Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

This is what democracy sounds like

About a year ago, while my family was having a discussion about something or another, my dad concluded his argument by saying, "Well, that's because religion is under attack in our country." I quickly replied, "Or on the attack!" And then my mom cut us both off in order to prevent an argument, and that was the end of that conversation.

After I got over my brief spash of anger, I thought about this incident a little more thoroughly. And, you know, I think this really shows why there is such a gap between people on the right and people on the left. I truly believe that white, Christian, heterosexual males control this country and control it unfairly. My father, on the other hand, indubitably feels that his side is fighting bravely against constant attacks from the Left. And maybe this is why we - the right and the left in general, not just my dad and me - have so much trouble communicating. Our mindsets are just so different.

For example, look at the news coverage of today's counter rally in D.C. One Associated Press article said:

War supporters said the scale of the anti-war march didn't take away from their cause.

"It's the silent majority," said 22-year-old Stephanie Grgurich of Leesburg, Va., who has a brother serving in Iraq. [link]

Now, this comments seems almost obscene to me. Republicans hold the House and the Senate, a Republican is in office for his second term, gay right bills are being struck down everywhere, and more and more legislation is being used to upload religious agenda. I don't see how these facts make for a "silent majority;" rather, I would argue that these facts prove the existence of a loud, pervasive, strong majority. I mean, just look how quickly Roberts - a conservative - was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Yet, this young woman at the pro-war protest, a young woman who is my age, feels that her political group has been silenced.

I'd like to see Ms. Grgurich try to marry another woman, and then she can see how "silent" her majority is.

Another news article I read contained this line:

"The group who spoke here the other day did not represent the American ideals of freedom, liberty and spreading that around the world," Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican, told the crowd. "I frankly don't know what they represent, other than to blame America first." [link]

Again, this doesn't make sense to me. When I was at the protest, I sensed a strong feeling of love for America. Many protesters held signs that, in different words, said, "Support the troops by bring them home saftely." One of my pictures shows young Americans holding a sign that says, "Reclaim Democracy!" Although the news articles I read today implied that military families came to the pro-war protest, they failed to mention that a lot of military families were at the anti-war one.

I may be against this war and strongly against Bush, but I'm thankful that I live in a country where, theoretically, we can protest what are leaders are doing without fear of retribution by the govermental or anyone else. I remind you of what my fellow protesters shouted as we marched down the streets of Washington:

"Show me what democracy looks like!
This is what democracy looks like!
Show me what democracy sounds like!
This is what democracy sounds like!"

Of course - and this is hard to admit - I know that I'm probably as guilty of polarizing statements as the Right is. I have trouble getting past the "Republican" label. I suppose that in some ways I am blessed to have Republican parents; it helps remind me that we are on different sides of the polical spectrum, but we are not enemies.

Still, I firmly believe that our country is going down the wrong path. I absolutely believe that Bush is an incompetent and foolhardy leader. And I know - truly know in my heart - that the actions of us protesters on Saturday were formed out of love for our country and fear of what is happening to it.

And that's why I'll continue to protest Bush and his actions. I am not anti-American for this. As President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, said:

Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels -- men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, we may never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.

Preach it, Ike.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, your blog is great. I was just out blog surfing for detailed info on rally when I ended up on your page. I watch C-SPAN coverage, who is ANSWER? Why did they burn an American flag? Why did some say they supported Al-Queda?

9:16 PM

Blogger Harper said...

Well, I hadn't heard of ANSWER before you mentioned them, so I Google'ed it and got this page:

This next page might help you understand why people burn flags:

And I'm afraid I don't know how to answer your final question. I don't why anyone would support Al-Queda.

10:43 PM

Blogger Ion said...

One possiblity for the supporting Al-Queda accusation is likely that the group supports pulling out of the Middle East altogether and advocates the rights of the people there to do what they want.

But I know nothing, that's just a guess.

10:28 AM

Blogger Avedon said...

I think a lot of white, heterosexual men control the country, but I'm not so sure that this administration is all that straight. I was surprised the first time I actually saw Chertoff on television and my gaydar went off. And we already know about people like Mehlman and, let's face it, Rove. It's like half the administration is Roy Cohn.

9:59 PM

Blogger Harper said...

Yeah, Avedon, good point. I guess I should have said "trying to preserve with the illusion of heterosexuality."

I wonder how many closet cases there are high in the ranks. That'd be so interesting to know.

11:25 AM

Blogger Cass said...

Let's not forget our White House's favorite reporter, Jeff Gannon, and his, ah, special visits to the White House.

9:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what marry a woman has to do with the majority of Americans thinking it is better to stay in Iraq than withdraw.

Yes, it is true that Republicans, in general, aren't in support of gay marriage--but you've taken the quote completely out of context. It has nothing to do with civil rights at all--it has to do with who supports the war and who doesn't.

3:08 AM


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