is Only a Virtue if No One is Listening
By D. N. Wilkinson (Coyul)
In 1982, in a small town in Michigan one seventeen year old
thought he could make a difference. Glad no one told him then
that he couldn't!
After 12 plus years of a Republican administration there
was a new wave flowing through Michigan, a wave of public
dis-trust of the status quo, of a more social outlook toward
the future that was rushing at us all, it was rushing at me
more slowly then for others, but at seventeen I didn't realize
that at the time.
I was the fund-raising chairman for the Young Democrats in
the Detroit area of Michigan. I was also an assistant to one
of the main figures running for Democratic nomination for
governor at the time. After a Young Dem meeting I announced
I would be leaving to aide the aformentioned democrat with
a fund-raiser. At seventeen I didn't know what wrath that
could garner, but quickly it became evident as half the room,
those people I had worked in the trenches with for many months,
buiding up a war chest to defeat the Republican seeking the
office, lividly and brutally expressed their opinions of the
man I represented. In shock I stood and heard him described
from, "drunken mis-manager", to "out-of-touch liberal",
to "lacky of the Unions", to a "union-buster"
... it was quite a wake up call for a novice in politics,
but still, I didn't get it apparently.
When all the venom had left the voices of the people in the
room, when they had expressed every hateful thing they had
ever felt about anyone (much less the candidate of discussion)
ceased ... I was left in a silent room. And what I said bears
as much meaning now as it has at any other time. "This, here
and now, is when we need such discussions, such lividness
and brutality, because if we can't face that within our own
party, the other party will destroy us with it. No matter
the outcome of the primary, one thing is for damn sure, and
that is that a Democrat will win it! And we will all be on
the same exact side come November!"
As it turned out my favorite won the nomination and for the
next 8 years he served this state, and honored his promises,
and one of the loudest voices against my candidate became
my associate in that administration. He still has contact
with the man he spoke so nastily of a few months before. A
lot of things can change during a campaign, and to close your
ears to that makes you deaf, and dumb.
We can dislike each other's primary candidates, we can actively
work for or against any, but come November of 2004, we are
all on the same side. So let us debate, let us discuss,
and heck, let's even flame a little. The fires of such a hell,
will merely cauterize us from the stinging flames which await
us when the bad guy, the real bad guy, the un-elected
pResident of the country gets into this race.
Silence is only a virtue if no one is listening.
Restore America, reject Bush!