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I'd like to highlight a thought that occurred to me tonight. I've read by now gobs of anecdotes about how the telephone lines and emails of our Senators and House members are being swamped, perhaps more than I've experienced in my adult life and I'm 49. Yes, it appears those calling and emails are 20-1 or even higher against military action in Syria. I don't need to cite on this, anyone paying attention has seen the examples.
But this diary is not about the YAY or NAY. Rather, it is about just how beautiful this is. This is democracy in real action, at its core. Given a stake in this decision, the People have seized upon the opportunity to be heard. What this further means is that as citizens, we have not yet (maybe to our own surprise) given up on the American Idea that the People can affect change, can influence national governance in real time.
I also wish to credit the President here for enabling this. Whatever happened on his 45 minute night walk a few days back, I am appreciative he has chosen to honor both the words and spirit of the Constitutional intent in deciding matters of war (even if he continues to publicly assert authority to act on his own). While his action SHOULD be the norm, it certainly has not been, both because chief executives always want and try to take more power AND because Congresses past and present much prefer to avoid accountability for their own Constitutionally-chartered responsibilities. So the President did not have to do this, not in a practical sense. I thank him for that, for giving us all a chance to remember and prove the People DO have a say.
By the same token, the President needs to take great care in deciding his next step should the Congress, after overwhelming-expressed public opposition, vote against military intervention. If he then chooses to act in complete disregard of the clearly expressed will of the People, he may do more damage to our democracy than we can realize now. Such an action would communicate the opposite message, the message that voice of the People -- even when nearly unanimous -- does not move its government. That could be a dangerous thing.
So please Mr. President, appreciate and honor the beauty that is the People aggressively being the change agents you asked us us to be:
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.