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Sleepless in the Garden of Eden

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coeur_de_lion Donating Member (935 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 10:23 PM
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Sleepless in the Garden of Eden
http://www.legitgov.org/essay_schiffler_sleepless_in_th...

I do not write this for the long-time activists no, not for you brave souls who have been fighting the Medusa of oppression in all its manifestations for so many years that it is impossible to remember a time when your pockets were not stuffed with flyers or a time when your eyes were not filled with tears. No this is not for you, although God knows you deserve an essay of your own one that captures the million miles of pavement you have pounded or the innumerable rocks you have pushed uphill.

I write this, instead, for people like me. And there are a lot of us out there. Many of us started our journey toward awareness in November of 2000, and thousands of others have joined the movement in the ensuing three years. We are, by and large, a kindly, well-intentioned lot who have been slapped into consciousness by the repeated outrages, crimes and atrocities committed by the Bush regime. Depending on where we stand politically, we would like to see the whole lot of them removed via impeachment, imprisonment or regime change and maybe all three (the order of events is unimportant). But whether we remove the Imposter-in-Chief via the electoral process or the judicial one, our failure to do so will have global consequences.

Yet there is another danger, equally as disturbing - and that is the one that might rear its ugly head should we actually succeed.

The danger, of course, is that those of us who are newly awakened activists will view this as an end to the struggle. It is not. The danger is that we will forget how this whole nightmare began and that we will just go grab our milk and cookies and trundle off to sleep. The danger is that we will go back to bed and forget to lock the door behind us.

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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 11:28 PM
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1. Absolutely true and absolutely relevant
I've been fretting over this since I was in high school, way back in 1963 -- that it takes major, galvanizing issues to get people engaged, and that once the immediate problems are resolved everybody just goes back to sleep.

It would be lovely to be able to keep the ABB momentum rolling after the election -- but it ain't a'gonna happen. It's human nature to become complacent after the crisis is passed.

(In this contest, it's interesting that the article you quote from makes reference to Ida Tarbell's expose of Standard Oil in McClure's Magazine. Ida Tarbell's closest colleague at McClure's was fellow-editor John Sanborn Phillips -- whose grandson, Samuel Phillips Huntington, is now a Neocon stalwart.)

I suspect the best course of action for the people who are in it for the long haul is to establish mutual lines of connection *now* -- so that they can stay in touch with one another even if forums like DU fade away, keep things going through the dry spells, and be prepared to swing into action as soon as any new galvanizing issue comes along.

Compared to the response to the Vietnam War in the 1960's, the response to Bush and Iraq has been a marvel of speed and concentration. That's something to build on and try to generalize.
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