2004: We Could Use Some People Power In The U.S.

by Frank Wycoff

December 13, 2004   


(Swans - December 13, 2004)   Once again this year, a group of people have come together and forced a government to change its policy. First in Spain, a very emotional and united cry came out of the people forcing a change in foreign policy and in leadership. Most recently, the Ukraine, seeing the government and its branches try to steal an election, the people united en masse and as of the last newscast, succeeded in getting a new election. Yes, I know, the Ukrainians got "help" (cash, organizing...) from George Soros's Open Society Institute, the NED, USAid, Freedom House, and all the friendly NGOs that seed "people power," but people did get to the streets, didn't they? Why did we not think of that in 2000?

In this country, those of us who have been opposed to both the foreign and domestic policies of this government since the day we became aware of the world beyond ourselves have not united. Not to say that we on the left (those of us who have not compromised and called ourselves "democrats," just to feel as if we belong) have not done anything in this country. We have protested wars, tried to save the whales, the redwoods, choice, written millions of words in criticism, and even made a few movies...all as separate, individual organizations. For example, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Now, Peace & Freedom, WPP, the Green Party, etc., etc., etc....plus the millions of separate, personal, individual Web and blog pages. Never united enough to give up a little power and prestige to band together and brave the elements, pee in public, share food and drink, and peacefully demand a change in this country's policies, both foreign and domestic. There always seems to be a battle somewhere in this country, always a part of a divided populace to fight it. We on the left have been perfectly divided; we are not even united in politics, it's that simple. Bravo to the people of the Ukraine.

So here we go again in our lifetime: another war (Bush), attacks on free speech (FCC) and civil liberties, another J. Edgar Hoover anyone? (intelligence czar). But the salt on my wound is an arrogant president telling us the he has a mandate from the people. A MANDATE? What gall! Hard to believe this guy is going to get away with it. Such a perfect opportunity to do a Ukraine on Washington...

Should something ever happen like it did in the Ukraine it just might quell some of the frustrations many of us feel. It could also save a few environmentalists turned eco-terrorists from killing someone. Or not. Maybe it is enough to be a blurb in the margins of history. Maybe it is enough to win small battles and have our children revisit them.

But what if the members and leaders of Greenpeace, Sierra Club, ACLU, NOW, etc, pulled together with a united front drawing together millions of people and did the Ukrainian dance on Washington?

Darn, this is Idealism.

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America the 'beautiful' on Swans

US Elections & Democracy on Swans


Frank Wycoff is a true friend of Swans, literally. Even more, he was one of the five crazies who launched Swans in 1996, and while not contributing his words for several years, he has helped in countless ways, quietly, in the background, to keep the project going. Frank Wycoff used to have a small printing business in California. He and his wife Nancy sold it in 1998 and relocated to Oneonta, New York, where he now works as an independent contractor around the houses, many of them in dire need of his expertise.

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This Week's Internal Links

2004: A Case Study In Forensic Irony - by Phil Rockstroh

2004: Diary Of A Man In Despair - by Michael Doliner

Empire Of Amnesia, 2004 - by John Steppling

2004: Reality in Perspective - by Jan Baughman

2004: Another Best and Worst Year - by Joe Davison

2004: The Lost Year - by Eli Beckerman

2004: Perspectives And Opportunities - by Louis Proyect

2004: The Insurgent Word - by Gerard Donnelly Smith

Retrospective On 2004, Or Why I Need More Sleep - by Joel Wendland

Beyond The Beyond: Reflections on a November Visited Upon us . . . Again - by Milo Clark

2004: The Superpower Kept Sinking - by Philip Greenspan

The Message Of 2004 - by Charles Marowitz

2004: A Year Of Frightening Regression - by Edward S. Herman

2004: The Year Of Disillusion - by Manuel García, Jr.

Death Genes: The Second Coming - Book Excerpt by Walker Percy

Libertad Bajo Palabra - Poem by Octavio Paz (also in French and in English)

Plantation Politics? Mimes, Minstrels And Miscalculation - by S. Jeffrey Jones

Blips #8 - From the Editor's desk

Letters to the Editor


Published December 13, 2004
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