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In the battle to save this country there is only one opponent: fear. It's not dems v repugs. It's not conservative v liberal. It's not soccer mom v security mom. It is fear v freedom. This all started to dawn on me when I contacted my cell phone company about the NSA warrantless and illegal domestic spying. I had an interesting conversation with a Cingular representative.



I learned that even people who hate Bush are willing to give up their freedoms and their rights in the name of security. "911 changed everything" is not just the Whitehouse's excuse for burning our constitution, it's the public's justification for turning away from the fire. They are scared to die and they are letting their fear ruin my country and it makes me mad. When I get mad I write. Sometimes I write like this.

You may die.
You will die.
People die everyday.
On average
two US soldiers die everyday in Iraq.

They are dying
supposedly
to protect our freedoms.
The same freedoms
you are letting
slip
away.

I know you
want to protect
your life
your kid's life
from the evildoers
but the evildoers
are not
out there.
They are in us.
They are us.
They are you.

I know you
are scared
of terrorists
and will gladly give up
my rights
but they are not yours
to give up.

You are more likely
to die
by car
by lightening
by falling objects
by electrocution
by drowning
by falling off a cliff
than by terrorist

and yet you
give up
the same rights
you send
young people
to die for.

That takes nerve.

And then you tell me
"If you don't like it
you can just leave"
while you celebrate
July 4th.

That takes nerve.

And your faded
these colors don't run
bumper sticker
on your empty
SUV.

That takes nerve.

And you wrap
my flag
around your fear
while supporting laws
against its desecration.

That takes nerve.

That's a lot of nerve
for someone so scared.

Buck up soldier
the only war here
is between you
and fear
and me.
I will not
let you
destroy my country
just because
you are scared.

I will reclaim
my flag
my government
my freedoms
my rights
my country
because
I will die
someday
and I want to die
free.

Originally posted to sassy texan on Sun Jul 09, 2006 at 08:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  well (21+ / 0-)

    have been debating sharing this for a few days - it's not my usual thing but I just needed to get it out. I am so angry that people will let their fears ruin my country - selfish assholes.

    Proud member of the women's studies crowd and a damn hippie!

    by sassy texan on Sun Jul 09, 2006 at 08:57:09 AM PDT

  •  Excellent sassy texan!!! n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, Irish Patti, sassy texan
  •  Amazing (8+ / 0-)

    Utterly amazing.

    This is really powerful stuff, sassy.

    I love the things you are saying here. Especially the close:

    I will die
    someday
    and I want to die
    free.

    We will be free. We will make it happen. People like you, people like me.

    They are reacting to their fears by imposing it on others. On us.

    Just...fantastic.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Sun Jul 09, 2006 at 08:58:27 AM PDT

    •  thanks e (6+ / 0-)

      It kills me when people talk about taking away our freedoms to protect their children - when what they are doing is destroying the very thing their children need most. I bet if their kids only learn about freedom from history books they might wish their parents had made a better choice.

      Proud member of the women's studies crowd and a damn hippie!

      by sassy texan on Sun Jul 09, 2006 at 09:03:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's provided the history (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eugene, caliberal, sassy texan

        books they have are telling them the whole story.  I think many people are home-schooling their kids with feel-good history garbage.  Often the public schools are afraid to teach against the sanitized versions of history because teachers receive so much flak from the rah rah patriots when they do.  Kudos to those teachers brave enough to teach against the sanitized versions of history.

        At times like these, poetry as you've written here, and other creative expressions (I'm thinking of the flash pieces that.STOP George does, is an effective way to cut through the MSM fear mongering that numbs so many American minds

        •  aw geez (3+ / 0-)

          I hate that you're right about the history books, but you are. If the other side has their way, these times will be looked on as the bad ole days when freedom ran amok.

          Thanks for reminding me about STOP George. I was trying to remember that site to share with a friend of mine and you just provided the answer :)

          Proud member of the women's studies crowd and a damn hippie!

          by sassy texan on Sun Jul 09, 2006 at 09:20:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  At this rate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caliberal, sassy texan, Cronesense

        Their parents could stand to learn some history too!

