“D for Disillusioned”: Chicago Anti-War Protest Tomorrow on Michigan Avenue. Let Your Voice Be Heard. No One Else Will Speak For Us.

Americans will turn to political violence when all other avenues have been exhausted.
It has happened before.

The Chicago Tribune reports that an anti-war rally is scheduled for tomorrow:

“The march kicks off on March 18 at 7 p.m. at Ogden School, near Walton and Oak, and will proceed east to Michigan, south to Wacker, west to Clark and south to Washington.”

Were you aware this protest was taking place? While the Trib featured this article on their homepage this morning, I had to search the Sun-Times website to find any mention of the protest. No mention of the protest on Sen. Obama’s website, nor on Sen. Durbin’s.

I find it the height of irony that today is the premiere of “V for Vendetta,” a film which imagines a lone hero fighting back against a fascist and totalitarian state, with violence as his preferred means. Here in the real world, we can barely get the recognition of our party leaders. There will be a lot of people patting themselves on the back for being revolutionaries while they sit and munch their $7 popcorn and slurp their $6 big gulps at the movie’s premiere tonight. They will laud themselves for being so sophisticated, intellectual and progressive. They will thrill to the explosions, carefully choreographed combat and the “bullet time” footage of thrown knives, tumbling end-over-end towards their targets.

Yet, how many of them will actually be pounding the pavement at the protest? How many of them are as enthralled by the onscreen violence as the next right wing nutjob? How many of them realize that their tax dollars are subsidizing real violence, right now, across the globe? In a sense, encouraging people to project their frustrations into this film is as good a way as any to co-opt their potential energy. Is the promise of violence the only thing which can still animate the passions of the average American? How many self-described liberals, progressives and patriots will opt to attend the movie premiere over participating in direct action against the government that currently afflicts us, as opposed to rooting for a fictitious hero fighting a fictitious government?

The Democratic party is finished. Their utter and abject failure to mount any real opposition to Bush on basically any subject is embarrassing, appalling and ultimately dangerous for the future of our country and our system of democracy. Any party that fails to muster a fight, that fails to make a case for itself, that fails to listen to the American people, that hardly even attempts to persuade the American public at large of even the most basic truths is not a political party, but rather the fossil remnants of one.

Til now, I have supported the Democratic party in word and deed because I saw them as a flawed but only real alternative to the Republican party. In the absence of a Congress that will act as a check and balance, it was my hope that the Democrats would stand as a bulwark against the darkest impulses of the Bush administration. However, in fight after fight, all I hear from Democrats is excuses, or worse: silence.

I’ve been quite vocal in my denigration of the Republican party, their leaders, their constituency and their policies. I have promoted the Democratic party not as a savior but, flawed as it is, as the only national organization capable of acting as a check on the GOP. At this point, I couldn’t be more disappointed with the Dems. A growing majority of Americans- and even U.S. troops- believe we need to begin bringing our troops home from Iraq in the next 6 months and yet, the feckless Democrats cannot be bothered to represent the will of the people.

One would have thought that after the 2005 Presidential election and all that has followed, the Dems would have realized that being upfront, vocal and unapologetic as to their point of view is the only way to play the game. The one recent issue that the Dems actually got organized for was the Dubai ports issue, a true tempest in a teapot if there ever was one. Hillary et. al. figured they could score some quick and easy political points, and so they were vocal. What a joke.

And yet…Sen. Feingold introduces a measure to censure Bush and you can hear crickets chirping on the Dem side of the aisle. Bush blatantly, admittedly and repeatedly breaks the law and Dems are quiet. The Patriot Act was renewed with little substantive changes. The litany of outrages goes on and on, with no end in sight.

The last time Obama made the news, it was for participating in a roast of Bush and Cheney. As funny as some of his digs were, the impression I got was that Obama was just one of the club- not a threat to the establishment, as many hoped he would be. Just another DC politician, yukking it up, utterly out of touch with his constituency. Before Obama gets my endorsement, support or vote, he needs to fucking DO something. Yes, he’s a more attractive candidate than Hillary, but he needs to have much, much more going for him. After 5 years of lies, war, kidnapping, deceit, killing, torture, law-breaking and profligate spending by the Bush administration, and the Dems still cannot muster a response. This is absolutely pathetic. And dangerous. Can America survive not only the next 3 years of Bush rule, but the prospect of a Republican keeping the White House in 2008? Hard to believe it could happen, but without a viable Democratic candidate, whom will voters turn to?

Folks, it is UP TO US. We cannot rely on our elected officials any longer. They are worthless. We must take back our country, and we must start now. The real question is: can America be saved via our current political process? Or must the entire edifice be razed and rebuilt? Can America be reclaimed peaceably? How do we get back on track?

Yes, I know many of you wingers out there will gloat over this, but hey, fuck it, I’m just telling the truth. I’m pissed off and disappointed but I refuse to spill any more pixels supporting people that do no support my interests. While Republicans may find politics to be a faith-based initiative, I do not. I want results. And the Democrats in Washington are barely even pretending to fight the good fight.

I understand that not every fight can be won. But to constantly shirk from combat on issue after issue begs the question: WHEN will Democrats fight? What issue can finally reanimate the corpse of the party, if not two Supreme Court Justices, rampant corruption on the part of the ruling party, utter incompetence on the part of the White House on every front from Medicaid to Iraq to Katrina to illegal wiretapping and torture? If they will not fight these fights and go down swinging if necessary, for what will they fight? Are these people really that focused on their own political careers that they would gladly watch the whole ship sink rather than risk speaking out and alienating voters? Are they that afraid of being called hippies, liberals, commies, what-have-you by the meanies on the right and by the media? Please.

