Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Scoundrel Time?

As four of us drove back to NY Tuesday night, getting election results from my friend Joe's Blackberry, several things occurred to me. I was glad to be in the company of friends as the reports came in; I wondered about the degree and type of Change we are facing; and I was comforted by the thought that, regardless of the path our country will now take, nothing and no one can alter the fact that, if nothing else, we are blessed with friends and family. One of the greatest gifts one can have is the gift of humanity, the caring of friends, and the reminder that we are not alone and my work in this election cycle has brought that home to me in a big way, as never before. Never have I met and worked with so many dedicated, energetic, bright, courageous individuals from such diverse backgrounds. Never have I been more proud to be an American, or cared so much for its people. Having traveled a bit, I have seen different places and people and loved them all. At times I have even been a bit reluctant to admit that I am an American but I found that people are the same the world over. Most do not hold the American people responsible for the acts of their government. They are philosophical about government in general, and realize that there is a difference between a People and their leader. In times like these, it is good to remember that. Leaders will come and go, but a People and their humanity is there forever. Just ask those who, living in Alsace-Lorraine, were faced with mandates resulting from the change in their borders. They persevered and survived, no matter who was in charge.

In the meantime, we watch with baited breath. Biden has warned that our novice president will invite forays to prove his mettle; all manner of doom and gloom have been filling my mailbox, not all of it inconceivable. It remains to be seen. Lillian Hellman wrote of the travails of the McCarthy era, reminding us that governments, and people in them, can take a low road. She spoke of fear run rampant, and unjust government, dishonest politicians and fear driven witnesses, informants, of Nixon and the infamous Attorney General's List in which names with ties to certain organizations appeared. This was among the worst of times and yet, in time, America survived, McCarthy brought himself to ground, and life went on.,M1

In the days to come, it is possible that our fears of Truth Squads, universal public service mandates, the return of the draft, a national police force, higher taxes, and other attacks on our soil may come to pass. It is also possible that they won't. All we can do is watch and wait, and continue our activism with the resolve to educate ourselves and each other, to reform media and the tattered shreds of what was once our proud democracy, and believe that our democracy will somehow survive.

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