Mon Aug 15th, 2005 at 18:35:06 PDT
Noticed what has happened lately?
We've been lucky to have Cindy Sheehan post updates here. And we've also had an influx of trolls flinging Linbaugh talking points. But let's take a step back.
I support Cindy Sheehan 100%. I think she has more courage in her little finger than the entire Democratic Party at this point. I stand in awe of her perseverence and ability to speak plainly, truthfully, and with integrity.
Having said that, I am a bit troubled by the way Kossacks (and Democrats as a whole) have responded to her cause.
georgia10's diary :: ::
Cindy is an amazing person with an uncanny ability to inspire those across the county--but she is a person. As such, she is subject to the same mistakes and pressures felt by anyone in the spotlight.
She is a mother, but not Mother Teresa. Now, I myself along with others have pointed to Cindy as evidence of the resurgent anti-war movement. But I fear what has plagued the anti-war movement over the last few years may also come to cripple Cindy's cause as well.
We saw it two and half years ago, when MILLIONS across the globe gathered to protest the war. The media covered it. Intensely. But then moved on.
And so it will be with Cindy. As quite a few have pointed out here, Cindy is getting A LOT of exposure. Some have wondered whether she is overexposed.. Others have questioned her "strategy" and the coordination with progressive groups.
I think it is CRITICAL in all of this that remember what Camp Casey is really about. It is about a mother's personal journey, her individual campaign to seek answers from the President. It is about Cindy.
We are so starved for leadership, that I think many of us (myself included) look to Cindy like she will Get Us Out Of This. For the first time in a long time, the media is using words like "protest" and "anti-war" and "seek the truth." It excites us and feeds that flickering flame of hope we've held inside us over the last four years. With everyone from radio to TV to cable news buzzing about Cindy's quest, there is a twinge of This May Be It. Her quest might be the turning point. It may be the one event that will cause four years of deceit and lies to snowball down in an avalanche of truth.
But I've had that feeling before. Many, many times. You get your hopes up, only to have them dashed away as time slowly passes and you realize that nothing ever turns out the way you imagine it.
So no, Cindy will not resurrect the anti-war movement to the point that we'll actually get the troops out of Iraq, or to the point that any Bush official will admit mistake. And no, Cindy will not single-handedly sink Bush's numbers under 30. We cannot, and should not, expect Cindy to carry the burden of the entire progressive movement. We cannot, and should not, treat her as a politician and expect her to say the right things or 'stay on message' lest she screw up 'the cause' or feed the right wing noise machine.
We should not do these because she is a person. She is an average mom, doing the extraordinary. Let her follow her heart. Whether it takes her home after Crawford or straight to D.C., she will travel on her own path. Whether her statements are "inconsistent" or whether she's "overexposed" should be of no consequence to us. I'm sure she doesn't care. From what I gather, she cares only about one thing. Meeting with the President, face to face, to talk about her son and to get some answers so that her unsettled heart may finally get some rest.
For all the energy that is devoted to Cindy, to parsing every interview to the diaries seeking to clarify her position on issue X or issue Y, let us take just 5% of that energy and direct it at the proper place. Our elected leaders.
Cindy's quest is a personal one. May she be successful and may she find the answers she seeks.
Our quest, our duty, is to take what we learn from her personal struggle and apply it nationally.
Where are the diaries strategizing on TRULY advancing the truth within the Democratic Party? Cindy will camp out, and her legacy is already written; however, as we know, the media will move on. And where will we be? What would we have learned from her? Will we call on our party leaders to show the same courage and conviction as she has? We should. While Cindy's voice rings clear with reason and direction, our party's voice on the issue is meek, and muffled.
While Cindy may arguably be "overexposed", the party's position on the war hasn't even been conceived, let alone covered in the media.
Is the Democratic Party anti-war? Anti Iraq War? Is ours a party that is willing, like Cindy, to speak factually, concisely, and plainly to the American people? It doesn't seem like it.
So long after Cindy's quest has ended, after the port-a-potties and banners are put away, where will we be? Who will inspire us? Who will we rally around? Who will honor the troops by promising to bring them home?
The blue Warhawks? The buzznames of the 2008 Presidential campaign? Our party leaders? For all the energy Cindy has injected into the grassroots anti-war (pro-truth?) movement, I regretfully expect it all to dissipate as soon as she leaves the national scene. And then, my friends, it's back to business as usual.
It'll be back to Hillary's call for an expanded military and "strong military presence." It'll be back to Joe "Talk Circuit Whore" Biden who seems to want to talk about everything under the sun--expect of course about the Democratic response to this illegal war. It'll be back to wishing for the old John Kerry. It'll be back to wishing, hoping, WAITING for someone, anyone, to lead us and this nation toward a better course. And that wait, that agonizing wait that's been aching in our heart ever since this heinous war began, will seem endless. And it may well be endless. Because no one, save a greiving mother, seems to care.
So, as for Cindy, let us support her and lend her our hearts as she bravely continues on her personal mission for peace. But at the same time, let us realize that this battle--this battle for the safety of our troops and our nation--cannot be fought in one dimension alone.
Cindy's fight will not change the world. It will change her world, and those around her, and it will help light a flame of courage that I, for one, thought was extinguished long ago.
But then it falls to US to feed that flame. it falls on US, not just on Cindy, to hold this president accountable. It falls on US to follow Cindy's example and question not only the President, but OUR OWN LEADERS and demand to know WHY. Why they continue to shrink from the truth. Why they continue to be ambigious, ambivalent, and unresponsive. Why they haven't talked about an exit strategy. And, most critically, why do they expect our support when a single mother's actions have put them all to shame.
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