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LAce Posted Monday, April 18th, 2005
Where are you?
Jocelyn Johnson

I am here because I heard him on the radio: this man, this pundit, this apologist-- and his slickness sounded like the result of the most brutal polishing.

I tried to pick through what he was saying; I am open to consider policy, opinion, any interpretation laid out in earnest; I believe there is wisdom in diverse points of view, but when I hear that something is good, I then must ask “for whom?” and “ to what end?”

I am here because he would make a mockery of my questioning, call my consideration of his ideas proof of my deficiency, mince me into fodder for his lackeys.

I am here because he is multiplying. He reminds me those weeds in my garden. Not the spring ephemerals that thread themselves through everything and are easily pulled from path crevices. But the hardy, perennials weeds with deep tap roots and saccharine berries that are persistence especially in drought. So that he thinks I hate him because he is successful, but really I fear them because they threaten to choke out everything else.

It is their zealousness that keeps me up at night, more terrifying than the caricature of foreign fundamentalism that they’d have me envision. They cry out at sin all around them, claim moral superiority, dream of hegemony. Their idea of discourse is to disparage and discredit all who oppose their views.

I am here because I am watching a nation of leaders rally under one narrow flag of Neo-Conservatism. And it is a ferocious flag.

These men once drank at their mothers’ breasts and now they stand at podiums, a cache of microphones at their mouths, with the entire world’s ear. And with this great opportunity, the things they choose to say are so sanctimonious, so divisive, so calculating that I fear that there will be no remedy for the damage they inflict. Yet they will win, again and again, with us falling for their rhetoric because of its sheer force, like swooning lovers.

I am here at the fundraiser; I am here on the editorial page; I am here at the school board; I am here at the ballot box. I am here learning, donating, voting, talking and listening because they are growing more powerful, even as we close our eyes and try to blacken them from our view. Where are you?

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by Lela Schneidman on Monday, April 18th, 2005 at 10:14 PM
thank you J, that is really what i needed to say. and you said it just right. i miss you! keep, me

Posted by Patricia Parkinson on Tuesday, April 19th, 2005 at 1:31 AM
I'm with you. This is excellent.

Posted by Katrina Denza on Tuesday, April 19th, 2005 at 9:57 AM

Posted by Joanne Schmidt on Tuesday, April 19th, 2005 at 5:59 PM
It's so hard to believe these men once drank from their mothers' breasts as I look down at sweet little Edwin nursing peacefully. Keep choking the weeds with your gift for writing, J!

Posted by Sharon Hurlbut on Wednesday, April 20th, 2005 at 11:33 PM
Excellent message, powerfully delivered. I'm standing with you.

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