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What Eleanor Roosevelt said about the Battle of Athens (TN) -- It's a Warning

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 08:37 AM
Original message
What Eleanor Roosevelt said about the Battle of Athens (TN) -- It's a Warning
Preface: For those of you who still don't know about the Battle of Athens (TN), it involved WW II veterans (both Republicans and Democrats) taking up arms (and dynamite) to literally blow some corrupt election thieves out of their town and out of their politics. Here is an excellent link:

http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/19...

Here is what Eleanor Roosevelt had to say about the Battle of Athens (TN). Her nationally syndicated column on the Battle was reprinted in its entirety in the Athens, TN paper, as follows:
--------

SOURCE: /The Daily Post-Athenian/, Athens, Tenn., August 7, 1946

Mrs. Roosevelt Grasps Local Facts Better Than Most

Editor's Note Our attention has been called to Mrs. Roosevelt's column
upon McMinn. She seems to have grasped the facts and significance better
than any other outside writer:

McMinn A Warning By Eleanor Roosevelt

New York, Monday After any war, the use of force throughout the world
is almost taken for granted. Men involved in the war have been trained
to use force, and they have discovered that, when you want something,
you can take it. The return to peacetime methods governed by law and
persuasion is usually difficult.

We in the U.S.A., who have long boasted that, in our political life,
freedom in the use of the secret ballot made it possible for us to
register the will of the people without the use of force, have had a
rude awakening as we read of conditions in McMinn County, Tennessee,
which brought about the use of force in the recent primary. If a
political machine does not allow the people free expression, then
freedom-loving people lose their faith in the machinery under which
their government functions.

In this particular case, a group of young veterans organized to oust the
local machine and elect their own slate in the primary. We may deplore
the use of force but we must also recognize the lesson which this
incident points for us all. When the majority of the people know what
they want, they will obtain it.

Any local, state or national government, or any political machine, in
order to live, must give the people assurance that they can express
their will freely and that their votes will be counted. The most
powerful machine cannot exist without the support of the people.
Political bosses and political machinery can be good, but the minute
they cease to express the will of the people, their days are numbered.

This is a lesson which wise political leaders learn young, and you can
be pretty sure that, when a boss stays in power, he gives the majority
of the people what they think they want. If he is bad and indulges in
practices which are dishonest, or if he acts for his own interests
alone, the people are unwilling to condone these practices.

When the people decide that conditions in their town, county, state or
country must change, they will change them. If the leadership has been
wise, they will be able to do it peacefully through a secret ballot
which is honestly counted, but if the leader has become inflated and too
sure of his own importance, he may bring about the kind of action which
was taken in Tennessee.

If we want to continue to be a mature people who, at home and abroad,
settle our difficulties peacefully and not through the use of force,
then we will take to heart this lesson and we will jealously guard our
rights. What goes on before an election, the threats or persuasion by
political leaders, may be bad but it cannot prevent the people from
really registering their will if they wish to.

The decisive action which has just occurred in our midst is a warning,
and one which we cannot afford to overlook.

------

For related discussions, see these three recent DU threads:

A New (Republican) Hero Enters Tennessee's History Books:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

A visit from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to my humble home (just now):

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

"The Battle of Ellis' Farm" -- a humerous postscript to my visit by the TN Bureau of Investigation

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. For well considered, wise counsel, it's hard to top Eleanor Roosevelt
Thanks for posting this.
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Ohio Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Agreed - K&R - nt
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. You're welcome. I'm sending the column to the two TBI officers who visited me this week.
I am sure they will appreciate it also. They were really pissed to have been sent out on a "terrorist threat against a government official" complaint that they realized -- five minutes after they arrived on my farm -- was nothing more than a ham-handed (and no-balls) attempt at political harassment by our election fraud-enabling Rethugligan Secretary of State.
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
5. Sending this message out to Nashville media has FINALLY awakened them.
Now to return the call from a well-respected local investigative journalist who just left a message on my voice-mail.

Hide and watch ....
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. It also appears to have attracted "glitches" to my email accounts.
As Gomer Pyle would say, "Sur-prize, sur-prize, sur-prize (not)"

Since 10:30 am, I have been unable to receive any emails on any of my three separate email accounts. It's unclear whether some very critical emails I have tried to send out (to the media, to Tennessee election integrity activists and to three different sets of attorneys) are getting through. I have not heard back from any of them, despite asking all of them to confirm by phone that they received my messages.

I just called my AT&T email provider and have been told that my account is being "serviced" and that it might take as long as 24 hours for my email service to be restored.

(WTF!@#$%!&^*?????*&^%$#@!)

I am not paranoid -- just prone to "glitch" attacks at times like these.
(It has happened before, way too many times.)

For the record, I am not now, nor have I ever been , suicidal.
As for being homicidal, well .... that would be wrong for this rapidly aging hippie.

Just sayin'.

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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. K&R.
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
8. I sent this column to the TBI agents who visited me on Tuesday.
I sent a copy of the Eleanor Roosevelt 1946 column on the Battle of Athens to the lead TBI agent who visited me on Tuesday, with a note saying "... It's just a shame that Mrs. Roosevelt is no longer alive so that Hargett could file a complaint against her too...."

The TBI agent responded: ".... I find Mrs. Roosevelt's thoughts very contemporary in the world we live in now."
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
9. Dear Eleanor,
Too little, too late.

'The people' took wanted they wanted from the native people by force ... and created America. It was a holocaust that most Americans would rather pretend never happened.
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Kitty Herder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. You're certainly right about that.
The people, in exercising their will, can do horrible, unspeakable things if they do not recognize the humanity of people different from themselves. That's dangerous, especially since most people still choose to be blind to the horrors of the genocide which made America as we know it possible. If all of us had truly internalized the reality that horror, perhaps we would, knowing what we are capable of, be less likely to visit similar horrors on other people who are in the way of getting what we want--oil in this century.

However, the genocide of American Indians was not committed by just "the people." It was led by those at the top. So it's a bit different than the revolt against the leaders who are supposed to be our representatives that Eleanor Roosevelt was talking about. It was done by the people in keeping with the wishes of their leader, not rebelling against those wishes. They would probably have done it without the leadership calling for it, but we'll never know. I'm not trying to absolve the guilt of the common people who did the killing; they are as guilty as those who ordered it. I'm simply saying it's not quite the same circumstance.
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Kitty Herder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
10. K&R
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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. Too bad Eleanor Roosevelt didn't live to see the 2000 & 2004 (S)elections
I don't think she would have been thrilled that the Battle of Athens went National :cry:


I did read about the Battle of Athens from one of your posts and it was truly an amazing story. I'd never heard about it. I found it also interesting there was a movie made about it, but for some strange and unknown reason they decide to place the setting in Texas :shrug:


I appreciate ALL that your dealing with and wish you well and lots of luck. Perhaps you could help out more people with your activism, as this is a huge problem across this Nation.


:hug:


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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Hell, I wish the Battle of Athens had gone national in 2000 and 2004 -- far from it.
The corpulent media refused to cover the two stolen elections and most Americans turned the TV channel. God, I'm glad I didn't buy a digital converter box for my rabbit-eared TV -- I have suddenly gotten much more of a life than I had a few short weeks ago. About time.
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