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Tim Carpenter Will Be Badly Missed


By davidswanson - Posted on 29 April 2014

Tim Carpenter seemed unstoppable.  He was part of this website from day 1, when its name was AfterDowningStreet. He was part of activism in this country from long before that.  He was an organizer, a lobbyist, a rabble rouser, and a talker.  The cell phone never left his ear, but that didn't prevent him talking to you in person, and getting in more words per minute -- and all of them right to the point -- than an auctioneer.  His emails were shorter, often a few words, or a single word.  Often that word was "Teamwork!" But they made up for brevity in the sheer number of them.  If anyone could make the current U.S. system of government work by combining electioneering and lobbying with street demonstrations, it was going to be Tim -- and sometimes he did, sometimes he nudged things in the right direction.  I came to the conclusion sometime back that the system needed far more radical repairs, and that the catalyst would have to come from outside of it.  But if there were 2 or 3 or 4 more Tim Carpenters in this country, I'd be willing to reconsider.  And if they were healthy, I'd be willing to bet the farm on them.  Tim struggled with health issues that would have sidelined lesser souls, and did so without slowing down.  It's hard to believe he really left us today, not just because of the presence he was, but because he seemed to have nine lives.  Let's hope the movements he advanced for peace and justice prove as resilient, and that they can be carried on, in whatever form becomes most strategic, in his memory.

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The will never be another like Tim Carpenter. His boundless energy and enthusiasm excited and changed all who knew him. Through his dedication and force of will, he transmuted ideas into accomplishments, and built achievements into movements. He worked with everyone willing to work. He motivated everyone he worked with to surpass their limits. 
 
When others lamented that organizing progressives is like herding cats, Tim led by example. Always working the longest and the hardest. Always accommodating dissenters and building consensus. Always focused on the big picture and the smallest details. Always caring. Always genuine. Always earnest. Always the same. Always himself. 
 
With the Speaker of the House or with a newly-met friend, he was always Tim. Always persistent. Always taking setbacks in stride. Always pitching in. Always pushing ahead. Always finding a way. Always building teamwork. Always moving onward. Always.
 
Everyone had to take a leaflet and wear a sticker. No exceptions. No excuses. That was Tim. Tim led the life he wanted to live, and he loved the life he led. Even as he deeply loved his family and his countless friends. To paraphrase Shakespeare, "He was a man, take him for all in all. We shall not look upon his like again."

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