I feel as though another tsunami is coming. This time we have been forewarned but no one is moving. As Bush grins about the democracy we are bringing with blood into Iraq, a tsunami is coming. Only 10 percent of Iraqis will vote this Sunday, far lower stats than even in the United States, but all over the world except in the White House and a few select corporations and mansions, we are all braced, cringing, for Sunday. Those brave enough to assist in the voting procedures (the pay is high) have seen three of their number imprisoned in hell with machine guns pointed at them. Then there is the 10 percent. What brings them out when there are so many candidates, most of whom are scared of campaigning?
They want democracy at any cost. Remember the citizen militias of the American Revolution? Remember how the president-to-be fought and suffered right with them? Heroism. That is what is missing from our present “administration.” Cowardice and bombast replaces it. Speak lies to power. The power resides somewhere within us.
This tsunami, short of a miracle, will consist of blood, not saltwater. Terrorism will kill democracy all over. We have aided this process. Just as US spies dot the landscape of Iran, Cheney’s new priority, so terrorists lurk all over our country. Civil war looms in Iraq, a cold civil war already afflicts this country.
I grope for other conclusions, a slam dunk. The good, that is, we, will prevail. Our dreams will, gently, reasonably. Democracy is built on reason, a foundation being hacked at day in and out in Washington. Remember how Cheney didn’t even “waste the time” to answer Edwards at his high and well-prepared level of debating? Is this the predicted evolution in culture?
I miss the glamour and glitz of activism in New York City but, now that my daughter is in Washington, I go there less often and have evolved into less predictable patterns than attending rallies, shooting photos, and throwing them up on the web. I can do more, though I shall still do the above also, when possible. I am right now crushed by my work schedule but have joined the steering committee of a new branch of the Coalition for Peace Action located in Bucks County. Here our modest goal is to get our troops out of Iraq. The immediate target are our three conservative Republican U.S. legislators Santorum (speaking of cement walls), Spector (hogtied by his ambition to head the judiciary committee and that way lose the 11% of the time he did not support Bush in legislation?), and our newly elected, said-to-be-Bush-clone Fitzpatrick, but we will give him a chance to remind him that both the county and our little borough went for Kerry. I was so pleasantly surprised. We certainly worked hard in this state—back when I was with the Levittown Dems and we were canvassing and calling, bumping heads with moveon.org constantly because we were using the same lists and couldn’t work together because of some legal technicality. Therefore people would greet us complaining that they’d been contacted ten times before. “Me too,” I’d always say. So what? When you’re blue, you’re blue. There are many reds who are blue these days. Good news that. Bush with the lowest ratings of any “reelected president” in history. “Re-elected by the slimmest margin of any second-term president in history. No wonder. A minority voted for him.
Anyway, here is a heartwarming anecdote: A week or so before the election, the Bush caravan came calling to my county, horrors, and we were lucky enough (a mixture of Kerry factions) to be allowed to stand at the cloverleaf where his buses and SUVs were scheduled to pass, a quarter of a mile from the acreage donated to him by a local farmer to be violated. At any rate, we had the front row but a Bushite family too late for the rally had a little boy who couldn’t see, standing behind us, so we parted ranks slightly to accommodate him. Then a helicopter landed on the farmland and we were meant to think Team Shrub had taken an alternate route. Well, they hadn’t. They passed by a few moments later and we began our various chants, ending with KERRYKERRYKERRY until they passed, all black-windowed (who would want to see inside that materialized iniquity anyway?). Then on our way back we passed some other Bushites also too late for the rally. “Sorry, the police won’t let you in,” we said with pity and very obvious Kerry signs and insignia. They smiled back at us sadly, not even having ventured closer to the caravan. We are all people. Too bad the Bushites are so wrong.
1/17/05 Happy MLK Day!
PS: 1/20/05: What inauguration? Here’s another heartwarming anecdote from my canvassing days: We came to a home where the owner met us at the door with a cockatiel on her shoulder. He was busy biting her because she had been away for a few days and left him alone. We chatted about this and that—she was pro-Kerry, which was fine. Then I turned to the cockatiel and asked him if he was for Kerry. He squawked loudly and nodded his head vigorously. I asked the owner if she’d trained him and she said no. Speaking of the “inauguration,” I am so happy to hear that those “altruistic” SOBs are paying for their own hyperlavish orgies. Let that be a start to other positive developments. Let them pay for the Iraq war, for starters. Let them finance their other follies with their own overstuffed wallets instead of our social security savings. Keep it up, guys. Then start your own red country somewhere else.