You write the same things as everybody else. You point out the same lies and the same corruption and the same cynical exploitaion of the hopes and fears of the masses for the profit of the few, and you see others pointing it out so much more eloquently than yourself...and still you see the corporate media ignoring the rising hue and cry...and you get discouraged. If they don't see it by now, you think, they're not going to see it by reading my drivel.
I've been on a long break from the Bush League blog because I was discouraged. I didn't feel like I was really making any significant difference. Anybody who can read my musings can get hard news from Greg Palast, and erudite opinion from Noam Chomsky, and press releases from the Sierra Club and CommonDreams and TruthOut and Buzzflash and the Smirking Chimp and a bizillion other web sites. What's one more voice in the crowd, after all?
Then I went to see my daughter's high school drama troupe and their Spring presentation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Sitting there waiting for the opening curtain, I thought back to their Fall presentation. The Crucible, it was, Arthur Miller's tale of the Salem witch hunts. Written in the '50s as a parable about McCarthyism, the play finds new relevance in these times.
One theme that recurs through the play is "If you are not with us, you are against us." It was used by the judges in The Crucible, as it was used by the McCarthyites--and as it is used today by the latest bevy of self-righteous persecutors--to divide, to polarize, to coerce people into taking sides.
And you know what? They're right. There is no middle ground. You can't be neutral on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft and Donald Rumsfeld. You can't have no opinion on the suspension of the Bill of Rights at home, or the holding of political prisoners at Guantanamo without trial; or on the slaughter of ten thousand Iraqi civilians, or the atrocities committed in your name in the torture chambers at Abu Ghraib and al-Assad and who knows where else...or the thousands of Muslims driven into the arms of Al Qaida by the abominations of the Bush League; you can't have no reaction to the hundreds of American lives lost, and the uncounted thousands of non-fatal American casualties of the Bush League's recklessness and folly. There's no room for indifference. You're either with the Bush League or against them.
The mathematician in me says that if you are not with us, you are against us is logically equivalent to if you are not against us, you are with us. As it turns out, it's also morally equivalent. Arundhati Roy says it so much better than I ever could: "The trouble is that once you see it, you can't unsee it. And once you've seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There's no innocence. Either way, you're accountable."
And I know which side I want to be counted on.
What's one more voice in the crowd? About the same as one more vote in Florida. One more straw piled on the camel's back. The probability that my little-known and less-read blog will somehow be the difference between four more years of George W. Bush, on the one hand, and the dawning of sanity in America on the other, is very small; but it's not zero. If my ramblings and rants get just one more person pissed off enough about the corporate plunder of America to do something about it, or help one other blogger to find his voice, or persuade one fence-sitter to come down on the side of reason--or what would be best of all, if I should convince one disheartened voter that it's worth her while to go to the polls in November and vote to send George W. Bush and his pack of vermin back into the holes they crawled out of--then I will have succeeded.