At the core of my personality, I believe there is not enough fairness in the world. Maybe it's because I was raised by African American women -- people who were not only never given a break, those breaks were actively denied them. I love the vibe of fairness, say for example when a driver allows a waiting car into a long line of traffic; when a cheater says he can't handle the pressure on his conscience and admits his indiscretion; when found money is returned to its owner; when nations cooperate for the good of their respective citizens. It is uplifting and it adds time to our lives.
So, why are we following a fraudulent regime and not resisting with every fiber of our existence? How can we legitimize cheating to claim the office of president? Any reasonable person has
to believe something untoward happened in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. Whatever the magnitude of cheating you believe, you have to have some doubts about the legitimacy of the outcome. And, follow the line of those incidents and you see a pattern of cheating and shortcuts: WMD, Iraq war, Valerie Plame, Karl Rove, Abu Gharaib, wiretaps. We are held hostage by frauds and cheats. They even cheat their own constituency -- why isn't Roe v. Wade gone? That issue has become very, very hush-hush lately. Which is odd considering we are "blessed" with a: GOP WHITE HOUSE, GOP SENATE, GOP HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND GOP SUPREME COURT.
My heroes are those who kept their integrity in adverse times; any Indian can do as Richard Pryor said and sneak a hamburger about 1 or 2 in the morning. My respect goes out to those who would rather starve than compromise a true, positive ideal. I have strong issues with Lincoln, but my honest belief is that had Bush been in Lincoln's shoes, he would have cheated somehow, told his northern constituency he was against slavery and then allowed slavery to happen through a series of 'Presidential Declarations'. He is worse than Neville Chamberlain because at least Chamberlain had integrity. He was a weak, short-sighted man who thought he was doing the right thing for his nation. Bush is weak, short-sighted and cares only for his minority constituency of far-right crazies.
Plus, he cheats.
Olive commented at 12:05 PM~
I hear ya brotha. This has been really bothering me lately too. How can we just sit here, hoping and waiting for the system to right itself? Our apathy seems to say that, if we just ‘get out the vote’ (which I seem to remember doing in 2004) we’ll get past this rough patch.
But I’m not so sure.
The frauds, liars and cheats have gotten a very good start on transforming our culture. And what is culture but the stories to which we agree upon? We’re agreeing to some awful lies. With each passing day we become less a nation of truth seekers and more a nation of provocateurs.
Yesterday, I was thinking about possession, as in ‘my’ country. We liberals talk a lot about taking back ‘our’ country. And I realize that wrapping my head around the concept of ‘my’ country isn’t easy. I understand that I am an American citizen, but can’t honestly say I feel the ownership that I do for my own personal reality – my family, my neighborhood, my dreams, my history, my favorite cities, my stories etc. Extending those personal feelings to encompass everything from Disney World to Guantanamo is like trying to imagine what a trillion marbles look like.
Maybe it’s not just me. And maybe that is what is at the root of our apathy. We haven’t had to take ownership for our country for some time. And the cons like it that way. That’s why we haven’t been asked to sacrifice anything for this war – and the horrors that it’s birthed -- that they wage in our names but for which we, collectively, don’t really feel.
We are outraged by the lying, cheating, scamming… the killing, destroying, demonizing. But we have yet to own it. If this is truly my country, than I am responsible for these deeds. You are responsible. We are responsible.
Sean Penn took a lot of criticism for his Katrina rescue efforts. Many believed he steered his boat through the streets of New Orleans as some sort of publicity stunt.
"I could afford to get on an airplane and get down there,” Penn said at the time. "It became easy to get out, for me to get a boat, and get out on the water with some other people, and try to get people out of the water."
Whatever his other faults, Penn, in that moment, took ownership, got off his ass and did a heroic job.
I don’t believe we can wait for Democracy to right itself. We have to get in our metaphorical boats and pull it out of the muck.
Our constitution provides all the road map we need. It’s called impeachment.
World Can’t Wait is organizing a day of ‘mass resistance’ on October 5.
On September 7 (that’s next week already) organizing meetings are happening in cities and towns across the country. I suggest we all get off our asses and be there.
fola commented at 5:06 PM~
You raised a very important social issue that is not unique to the United States - deminishing interest in politics and governance. As much as I agree with your opinion, I'm also at a loss of how what you proffer can be actualized given that the pool of voters has been gradually declining in the US, and generally in most part of the world. See this wikipedia entry on voters' turnout: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout
Renegade Eye commented at 5:42 PM~
I don't think apathy is the problem. The Democratic Party is itself the problem. All they can come up with, is getting rid of Rumsfeld.
I've been in discussions with The World Can't Wait people. I have disagreements with them, too complicated and numerous, to explain here.
Olive commented at 12:41 PM~
Ren, I'd be interested to hear your take on World Can't Wait.
Renegade Eye commented at 8:08 PM~
I'll post on my own blog about "The World Can't Wait". I'm surprised it got big name endorsers like it did.