Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Will The Real Decider Please Stand Up?

An anonymous person wrote in on my last blog and brought up FDR’s imprisonment of Japanese Americans at Manzanar during WWII. I’m not certain if the person was trying to draw comparisons between the treatment of those who were held at Manzanar and the treatment of suspected terrorists under the Bush Administration or if they were saying that in times of war, extraordinary circumstances make it necessary to suspend due process and civil liberties. I’ll do my best to explain my position.

First of all, thanks for writing and bringing up the comparison with Manzanar. I do hold FDR in high regard for many reasons, but Manzanar is not one of them. In fact, I believe that Manzanar is still widely regarded as a dark stain upon the history of our country, a time when we let our irrational fears get the better of us, much like the Salem witch trials, and perhaps as we’re doing now. I have never heard or read any convincing arguments that imprisoning Japanese Americans in relocation camps during WWII aided in winning that war or yielded any intelligence that helped us win the war. When we speak of Manzanar, we usually speak of it shamefully. So, yes, I would say that FDR lost the thread there, if not the plot.

We should be able to learn from history and not repeat the same mistakes. Do we really want to be apologizing for our actions a few years down the line as we’ve had to do in the case of Manzanar?

There is no one party nor single leader who has all the right answers. Hopefully, we are able to distinguish their good ideas from their bad ones. We can’t afford the luxury of voting someone into public service and then letting them take the wheel while we go bake a batch of cookies. We’ve got to keep one eye on the cookies and the other on the White House. Like any boss who expects her employees to do a good job, we need to let them know that we’re watching them. In a true democracy, the people are the deciders and they decide what is best.

Tonight, I saw a video on YouTube that made me feel hopeful, hopeful that we are not the complacent, apathetic nation many feared we had become. Maybe it’s just the eternal optimist in me, but I sense that change is in the air. I’m starting to hear more dissenting voices in the mainstream media, more questioning of authority - even from those who were formerly supporters of the administration. Perhaps my optimism is unfounded, but I feel compelled to clutch at these threads of hope because there has been so little of it for the past six years.

Here’s the video. I think there is a little ember that needs to be fanned here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a true american, forget the ember let's use a torch!

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

Jenny Lens said...

Kudos to Alice for staying on top of the times, they are a changin.' I am a huge Keith Obermann fan and the only downside is he's only on cable/dish.

My career is taking off like wildfire, so I don't have time to share my thoughts nor encouraging signs I too see and read. Thank goodness you make time to share them.

My only concern is -- as it has been for many years -- the Dems still aren't doing all they need/must to do to make sure they gain control of Congress, both the House and the Senate.

The GOP has consistently thrived on its "Values" stance. With the resignation of Florida's Foley, whose illegal and immoral emails to young male pages was known by the highest members of the GOP inside and outside of Congress, you think the Dems will jump on that?

Abramoff and the White House. Abramoff and Ralph Reed. Gambling and government contracts (now that was a story the media effectively buried). Today on Huffingtonpost I read a list of dozens of Republican judges and elected officials who broke the law for various "values" violations (rape, incest).

How about the fact the Prez and his minions LIED about Iraq? The Dems have a million things to shove down the voters' throats. And all we get is "he said, she said" Clinton vs Condi re a plan to capture Osama. That's the best one of the brightest ex-Presidents can come up with? And why was he so bloody defensive?

Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Rice, et al NEVER get emotional. They are congenial down-home types, all smiles as they lie. The Dems, in their righteousness, get all huffy. People vote for people who stay calm and secure. Right or wrong, that's life. Come on, Clinton, turn on that Southern charm and tell the truth! Call them liars, stop playing nice when they think nothing of cutting off your balls.

With the internal fighting re Rummy, Rice and whether or not "it's the insurgency" or not, you think the Dems will jam that down the voters throats on TV and radio and print?

I kinda agree with those on www.huffingtonpost.com (my fave news source), that if the Dems can't/won't stand up to the Repugs and get in their faces, as well bring clear messages to the public (like the Rethugs go), then will they defend our country, both inside and out?

Will the Dems stand up to the rich, from BOTH parties, and level the playing ground for the majority of us, the working folks? Will the Dems work for efficient energy and less foreign oil supplies? Will they wean us off of oil? Will they force the car manufacturers to be more energy efficient? Will they provide the funds enforce the EPA laws? Will they work for affordable health care for all?

As the Who sang so long ago: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

Am I cynical? Or disgusted? Until each and every one of us write to our congress people, take to the streets, write major news media -- and now that we have email and flat rate phones -- the right wing will continue to rule this country. Because they know the power of uniting and writing and speaking out.

We have to take back our schools and summer camps. Between book banning and Jesus camps, rational, liberal, creative, intelligent people are losing out not only to current rulers, but the next generation and the next. We have a lot of catching up to do!!

So come on, work it! Keith Oberman is just one man. WE all have to do our part.

Hey ho, let's go. Not just a slogan, a call to action.