I just got back from a great lunch at an Asian Fusion restaurant, and the fortune from the cookie really shook me up because its theme has been on my mind a lot the last two days:
A different world cannot be built by indifferent people.
It’s strange, but that is exactly the debate Scott from Perspectives of a Nomad and I have been having over the last couple of days. As bloggers, our thoughts and ideas and writings help to raise consciousness, but unless those thoughts translate into some form of action, it really doesn’t matter what we discuss on our blogs. Nothing changes. Unless enough of us get outraged and express our thoughts and join together and demand change.
I don’t think it’s much of a stretch that all of us would like a different world, but to change it, we can not afford indifference.
Twenty—five years ago ABBA wrote a song called Soldiers. You can hear it if you go to the ABBA website and register. If not, you can just click on the link and read the lyrics. The song was written at the end of 1981 in the midst of the Cold War. But I was reminded of the song yesterday morning during President Bush’s latest press conference:
”Do I hear what I think I’m hearing
do I see the signs I think I see
or is this just a fantasy
I am an American and I support our troops 100%. I also have great admiration and respect for the President of the United States, no matter what party affiliation. For better or worse, once the election is over, the man in the oval office is our President and deserves support.
However, I am greatly disturbed at what I think I’ve been hearing and the signs I think I see. They are not just a fantasy. They are Orwellian in every sense of 1984.
I believe the Bush Administration has cast a spin on so many issues, and on so many responses to issues, and so many news accounts of issues, that all there is is spin. The truth has long since disappeared. And this was never more evident than when Helen Thomas, long time AP Whitehouse Correspondent and Dean of the Press Corps started asking questions of the President that he simply refused to answer. Instead, he engaged in a dance spin that left my head spinning and my heart aching and my blood pressure rising.
In my mind, President Bush has nothing left to lose. His polls are the worst they’ve ever been. There were no weapons of mass destruction. The “Mission” has never been accomplished despite banners hanging from flight decks of aircraft carriers. Osama Bin Laden remains at large, and now Iraqis are on the eve of a deadly civil war. President Bush needs to admit we have failed. What more can we do when a nation’s people can not decide for themselves what they want their country to be? Iraq never asked us for help, but we charged on in anyway. And Bush can not admit any responsibility and he remains committed to this war so much so he said that it will be up to future Presidents to figure out how to get us out of it.
I ask all of you, is that leadership?
As Americans, I believe we need to speak up and demand accountability. We can not be indifferent. The Iraqi war has been so costly for us that it diverted precious resources that could have been used to shore up levees in New Orleans many years prior to Hurricane Katrina, possibly averting the brunt of our nation’s worst natural disaster. Hurricane season is just around the corner. How can we continue supporting a war and burning our political capital and increasing our national debt when we can’t even take care of the basic needs for own citizenship or come to their aid when natural disasters strike?
I believe it’s time to speak out, America. We must rise up. We can not have a different world, or a different country, if we as a people continue to remain indifferent and focus on who Jennifer Anniston and Brad Pitt are sleeping with, or which team will win the Final Four, or what team will be the next Superbowl Champions. A democracy only works when its people are engaged in discussion and debate. 1984 is here folks. We might not recognize it for what it is, but our President’s doublespeak and triplespeak is exactly the communication that was used by the government in Orwell’s classic that we all read in high school. And even though we were warned by George Orwell many decades ago, we have most decidedly allowed it to come to pass by our indifference.
Stand up America. Speak out. Do not stand for lies and for spin any longer. I know I won’t, and I appreciate Scott, and an old ABBA song and a fortune cookie for shaking me out of my indifference.
Thanks for reading.
Bush, Doublespeak, ABBA, Soldiers, Orwell, Politics, Iraq, Katrina