Cindy Sheehan. She reminds us what democracy is a lot about. Opposing ideas and open, passionate political discourse between those opposing ideas, especially between elected officials. Do you see any of this now on Capitol Hill? Do you see the Democrats or even moderate Republicans really opposing the neocon-Republicans or Dubya? No. What you see are a bunch of cowardly politicians willing to silently submit and surrender themselves, their ideals, and their voting-base to the Republicans and Dubya, without so much as a gripe. Like a bunch of whipped dogs. Where’s the opposition from them? It doesn’t exist. So it’s up to the citizens to be the real opposition party–to do the job our leaders are supposed to, but forget about them. Citizens such as Cindy Sheehan who obviously knew better than to wait around for a politician on the Hill to listen. She took the dusty streets, in Crawford, Texas, to voice her outrage. To express her opposition. Could she be more of a perfect example of how we need to rely more on ourselves to get our message out there–and not wait on some ready-to-cop-out politician from the Hill to even consider listening to us? Or better yet, elect better leaders who would truly represent us at all times, and not just when it was convenient for them. Democracy does not flourish when one side is silent and submissive. Remember, how are leaders are supposed to act in a democracy? Where do we find better leaders? (via Tennessee Guerilla Women and originally Huffington Post)
If democracy only works when there is open discussion of opposing ideas and policies, and if the opposition party, in this case the Democrats, has hand-cuffed, blind-folded, gagged, and hog-tied itself to a failed invasion and occupation in the Middle East, where will the expanding majority of Americans look for a representative, a spokesperson, a voice for their anger, frustration, and distrust at being misled?
The circumstances suggest it should be a Senate or House Democratic leader, a recognized authority on foreign policy constantly seen on the Sunday talk shows, certainly one of the many “leaders” lining up to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2008.
Meanwhile, the caskets keep coming home…with no public official to greet them or to respect them. They are the forgotten dead and they represent thousands more of the even more forgotten wounded.
But wait. There is someone to hold the emperor to account. There is someone willing to look ridiculous, to be mocked and made a fool of, to challenge the conventional wisdom of the court.
She, unfortunately, is not a Senator. She is not a party leader. She is not in the regular establishment Rolodex of the Sunday talk producers. Yet, she holds the highest office available in a republic, that of citizen.
And to the embarrassment of both Republican and Democratic establishments, she takes that office more seriously than they…the silent “leaders”…do theirs. When the last Marine leaves Iraq, dead or alive, she can claim more credit than them all. Because of the courage of one brave woman, she quite possible will have had more to do with finally bringing this great nation back to its senses… and to its principles.
Remember her name. It is Cindy Sheehan.
Kick the Dems out of Congress and replace them with individuals like Cindy Sheehan, who would take a stand, protest, and have a strong voice of opposition that would lead to the kind of open and spirited debate and even struggle between elected officials you would see in a democracy. Our leaders ultimately come from us–the citizenry. Who from among us would do a better job in representing us when they reached the Hill, is a question we must ask ourselves the next time we cast our ballots.