        I am with you on this, as I am with you on everything. We have a society determined to live in fear and destroy freedoms as a result.

        We must reject fear. We cannot live in fear.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Sun Jul 09, 2006 at 09:18:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Running on Fear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sassy texan

    Read this Dairy at MLW

  •  Nicely done! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sassy texan

    You're an inspired poet!

    Thanks.

    Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Sun Jul 09, 2006 at 10:41:49 AM PDT

  •  Power through fear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sassy texan

    Fear is such a powerful tool, for those who understand it and know how to manipulate it.  If you take the time to watch advertising for products, whether on TV or in magazines, you'll see fear being used a significant amount of time (bad breath? vaginal itching? life insurance?).  The Republicans have known how to use fear for political purposes for years.  Remember Willie  Horton? That was Bush-pere.  When Bush-chimp mentions 9-11 multiple times in every public speaking engagement, it isn't because he's struggling to think of something to say. It's a conscious decision to continually play on the fears of Americans.  Until the Democrats (1) learn how to manipulate fear, and (2) have the guts to stand by it, the Republicans will continue to clean our clocks.

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Sun Jul 09, 2006 at 11:42:22 AM PDT

    •  yup (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eugene, Paul in Berkeley

      I am with you until the very end. Don't you think dems could battle fear with rationality and hope - it worked for that one guy, you know, "we have nothing to fear but fear itself." People have short memories, maybe we can just steal that slogan again :)

      Proud member of the women's studies crowd and a damn hippie!

      by sassy texan on Sun Jul 09, 2006 at 12:20:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The personal and the political (0+ / 0-)

    Fear links the two, the personal and the political.

    As feminists have long understood, what goes on in personal relationships often has political overtones, and what goes on in politics is often deeply related to personal things.

    Fear is something many of us experience, on an everyday basis. Even us who are liberal, even me, who believes himself to be on the side of right.

    Our fears are real, they have well-founded bases, especially the fears we have on the left. We're not afraid of bogeymen, we are afraid of losing all that we have, of losing rights and freedoms, of starving and being poor, of being sent to camps.

    We have personal fears too, and they have direct political implications. We fear being alone, and not being listened to. We fear abandonment, but we also fear being intruded upon.

    The solution to fear cannot be further isolation. While we all need to be able to take a step back from situations that are unpleasant or rough, that can never be a permanent answer. At some point, we are faced with a final choice - work to resolve differences and rebuild our social frameworks, or surrender totally and admit defeat.

    When we encounter others who wish to help us through fear, we should embrace this. The trouble comes when our friends and allies themselves become problems, themselves create fears in us.

    Unfortunately, as human beings, such situations are unavoidable. We are imperfect people, we will never always communicate well, we will cause pain and suffering and hurt. But we cannot leave it there, we must not do that.

    We are tasked with an unenviable task. We are burdened with a heavy load. That task, that burden, is to repair, reconcile, and reconstruct. If we wish to overcome fears, and that which is done in fear, we must do the difficult things. We must ask a lot of ourselves, and of each other - but we do so not out of dislike or out of spite, but out of love. Because we all know we have a role to play, we are all needed to help lift the burden. Every body counts.

    If we give in to the atomistic desire, if we allow ourselves to give up, we are admitting our defeat. We throw up our hands and say to those who are ruled by fear, "you win."

    If we find a way to advocate what we believe, insist on what we each need, yet find ways to reconcile that with what others need, then we find a path forward. We are able to have our needs met, while also maintaining the relationships that are essential to our personal and political survival.

    These words are not easy to write, and perhaps not easy to read. But it is the only way forward. We must become bigger than ourselves, overcome our self-doubts and lack of confidence. We must rebuild trust in each other so we can move ahead and do the things we need to do.

    The personal is political. We cannot abandon each other, because that is not just a personal choice, but a political surrender. We must do the difficult things. We owe it to ourselves, and to each other.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 12:44:44 PM PDT

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