As the opening of the Republican National Convention draws near, several people have asked me how I plan to mark the occasion. I’ve decided to participate in the march in St. Paul scheduled for September 1st, adding my presence to a public statement that, among other things, proclaims “Enough!”
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Enough foreign policy conducted through the military; Enough erasure of rights in the name of national security; Enough with market values at the expense of human values.
While I have been and remain in disagreement with what has been called the Republican Agenda, I reserve a larger share of frustration for the Democrats. Had I lived closer to Denver I would have marched there, lending my small presence to a statement that said, among other things said, “you’ve been complicit!” The timidity of the Democrats speaks volumes about what is broken in our political system; there is no real opposition party in the country. When Speaker of the House Pelosi, at the starting gate, announces “Impeachment is off the table,” when Barack Obama reneges on a campaign promise to filibuster any attempt at granting immunity to the tele-communications companies who cooperated with illegal domestic spying, and when as a party who won mid-term elections that the public viewed a referendum on the war and then turned their collective back on the expressed will of the people I think it safe to question their integrity, vision, and commitment to anything beyond staying in power.
What good will marching in the streets accomplish? Will it accomplish anything? I don’t know. It would be easy, in this “not-knowing” to decide to do nothing; it would be easy to give into despair; It would be easy to hate. At my age I’m weary of pretending to know and hiding behind a partisan position. I’m tired of politics that move in the vacuum of citizen disenfranchisement. I’m tired of hate.
So, I’ll be marching on Monday, doing my best to be a voice, to be present, and to mindfully bear witness to what I hope will become a politics of human scale and compassion.