Friday, September 15, 2006

I Am Not Afraid

Since when in this country have we let the opinions of others inform us as to how we should live our lives and govern ourselves?

Since when have we kowtowed to fringe elements in foreign lands?

Since when have we cowered in fear of boogymen and things that go bump in the night?

Since when have we abrogated our responsibility to show the rest of the world the shining lights that are the ideals upon which this country was founded?

Since when have we entered into a preemptive war, one not waged to protect ourselves or our allies, one that our allies have not requested our help to wage and win?

Since when have we lost the moral obligations to those who stand on the wall, protecting us from enemies that threaten to change our way of life, our rights, our liberties, our method of governance?

Since when have we waged a war that we are unwilling to send our sons and daughters, all of them, rich and poor and in the middle?

Since when have we abrogated our responsibility to care of service men and women's families while they are deployed, when they return injured, both physically and mentally.

Since when have we not taken care of the bereaved families of service men and women, allowing them to sink into poverty?

Since when have we allowed whole cities, whole communities, whole swaths of our own country to be destroyed and left to rot, even a year later?

I will not allow our country to sink into a sniveling, cowering shadow of what we once were.

I will not allow the stupid, cowardly acts of a few, pusillanimous individuals to inform me as to how I should live.

I will not allow my son to grow up, learning that it is OK to lie, to be influenced by liars, to become so inured to lies that he is convinced that it is morally acceptable to lie in order to show his actions in a favorable light.

I will not allow whole swaths of my own country to rot and to enrich corrupt companies who profit obscenely, paid astronomical amounts of my money to do work that they never perform.

Channelling Dylan Thomas, "I will NOT go quietly into the night, I will rage rage against the dying of the light!"

We were once a shining light, a magnet for those who would risk everything, who wanted to live free or die.

Our shine has tarnished, like silver that has not been cared for, polished regularly, used lovingly and frequently.

Our form of government requires our citizens to care for it, as one cares for silver. Every one of us has the responsibility to use it, love it, polish it, remove the tarnish of corruption and self-interest. We have the chance to do this in November.

It will take a lot of work to remove this taint, this boil on the ass of the body politic. It takes a lot of unpleasant tasks, ones that get one's hands dirty and requires hard work when the corrosion is extreme, but it is always worth it in the end.

I am not afraid to get my hands dirty.

I am not afraid.

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