Reclaiming America
Cindy Sheehan�s outrageous treatment is mandatory cause for rising up angry!
By Dennis Rahkonen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Feb 3, 2006, 16:01

While they were still able, certain perspicacious Jews left Germany in the 1930s because they understood what the ultimate outcome of rising fascism would mean.

Tyranny in George Bush�s United States today is so close to consolidation that we progressives -- tomorrow�s certain scapegoats -- might consider booking one-way flights to safety in foreign lands.

To do so, however, would be a craven abdication of a cliched but nonetheless profound truth: �Now is the time for all good men (and women) to come to the aid of their country.�

What happened to Cindy Sheehan at the State of the Union Address must galvanize us all into impassioned action -- our blood boiling with the transfused spirit of Jefferson and Paine.

Invited to attend by a member of Congress, Ms. Sheehan was swatted down like a fly in the �people�s house� as a �protester� for wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the number of U.S. troops lost in Iraq.

Dragged off and arrested, her entirely peaceful, constitutionally protected right to make a compelling point about a controversial war in which her own son was killed . . . was obscenely seen not as an act completely consistent with our storied freedom, but as a dangerous threat against it!

During that address, gangster Bush defiantly declared he would continue illegal, warrantless, NSA spying on American citizens, as officials gathered before him gave a standing ovation.

Within the space of a few minutes, as the whole world watched, people who absurdly imagine themselves exemplary American patriots thereby displayed utter contempt for both the First and Fourth Amendments of our hallowed Bill of Rights.

That strange, whirring resonance you heard in the background was Patrick Henry spinning in his grave!

If we don�t rise up angry at this key juncture in our jeopardized history to fight like hell to preserve the democratic ideals embodied in �Give me liberty or give me death� and �Don�t tread on me,� then -- yes -- we should take the next plane or boat to sanctuary abroad.

For we wouldn�t be worthy of being called Americans . . .

I�m convinced, however, that an unprecedented surge of popular militancy will soon redeem us, and save our beloved nation.

Rebellion Brewing

Limousine liberals divorced from curbside reality have become shamefully defeatist. They don�t see the rebellion brewing in numerous places in our heartland.

One such manifestation of embittered defiance could come raging out of Flint, Michigan, like a fierce tornado.

Auto parts maker Delphi is in bankruptcy, a victim of capitalism�s anarchic market contradictions.

The company is demanding unacceptable concessions from its workers.  Things like an exact halving of employee wages, plus benefit evisceration on an unholy scale.

Outraged rank-and-filers, with their backs and living standards against the wall, are remembering that Flint was the site of the historic Sitdown Strike of 1937, which spurred mass unionization in American industry, giving this country�s toilers something better than perpetual peonage.

Should a Delphi strike occur, carmakers like GM would have to quickly shut down their operations.  Tens of thousands of U.S. workers would be idled.

It�d make the New York City transit situation of Christmas past look like a church picnic in comparison.

What�s more -- given seething worker resentment over forced shutdowns, cutbacks and take-aways all across America -- a wave of solidarity actions could occur in the auto industry . . . and beyond.

Keep your eyes and ears out for developments, and start demanding justice for Delphi�s thoroughly shafted workforce!

The Tipping Point

�The worse, the better,� an old acquaintance is fond of saying.

He feels that the more oppressive and exploitative U.S. capitalist rule becomes -- via  the Bush/Alito profits-before-people agenda -- the more quickly and completely everyday Americans will become radicalized into self-preserving action.

He sees gays being necessarily forced back into Stonewall-style rebellion.

Women returning to inspiring, irresistible feminism.

Labor replicating the Jimmy Higgins outlook that originally built our industrial unions.

Ghetto residents joining a new Black Panthers in huge numbers.

Angry �tree huggers� leading popularly-supported, mass marches demanding an end to global warming.

A gigantic peace movement filling the streets to restrain the Pentagon.

Students and seniors both fighting ferociously to keep from going under.

Christians taking back their faith from evangelical hucksters.

And, wonder of wonders, a Democratic Party that�ll be forced by external and internal, leftward pressure to emerge as a real battler for public welfare and the common good, or be supplanted by an upstart, grassroots formation -- a kind of super coalition that would finally emerge as a full-blown replacement party -- to give the entire, Enron-corrupt status quo a one way kick into the trash bin.

Idealistic nonsense, you say?  Think about it from this perspective: There�s probably as intense and widespread basis for mass discontent in the United States today as there was in either France or Russia before their great revolutions. And substantially more than existed in the Thirteen Colonies in another King George�s time.

Isn�t it foolish to imagine that some sort of neutered American exceptionalism will keep us contentedly gobbling crap forever?

Won�t a worsening debacle in Iraq, illegal government surveillance, the Abramoff plea bargain, and assorted Republican sleaze scandals engender pervasive resentment?

Don�t Plamegate�s incendiary outcome, rising gasoline and heating fuel prices, Medicare�s Part D travesty, administration culpability in murderous mine disasters and Katrina�s profoundly radicalizing aftermath clearly portend the same?

Despite what was so outrageously done to her the other night, Cindy Sheehan is right back in the battle.

She knows where the ultimate power lies, and to whom victory will finally belong.

Capitulationism has no valid place in our thoughts.  Let�s make 2006 the most electrifying year in American politics and general society since 1968.

Check to see what actions are slated for your area as part of the internationally coordinated peace rallies organized for March 18-19.

See you at the massive street protests . . . soon!

Dennis Rahkonen of Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing for various progressive outlets since the �60s.  He can be reached at

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