How do we build a party that represents the interests of Americans? How do we build a country that exists for all Americans?

Understand me clearly: the above does not represent an abandonment of Democratic or progressive ideals. Rather, it is a recognition that in order to advance Democratic ideals, we may have to abandon the Democratic party. Why not?

It’s already abandoned us.

12 Comments so far

  1. Gabe (unregistered) on March 19th, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

    What I find ironic is how you mention the crickets and that’s exactly what you got in response to your post. I guess there aren’t as many people that share your opinion as you thought.

  2. bassoholic (unregistered) on March 19th, 2006 @ 9:49 pm

    So I guess those 7000 people downtown yesterday also don’t share his view?

  3. Gabe (unregistered) on March 20th, 2006 @ 10:33 am

    thats it?!?! in a city of how many ppl??

  4. nikkos (unregistered) on March 20th, 2006 @ 10:44 am

    Were you there to counter protest? Or is your support of the war only something you conduct from the comfort of your La-Z-Boy?

    I counted less than 25 pro-war counter-protesters.

  5. zed (unregistered) on March 20th, 2006 @ 11:44 am

    I pretty much agree nikkos, but then again, I wasn’t there. Life really has to be miserable for people to really want to stand up for something. Look at Bosnia, they just let their city get surrounded and people killed. They continued to ignore that they had a war going on in their OWN COUNTRY.

    I have no idea how they do it in other parts of the world such as Latin America, but unless one is hanging out in the right place/time, most likely word does not get out. ALSO, I only saw a couple fliers stuck in news boxes downtown and that’s all I heard of it. Also, A Senator is NEVER going to post something about a protest on their website. Although they will say one has the right as an American, protests chip away at even THEIR agenda.

  6. Gabe (unregistered) on March 20th, 2006 @ 12:26 pm

    oh so now u wanna try to turn the point that i made against me and make me look apathetic while ur protest looked pathetic and received almost no covereage by the media. that’s fine and i’ll freely admit it; it’s the la-z-boy for me. i’ve done my time. i’ve fought for my country so u go out and have ur protest. let me know when ur done playing and u wanna have a big boy conversation.

  7. nikkos (unregistered) on March 20th, 2006 @ 12:42 pm

    “oh so now u wanna try to turn the point that i made against me”

    Yes, this is how “big boys” debate and discuss. They also use full sentences, capitalization and punctuation, but I’ll let that slide.

    You claim to support this war: what are you doing to support it, other than trolling blogs and acting like a dickhead? Sitting in the La-Z-Boy in your old uniform while aiming your pistol at the protesters on the TV screen doesn’t count.

    If you have a point, state it. Otherwise, troll elsewhere. If your point is simply that the protest is pointless, explain why you feel that is the case.

    In any case, you’ve proven my point yet again- the value of the protest is that it sparks discussion. You’re here discussing the protest with me after all. The fact that you are making yourself look like an ass only helps my argument.

  8. Gabe (unregistered) on March 20th, 2006 @ 12:43 pm

    i would like to withdraw my previous statement after reading ur post about the march. as i said in the other post, i applaud that u would do this despite the fact that i dont agree with the ideals behind it.

  9. Gabe (unregistered) on March 20th, 2006 @ 12:45 pm

    i’ll let ur last comment slide (even though u decided to call me a dickhead) cause i’m feeling gracious today.

  10. nikkos (unregistered) on March 20th, 2006 @ 12:45 pm

    Consider it withdrawn.

  11. Gabe (unregistered) on March 20th, 2006 @ 1:19 pm

    Ok, I would like to open a dialogue and not a trolling session.

    I would like to ask you what you think you accomplished? Yes, you talked to a few people and maybe even got some of them to re-examine their beliefs in this country (as you stated) but other than that, will the troops be brought home any sooner? Will your march make Iraq any more secure or stable? Will it protect any of the troops that are there? Have you changed any of the minds of the politicians that actually make these decision?

    I would answer no to everyone of those. In fact, I would say that all you’ve accomplished is making yourself feel better because you feel like you got out there and did something without affecting any real change. Yes, I applaud that you would stand up but if it doesn’t bring real change, what are you standing up for then? An act of defiance? To spark discussion that will have no real affect whether our troops leave tomorrow or a year from tomorrow?

    Ok, let’s say for the sake of argument that you do actually change one person’s mind about the war due to the march. What then? You go home, pat yourself on the back for a job well done but you still haven’t changed our government or helped bring home one troops. What then? You feel good for awhile that you actually did something but soon that wears off and you’re trying to find more to do. My point is that we all wanna change the world; to say that we had a lasting impact and be remembered for it but the memory of the world is fickle and history remembers those that wrote history. Not those that tried to change it but those who actually changed it.

    By the way, calling someone a dickhead does not show maturity but neither does patronizing someone either. I apologize for the “big people” comment.

    Let me restate this; I’m not trolling. You asked me about my position on the march and that’s what I’ve tried to do.

  12. nikkos (unregistered) on March 20th, 2006 @ 1:36 pm

    For some organization, I will repost and field the comment above in the comments section of my post entitled “Why I Marched.”

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