Saturday, October 30, 2010

Who Speaks for Me?

We took the girls over to the version of the Rally to Restore Sanity that was held here in Our Little Town this afternoon.

It was quiet and, as advertised, sane – maybe fifty people gathered in the public room of our local organic co-op (of course it was at the organic co-op – don’t be silly) with the main rally in DC playing on a wide-screen TV and a sign-up sheet for those who wanted to speak to the crowd. We were there maybe half an hour and heard only one speaker – an earnest young man who warned against the dangers of letting fear be the governing force in life – before the prosaic reality of lunchtime hit hard and we decided to move on.

It was a fine event.

There has been a great deal of debate over the value of the Rally to Restore Sanity in the various blogs and news sources that I read – some people see it as a distraction or a meaningless gesture, something that trivializes rather than confronts, while other people see it as a necessary and vital step in correcting the imbalances of our political world. And while I have precious little faith in the ability of crowds to influence debates in positive ways, I admit that I tend to side with the latter group rather than the former.

Because I have listened to the forces of ignorance and hatred that dominate our political soundscape these days, and they do not speak for me. And somebody has to say that.

When professional agitators are given book contracts, cable televison shows and radio empires in which to spew bile across the American political spectrum, somebody has to say to them –

“You do not speak for me.”

When rhetorical bullies claim to be protecting a Constitution that they do not understand and have clearly never read, when they are foisting off some infantile vision of fantasy and revenge instead of seeking to ground their positions in the fertile soil of actual American history, documents and values, somebody has to say to them –

“You do not speak for me.”

When the narrow-minded pretend that this nation has ever been anything but a multi-cultural, multi-lingual chaotic festival of a place, when they insist that only their language, their ethnicities and their views are truly American, somebody has to say to them –

“You do not speak for me.”

When the small insist that others with opposing views are unpatriotic, somebody has to say to them –

“You do not speak for me.”

When people insist that government of the people, by the people and for the people is the enemy, somebody has to say to them –

“You do not speak for me.”

I know what this country was founded upon. It is part of my job description to know this.

I know what this country has been through to get where it is today. It is part of my job description to know this, too.

And the bombast of the ignorant does not speak for me.

I speak for me.

1 comment:

beatricemdfr said...

BRAVO!I'm so glad I know somebody who went to a rally. I wish there had been one in Paris.
I'm going to find out if brother Rick went.