|January 9, 2006|
We Need the Rest of the Country ... How Are We Going To Get It?
A BUZZFLASH READER
For over a year I have been glued to my computer, absorbing article after article dedicated to exposing the daily assaults on our country by the Bush administration. I've read psychiatrists discussing Bush pathology, his dry drunk syndrome, his sadism. I've read articles about Stanley Hilton, and neo-con complicity in 911. I've read the Yurica report and discussions of the Constitution Restoration Act (which is Bushspeak for the screw the Constitution act). I've read about the spying and the lying, and Katrina and cronyism and the war and secret prisons and torture Etc. Etc, Etc. And I know you have too.
I've read the most elegant editorials, written by people who possess great wisdom and integrity: Bill Moyers, Frank Rich, Bob Herbert, Alan Krugman and many others including Molly Ivins, Helen Thomas and Mayor Anderson of Salt Lake City and a whole range of brilliant and honest bloggers. I know you have too.
I've read these things sitting all by myself, fascinated, angry and horrified at my computer. Yes, I called senators and sent emails and organized a couple of things. But basically, as I sat at my computer feeling that my increase in knowledge and information was somehow changing things, reading very clever people who were laying it all out there: time was passing, and Bush was not sitting at the computer, he was busy stealing my country and my freedom.
Now the time has come for something to change: time for real action in the real world. No need to stay fixated on explication and analysis of every new evil deed, because we all know what Bush is doing and we know he's going to keep on doing it. We've spent much time and energy cleverly pointing out every inconsistency, failure, and lie in his behaviors and policies from the bulging box on his back as he " debated" to the empty box in his head where a brain should be. We've analyzed every angle of everything he's done.
Meanwhile as we spend time elucidating and reading the elucidators--- Bush ROLLS RIGHT OVER US. While we're analyzing him, he's taking our country apart, stick by stick every single damned day.
That fine man, Representative John Conyers, can't even get a response from the White House, much less any cooperation in complying with his requests.
We need to focus less on Bush's evil deeds and focus more on how we're going to keep him from doing them. I'm not minimizing our computer activism, it's slowed Bush down, revealed his foolish, lying face to the public, and changed the attitudes of some of the mainstream press. It's been the saving grace of our democracy. We've won some victories that seemed impossible to win a year ago, like postponing the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, we've broken the republican wall of invincibility, and Bush's tyrannical behavior itself has made us some allies in the Republican Senate. Many more people know what's going on now because we did the right thing at the right time.
BUT HE JUST KEEPS ON COMING. Like a bad old train, coming right for us. And every mile he rolls, our country silently swallows one more insult, and the Constitution ("that God-damned piece of paper") is more firmly fixed under the wheels of the train.
Now Bush admits he ordered the illegal NSA spying and is going to keep on doing it. This admission has a terrifying subtext and that subtext is: you can't stop me: I'm God's appointed dictator.
But stop him we must, and to do it-- we must change some of our methods.
A Daily Kos article has hit the mark. We have no collective market place, other than the web, for the exchange of the ideas that keep our democracy functioning, that stimulate us and foster debate. In Mexico they still have a "center" of town, called the Zocolo. People meet there, they talk, listen to music, dance, communicate.
Probably the closest we come to that are our American religious institutions. It's how the right has managed to steal our power away. They met at church. They talked, had potlucks and laughed and as the years passed they developed an agenda and a strategy, supported each other and encouraged each other, and the rest is ugly history. Now the religious left has begun to speak up and identify itself, has begun to repair the bad name organized religion has made for itself.
What can we do to obtain some equivalent forum for meeting and expressing ideas? I want to ask you that question, because we may have to save ourselves and our country at the local and state levels, especially if Alito is confirmed. In my opinion, If Alito is confirmed, Bush arguably, and with some Congressional dissent, owns the federal government.
We are solitary beings, our consumer culture likes us that way. They sell more stuff if we're separate. They have more power if we're separate. But without connection and debate and a collective sharing of our disgust, anger, sadness, dread, fear and hope in the real world, we can't stop this tyrant.
We haven't been able to so far. We need to be able; to translate our activism from computers -- to people. And from just activist people - to all people.
We activists are heroes, and if we hadn't done what we did, democracy would have been dead a year ago ... but we alone aren't enough to stop Bush: We need the rest of the country ----and I'll close with this question: how are we going to get it?
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