WE ARE ALL CINDY SHEEHAN
Arianna Huffington (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/) hits the nail on the head when she says in a recent post that we need to stop looking to the elected officials in Washington, and start looking to ourselves to get it done these days. When I see Harry Reid faltering in his role as leader of the opposition; when I see Hilary cozying up to the DLC; when I see the remaining Democrats, save for the usual suspects (or real leaders who remembered why they are in Congress - Conyers, Waters, Lee, Boxer, Feingold, Sanders) literally falling down on the job and continuing to be derelict in their duty to represent our interests, I am forced to agree with Ms. Huffington.
On an hourly basis, we watch our elected officials sell us out, regarding employment, health care, retirement, the environment, education - all have been sold to the highest bidder. As I mentioned on a DKos diary, the votes for the BK bill sold on average by the 73 Democrats who voted for it, at $8000.
Not $800, 000, or even $8,000,000, but eight thousand dollars! Never have I seen a legislative vote sold so cheaply, unless you're in California or Tennessee, and even in California, the legislative votes go for more than $8000 in our State Legislature. Ask the Boobengrabber, cause that special election he's gunning for is costing us $50 million dollars that the State Treasurer says the state doesn't have.
So, I think it's safe to say that although we would like to look to our elected officials to represent our interests, we can't afford to depend on them. Look at how they have already treated us.
- We drink poisioned water (arsenic levels were lifted)
- We breath dirty air (smog and other polluting restrictions lifted)
- We probably now eat genetically manufactured food (because the land has been so raped, it cannot recover to reproduce)
- We pay $3.00 a gallon for gas
- Forty-five million people do not have healthcare
- The medicare cuts will kick in by January, 2006 - and force more seniors to catch buses to Canada or Mexico to get their medications (which haven't been tested for potency or purity)
- Public schools are continuing to close, and only a select few are getting vouchers for school (and their parents have to dig into already empty pockets to pay what the voucher doesn't cover)
- We can't get a fresh start after financial catastrophe because the BK bill will become effective in October of THIS YEAR!
- The elderly may not have Social Security when they retire, and are forced to work to survive until they literally die.
- And, with the CAFTA vote, more jobs are going to go to the Carribean and other offshore places, where the workers will be indentured servants, and the ranks of the unemployed will continue to swell unless you decide that working for Wal-Mart isn't a bad idea after all. Even if they pay you just enough to where you can still qualify for Welfare (if welfare isn't eliminated).
You still want to wait for our elected officials to handle these issues? From my seat, they have done a good job in padding their pockets, looking after their own interests, while pissing on the rest of us and telling us that it's raining.
Looking over history, no change or revolution ever came when the masses waited for a leader to show up and guide them out of oppresion. Martin Luther King didn't wait for a leader; he stepped up to the plate and called out the government on the injustice and inhumane treatment to others because their skin color was different. Likewise, Mahatma Gandhi didn't wait for others to take action; he initiated action through passive protest and resistance against the government in his day. Harriet Tubman didn't wait for someone to take her to the Underground Railroad in order to be freed from slavery's shackles - she became the main conductor while risking her life to lead others to their freedom.
So, we probably cannot wait for another leader like Dr. King, Gandhi, or anyone else. We are already concerned to protest - now it's time to put the protest into action. And we have our inspiration. Her name is Cindy Sheehan.
For the past week, we've watched Ms. Sheehan stand her vigil outside Bush's ranch, waiting to speak with him. And he refuses. Meanwhile, the whole world is watching this scene play itself out, and the conclusion won't be pretty for the Bush Administration. He can't spin this to his advantage - if he arrests Ms. Sheehan, more people will rise to take her place. If he meets with her, he can't give her the answers she, and the rest of America, needs to hear. And if you think we shouldn't be concerned about the mental health of the President, consider this article from Capitol Hill Blue: http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7218.shtml. Pay attention to the following quote:
"Buy beleaguered, overworked White House aides enough drinks and they tell a sordid tale of an administration under siege, beset by bitter staff infighting and led by a man whose mood swings suggest paranoia bordering on schizophrenia.
They describe a President whose public persona masks an angry, obscenity-spouting man who berates staff, unleashes tirades against those who disagree with him and ends meetings in the Oval Office with “get out of here!”
Given the fact that this individual is POTUS, and given the fact that our Democratic Leadership pulls the version of James Brown's song "Talking Loud and SAYING NOTHING", we can no longer wait for our elected officials to get it done. We are all Cindy Sheehan, and, like Cindy, we must take that stand for what is right ourselves; no matter how scary it is, how overwheleming the task seems to be; no matter if we are David to the Administration's Goliath. History records many revolutionary changes were caused because a person not great in the sight of man, but great in God's sight, took stands, and took action that caused a critical mass of changes that advanced our country to where she used to be. We can do so again, once the pain and suffering gets to the point that we have no choice but to do it ourselves.
We are all Cindy Sheehan. We can make a difference. We are our own Leaders, and we can effect change. It only takes one person...