Sunday, August 15, 2004

What are we trying to accomplish?

Flame on!

In recent correspondence with some other blogsters a question has arisen that in such a disgruntled political environment what can we writers of blogs hope to accomplish? Consider all the discussions, give and takes, points raised and refuted, truth advertised and ignored... the endless debates that we have raised in our blogs. I guess when one both begins and ends a message, the inevitable privilege is that those who write the blog often has the first and last word. Of course, dear reader maybe you have the last word. That person is an ass and I will take my reading elsewhere. That is fitting. Hopefully the comments sections always work to bring people back down-to-earth from the glowing heights of their web-based ivory towers.

Yet I still cannot escape the question. What do we hope to achieve? While we focus on the presidential election, I wish to draw our attention to the immediate future beyond how inept Bush is or how much better Kerry would be as president. People are without food, clothing, money, employment, education, health care and hope. Things are not getting better, they are bad and getting worse. Morning in America my overeducated ass!

And others are dying every day due to the violence inherent in our poorly organized and poorly tended "civilizations" -- how many have died because they lacked access to health care in wealthy countries? How many have died because some chickenhawk idiots want to play soldier?

Allow me to ask a serious question: What are we doing together, as responsible web civilians, as online individuals of conscience, to stop the collective slaughter? Is supporting Kerry really going to lead to significant changes? Or is it going to be a lesser evil justification? Believe me, Kerry beats Bush on any major category you can mention, but make me see clearly how Kerry is going to make the world a better place. A better place for all of us that is.

If we believe in justice for all, I believe we must work to undo the causes of this violence against others: both direct and structural. Thus, I believe it is not only our responsibility to serve the homeless, but to seek to end it. Moreover, I believe it is our responsibility to stop wars fought in our names; to speak out against those who say they kill in our names; and to work to build community in the truest sense of the word (not one against the other, but each with respect for the other).

These past three-and-a-half years have been some of the most fearful years of my entire lifetime. I believe that McCarthyism (where communism was the ideological enemy and everyone was asked to tell on a friend or neighbor) pales in comparison to the last few years of truth-killing, fear-mongering, government expansion into our private lives, and a situation where terrorism is the ubiquitous enemy that requires us to give up essential civil liberties and allow fundamental aspects of our democracy to be altered or done away with all in the name of vague assertions of "freedom" or "liberty" and "security".

Professors, authors, and thinkers are being black-listed and people of good will who disagree with war, invading other countries, and hair-raising new presidential doctrines of pre-emptive war and staged political theater are derided and accused of not being patriotic. And while we are all looking the other way, the United States is starting a whole new set of arms races.

I refuse to believe that such "leadership" represents the values and ideals of this country. While I invite you to do everything in your power to change the direction of this country between now and November and beyond.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, "Think. It's patriotic." The background was an American flag. I cannot agree enough.

Flame off!

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