succumbing to peer pressure

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Good God.

A first-person account of getting arrested in NYC during the GOP convention. It's long, but well worth the read. And just makes me sad. I don't know if it's all the Bush/Cheney stickers I saw in WV this past weekend or what, but I haven't felt this despondent about the American people in a long time. Maybe ever. After the 2000 election, when people (including myself) would joke about moving to Canada or Europe, I just kept thinking that the best way to make things better would be to stay here and fight for change. Someone who truly loves their country stays and works to make it better. But today...well, today was the first time I actually thought, well, if he gets elected again, maybe we deserve him. And maybe I'll start looking for somewhere else to call home. It breaks my heart that I even entertained that thought.

I have a picture in my office from the FDR memorial in DC, of this quote:
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." Talk all you want about self-made men (and women) and how it's the American way to pull yourself up and blah blah blah. That may or may not be true. But shouldn't we be better than that? Barack Obama has it right -

If there's a child on the South Side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child.

If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent.

If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper -- that makes this country work.