Adlai Stevenson is one of my heroes. I’m sure you remember him (well, probably if you are an American). He was the Democratic nominee for president in 1952 and 1956 and ran against Ike. Now, that was a tall order — running against the guy who led the Allied Troops in World War II. So really, Adlai was a bit of a sacrificial lamb.
But he had a heart and a spirit and he didn’t take bull from anyone. And he repelled bull with finesse.
Stevenson was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during the Cuban Missile Crisis and famously asked the Soviet Ambassador to explain why missiles were being put into Cuba. When the Soviet Ambassador, Valerian Zorin, didn’t respond, Stevenson famously responded:
“I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over.”
Stevenson was the sort of man who made up the Pre-Reagan government, actually. The Best. The Brightest. The Most Articulate. Smart folks who made the government work. Who made our government the envy of the world.
Now, I’m not in Adlai’s class. Nope, I’m not even close. But as a concerned citizen, I feel compelled to watch what is happening and call out injustice when I see it. I call a lie, “a lie.” And shout to the rooftops when I see the bullshit that passes for public discourse coming from the GOP and its evil twin, the Tea Party.
You see, I really love my country. I am a liberal Democrat and proud to be one. And you know what? I am angry. And vocal. I also take full advantage of my First Amendment right to Free Speech. Now remember, I live near Washington, DC. And I pay attention. That’s important.
I see a lot of folks in and around government who believe it is their duty to make sure that President Obama fails.
Now think about that. There truly are powerful people in the GOP who believe that the GOP is more important than the country. That what they believe is more important than what the voters (YOU AND ME!) chose. That the country can go to hell as long as the result is that they will get more power. More money. More, well who cares what else they’re looking for.
Yes, it’s true. On January 20, 2009, the night Barack Obama was inaugurated, a group of Republicans meet and decided that, rather than giving the new president their backing to help the country, that — nope. They weren’t going to go along with the mandate of the people of the United States. Nope. They would impede Obama in every way they could. Invalidate him. That way the GOP would retake the House of Representatives in 2010 (they did) and maybe the Senate too in 2012. Paul Ryan was there at that dinner. Yup. A fine group of patriotic Americans.
Now think about that.
They didn’t give Obama a chance to succeed or to heal the country. More importantly, though, they didn’t give the American people a chance. Because by electing Obama, people chose his ideas, his plans, his hopes. The People rejected those of the GOP.
Nevertheless, the power brokers of the GOP banded together to stamp their feet and say: “I don’t care if the American People decided that your way is what we should try. WE SAY NO.”
And you know what? They’re doing it again! Yup it’s true.
Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already stated publicly that even if Obama wins a second term, the GOP will not cooperate with him.
Can you say “gridlock”? Sure, I knew you could.
So, when things like this happen, well, I get mad. I get angry. And I make my feelings known. I have a platform. I have a soap box. I have a blog. And while I will try to write about politics with humor, sometimes, dammit, it will be in anger. Like tonight.
Because there is a hell of a lot to be angry about.
Take for example the latest example.
Saturday in Virginia, Myth Romney implied that President Obama, should he be re-elected, was planning to take the word “God” off our currency. Off our money.
Romney made it up. Completely out of that whole cloth his underwear is made of.
Yes, this is the same guy who chose Paul “Sure, Vouchers for Senior Citizens is the best idea since sliced bread” Ryan as his running mate.
The same Myth Romney who went Birther on us all a week or so ago when he commented that he was in Michigan and nobody was asking for his birth certificate. Ho ho ho, Mitt. Good try at a joke. Try another next year. Maybe that joke will work. Maybe that joke will be funny.
[Now I’m going to digress here a bit. Because the whole Birther issue just makes me want to scream. It points out the complete and total ignorance of those who insist that Obama was born in Kenya and that his Hawaiian birth certificate is a hoax.
Do these folks even realize that in order to be an American Citizen by birth and therefore qualify to be president, you have to be born to an American Citizen. Yup. It’s true. The fact that Barack Hussein Obama’s mother was an American entitles him automatically to American Citizenship. And she could have given birth on the moon; her son, Barack Obama would still be an American Citizen. By birth. The same as John McCain, who was born in Panama. The same as George Romney, Mitt's Dad, who was born in Mexico and who also ran for President.]
There has been much ballyhoo on the nets, in the press, on the TV about folks wanting us all to play nice and just get along.
No. Sorry. I am not going to play nice with the folks I think have damaged my country. I would not play nice with folks who tried/succeeded in burning down my house; who killed a friend or family member. So I am not going to play nice and polite with folks who have destroyed our economy, undermined our willingness to work together to solve problems, and the pride that made the American Dream a reality.
Nope. Not gonna do it.
The folks who ask for that often tend to be folks who don’t want their opinions questioned or challenged, or folks who don’t want to pay enough attention.
I have a voice. I have a First Amendment Right to voice it. And I plan to us it.
So, as my hero Adlai Stevenson would have said:
If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.
* * *
Other wonderful quotes from Adlai:
- Freedom rings where opinions clash.
- A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.
- A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular.
- A hungry man is not a free man.
- I don’t want to send them to jail. I want to send them to school.
- Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than the freedom to stagnate.
- We have confused the free with the free and easy.
- I believe that if we really want human brotherhood to spread and increase until it makes life safe and sane, we must also be certain that there is no one true faith or path by which it may spread.
- Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse.
- Saskatchewan is much like Texas- except it’s more friendly to the United States.
- As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.