January 20, 2005
patriot

O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave - O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I will confess that I cried this morning on my drive to work, listening to the inauguration of a President I don't support who will be at the helm of my country for the next four years. I cried tears of sorrow, tears of rage, and tears of frustration. Bitter, and not at all sweet.

I turned off the radio after the musicians were done. (Our military has some fine, fine musicians.) I loaded a CD - and listened to some Ani D., trying to find an antidote. And I fantasized about what the transcript would look like if Senator Barbara Boxer could give remarks, as she did at Rice's confirmation hearing. I am fiercely proud to be represented by Senator Boxer. The tears turned bittersweet.

And then I reminded myself of my committments just after the election. I still find them best voiced by my friend Dan:

Now begins not only planning for the next campaign four years from now, but the concerted efforts until then to protect our country and the entire world from the actions of our very own government.

For every horrible thing that the Republican regime will do with their new "mandate" is an equal and opposite demand to counter it. Every victim of their crusades is another person that must be helped.

For every LGBT American they demonize, we will fight for their rights.

For every clinic they picket or bomb, we will fight to keep them open.

For every person without health insurance, we will fight to provide it.

For every person kept poor and hungry, we will help to lift them up.

For every forest or wetland they despoil, we will fight to protect and restore them.

For every person unjustly imprisoned, tortured, or harassed, we will fight to free them.

For every soldier or civilian they kill or harm, we will help them to heal and forgive.

For every nation, every culture, every religion they attack and try to destroy, we will reach out to them with understanding and *real* compassion.

The Lambda Fund, Human Rights Campaign, Amnesty International, Oxfam, ACLU, Sierra Club, Red Cross and Red Crescent, American Friends Service Committee, and on and on the list goes.

Bush and the other 51% of America may not be our enemy, but they are our responsibility. What horrors they perpetrate in the name of the United States of America we have the duty to mitigate and undo. For those Americans gifted with some measure of sense, conscience, and compassion, the tasks at hand are clear.

Okay, people - it's time to get to work.

This morning I donated to Planned Parenthood, Scarleteen, and Lambda Legal. This Saturday I plan to participate in the counter-march Logan talks about here. I have mailed my Congressional representatives and told them I stand behind the ACLU's call to action to President Bush, and requested their support. (You can, too. The ACLU makes it easy; you don't have to be a member. Though I encourage you to join, as well.)
I still find myself teary this morning - but I'd rather cry and rage and change things, one step at a time. Thanks so much to my amazing friends, who ground me, and remind me of that, every day, by word & example.

and i suited up for the long walk - back to myself - closer to the ground now - with sorrow and stealth --Ani D.

Posted by shock at January 20, 2005 12:09 PM