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WE ARE IN KANSAS, ANNIE
By Anne Pritchett
I am a teacher and have been trained to remember the power of a visual message. You can tell someone something over and over but real learning takes place when you show them. So I try to be visual in spreading a message.
I have this friend named Barbara Cummings. (Hi Barb!!) She sells IMPEACH t-shirts. I have bought 2 black shirts from her, a green, 2 pink, a (gorgeous) lime green and a blue. I have a variety of short sleeved, long sleeved and sleeveless IMPEACH shirts. So regardless of the weather, I have an IMPEACH shirt to wear. I also have an ARREST BUSH and ARREST CHENEY FIRST.
I will admit that a couple years ago I only had one IMPEACH shirt and was reluctant to wear it. But one of my cable TV boxes went out one Saturday morning and to replace it, I had to go out to the cable TV office which is deep in republican land here where I live. I had just seen something on CSPAN that had sent me over the edge, so I put on an IMPEACH shirt and drove to the heart of red state hell in my city.
As soon as I got out of my car, I saw the line at the cable office was out the door. I guess this was the day that everyone in my county needed to replace their cable box. Have you ever been in a situation where you stand in line with people you have never met before in your life and make instant friends? This was one of those moments. I don't remember how long I stood in that line (it was at least 30 minutes I think) but as soon as I got in line, the person in front of me screamed "WHERE did you get that shirt?" At first I thought uh oh, probably a Bush lover. But then she started laughing and said she wanted one! She borrowed a pen from the person standing in front of her and wrote down 'afterdowningstreet.org'. The person who had the pen asked me if I thought there was enough evidence to impeach Bush and before I could answer, another person in line literally screeched, nudged the man next to her and said "I want THAT SHIRT for my birthday, Honey!"
Well word spread through the line and as we stood there, nearly everyone in that line agreed that impeachment was a must. We talked about the war, the Downing Street Minutes and the miserable job Bush was doing. I only noticed one guy who stood there silently shaking his head, who seemed to disagree. When it was my turn to exchange my cable box, the lady who waited on me whispered that she isn't supposed to talk politics at work, but she loved my shirt and said it made her day!
After that day, I bought more IMPEACH shirts and now I wear one almost every day. And every single day I get positive comments. Just this morning I was at a restaurant eating breakfast with a friend and a guy came over and asked if he could buy me a cup of coffee because he loved my shirt.
A couple weeks ago, my husband and I went to Nebraska for the weekend. Have you ever been to Nebraska? It is full of corn, Cornhusker football fans and Republicans. About half of the vehicles are BIG pickup trucks and about half of them have W stickers on them. We go up there every July for a blues festival that is one of the best in the midwest. My husband was very sweet about it but asked me to please take "normal" clothes to wear while we were in Nebraska. So being the good wife I am, I didn't take any IMPEACH shirts to wear. But I did take my new tote bag that says IMPEACH on it.
We went to the zoo in Omaha (if you are a zoo lover, it is one of the best zoos in the country) and I carried my IMPEACH bag. My husband looked at me and rolled his eyes and I said in my best innocent voice "I told you I wouldn't WEAR any of my IMPEACH shirts!"
As soon as we entered the zoo, a lady came up to me and said she was a lifelong Republican but she thinks Bush is the worst president ever. Her husband smiled at my husband and said "You must be pretty brave to walk around here with that bag." We were at the zoo for 4 or 5 hours and I lost count of the number of people who gave me a thumbs up or smiled. Same thing at the blues festival. A few stares but lots of thumbs up and one person wanted to know where I got my bag.
I also bought a money stamper that says IMPEACH and I stamp all my money. That starts conversations too.
I am very politically active and I do a lot of things. I go to 4 rallies a week, I belong to several different political groups and an IMPEACH group and I call my Congress critters every week. I have a ton of bumper stickers on my car. But just wearing a shirt that says IMPEACH has probably started more conversations, educated more people and spread the message better than anything else I do.
It's all about the visual message. It WORKS!!
Here's a picture of Barb, Cindy Sheehan, Ann Wright and me at Camp Casey a month ago:
And if you want an IMPEACH shirt, you can get one here.