country.

Ady famously confronted conservative GOP Senator Jeff Flake about his vote on Trump’s tax bill on an airplane last year, in a video that quickly went viral and, for a lot of us, was our first introduction to Ady and his activism.

Cliff and I caught up with Ady in the middle of his cross-country “Be a Hero” tour, which you can find more information about here.

Here’s a snippet of what Ady said when I asked him why people should get involved in politics:

“There are two great reasons to pour your heart and soul into this election. One, our democracy depends on it. The second reason is the one I hope rings most true with people. The struggle and participation in collective action and political engagement is an incredibly rewarding and energizing and liberating experience. And it’s the answer to your question about how do I keep doing it in the face of this terrible disease. Being with other people, meeting other activists, being inspired by their stories and their vision and the courage of people around the country, and knowing that I’m in common struggle with them gives me tremendous energy and hope and inspiration and power. I do have hope for the future, even in this dark hour.”

It’s a great and inspiring interview that I think you’ll enjoy.

Below is a 5 minute snippet of the entire 68-minute podcast. To hear the entire episode, become a subscriber here.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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