|February 1, 2006|
We Made a Difference
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
First, I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make the confirmation of Samuel Alito something other than a foregone conclusion. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Those of you with whom I communicate directly, the hundreds of web sites and blogs, and the tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of ordinary citizens like you and I, we made a difference.
Never doubt, even though we lost the battle, that we most certainly did make a difference. In barely two weeks, from not a single Senator supporting a filibuster, we rallied twenty-five members of the United States Senate to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution. We unfurled a flag that has been too long absent from the American political landscape: the flag of We the People.
In politics, as in war, victory is often born of defeat. Much has been written recently of how it was the defeat of Barry Goldwater in 1964 that marked the beginning of the radical conservative juggernaut that now dominates our nation. For me, this battle highlighted both the problems of what government has become in our country and the promise of what it could be in the 21st century.
Why did it take our personal efforts to get even twenty-five of our elected representatives to do what they’re supposed to do? What they took a solemn oath to do? My own Senator Mark Dayton is a good example. It is clear from his public remarks that he is certainly aware and disturbed by the excesses of this administration, and that he believed that Samuel Alito should not become a Supreme Court Justice. Why then was he opposed to filibuster? He said that he“ … did not think it was a good strategy.” Not a good strategy for whom? Certainly not him, he’s not running for reelection. Not good for the Democratic Party? He wasn’t elected to represent the Democratic Party, he was elected to represent us, and to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution!
The sad fact is that, with precious few exceptions, our elected representatives in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle have become so enmeshed in procedure and party politics that we the people have been lost. Rare indeed (John Conyers, Jr. and the late Paul Wellstone come immediately to mind) is the elected representative who can master Congressional mechanics and keep faith with the collective We the People.
But we here, those of us in this electronic community, are moving beyond merely commiserating with each other and preaching to the choir. This “digital town square” has replaced the “free press” (since it is no longer free) as the means by which we can fulfill our duties as an informed populace. And we have begun to restore the collective will and power of We the People.
For all the immortal words enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, perhaps the phrase that best summarizes the revolutionary concept born of those troubled times were penned by Abraham Lincoln: “… a government of the people, by the people, for the people.”
It is time to reinvest ourselves in those words. And those who have perverted and abused the government and peoples of this great nation would do well to remember the words ascribed (in legend) to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto at the conclusion of the attack on Pearl Harbor: "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
Let us then make this defeat our “Pearl Harbor” and swear a “terrible resolve” to make the will of We the People heard and felt throughout the land. Let us swear, by all that is holy and precious, that we will take our country back, and that we will hold our government accountable!
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
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