||[06 Dec 2004|08:38am]
AN OPEN LETTER
TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
By: Norma Sherry
Dear Democratic Party, what became of you? Once upon a time, in our
father's time and grandfather's time, you were the party of conscience,
the party that spoke for the working folk, the everyday folk. You were
the party of FDR, JFK, Helen Gahagan Douglas, the actress turned
representative who fought for anti-lynching bills, the powerful, Barbara
Jordan, the eloquent, Adlai Stevenson, Dan Inouye and Sam Ervin, who set
themselves apart in their stellar Watergate interrogations. Men and
women who sought the ideals of equality and freedom for all. Men and
women who embraced the principles of honor and justice. Representatives
who yearned to give every citizen a first-rate education, a job of
consequence with a livable wage, a life better than their fathers, and
How is it that you dissolved into a body emulating and nearly
indistinguishable from that of the Republican Party? When was it that
you decided to depart from your lofty, caring, ethics? When was it that
you became mute and heartless to the tribulations of the men and women
who are the backbone of this country? When was it that you diminished
your ideals and dissolved all semblance of honor? When was it that we
ceased to have a legitimate two-party system? When was it that you
deemed us ignorant, foolish children easily lead and more easily
Early on in the campaign to be president, it appeared as if the
contender wasn't really trying. There were so many missed opportunities
to say the right words, so many missed moments to render the opponent
speechless. Was your heart truly in this fight or did you sell us a
piece of unbuildable real estate? The minions believed you. Throngs of
volunteers, with their hearts on their sleeves, fought the fight, made
the calls, knocked on the doors, and prayed the prayers. Did you do the
same? Did you, the power elite, organize the best fight you could? Did
you, the leaders of the gang, articulate in one strong, coherent voice
why the Democratic Party should lead this country - or was it that it no
longer mattered? Is party affiliation a game for the folk that don't
really matter anyhow?
Where was your voice when this president ripped our Bill of Rights to
shreds? Where was your voice when this president in a single stroke of a
pen made the enemy of the State, us - the object of his demented
suspicions? Where was your voice when this president and his
administration turned its wrath from Osama Bin Laden to Saddam Hussein?
Where were you when he struck a mighty blow against a non-existent enemy
with non-existent weapons of mass destruction? Where are you now as 1100
of our precious sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, lay slain for
no good reason? Where are you as their draped bodies are hidden from
view – as if not seeing would make it not so?
Where, dear democratic leaders, is your anger for an ever-growing
indebtedness we'll not in our lifetimes recover? Where is your rage for
the 42-million and growing families without medical protection? Where is
your fury for the poor working men and women who had their jobs yanked
from under them and sent to third-world lands so the rich imperial
corporations could gain more massive wealth?
Where were you, dear democratic leaders, when speech became no longer
free? Where were you when voices of dissent became crimes against the
state? Where were you when war profiteering became business as usual?
Where, oh where were you, as more of us each day become sick and
homeless and lose our will to fight?
Where is your voice today as this president rapes our lands, destroys
our air, infects our food? Are you there – or is it that you and he
– and the likes of all of you who profess to only do the best for us,
are all the same empty useless vessels?
Just a few days have passed since millions of us went to the polls
thinking our voices would finally be heard. Again we bought the
storybook ending. In our naiveté we believed that each of us counted.
In the end, dear democratic leaders of a defunct party, you have proven
that you have only one vision, the vision of personal greed and avarice.
Clearly, you want only that which benefits you. No longer are you the
party of our grandfathers and our grandfather's fathers.
If there is one thing that we have learned from you, and I hope we have
learned well, it is entirely up to us to take back our liberty and
justice for all.