Democratic Underground  
Silence is Only a Virtue if No One is Listening
September 27, 2003
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!

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