Friday, August 12, 2005


Talking about Going

Today I told people I was planning on going to Crawford. These are some of the responses.

My middle sister - Oh! If you go... I'll help you. I wanted to do something to help that woman. Something personal. If you go, I would be so grateful. Thank you.

She offered to help with expenses before I even asked. She went on to say she thinks the important battle in our country isn't conservative vs. liberal nor Republican vs. Democat nor ever rich vs. poor but humanitarians vs. misanthropes who can only value members of their own 'club.' She saw me as reaching out in a human way for her as well as myself.

The lady at the bank when I mentioned it - Oh, I'm so glad. That poor woman. At my house, we're on two sides about this, but I think it's wonderful that you're going.

We talked about Cindy Sheehan, about how none of the members of this administration have any real idea of the price people pay to serve their country at war, and about what every single death in Iraq must mean for the families of the sodiers. We both had tears in our eyes. In the end, I promised to email her with the information about the blog. When I left, she thanked me like my sister had done. My interaction with her was intense, intimate and totally unexpected.

After the experience at the bank, I decided to tell everyone I met. The responses were varied and but I started to notice a serious gender skew.

The lady at the union office wanted to know my full name so she could add me to her prayer list. A friend considered joining us even as her husband snorted and asked why on earth I would do such a thing. Another friend encouraged me with all sorts of positive effects that this flow of supporters to Crawford would have the political landscape. The guy at the reception desk at a cable network shook his head and gave his opinion that all the people going to Crawford are doing it for reasons of their own that have little to do with Cindy Sheehan. The guy at the Apple Store nodded and changed the subject.

On the one side of the gender divide, mentioning my plan triggers a powerful emotional outpouring. On the other side, an indifference bordering on contempt. This was not a scientific sample, but I would say that Cindy Sheehan reaches women's hearts and minds in a most personal way.

I think its perfectly marvelous you and Jenny are making the trip - and I'll be donating a little something through your paypal button. Somehow an encampment of people outside Bush's ranch makes me think of the anti-war protesters camped out by the Lincoln Memorial during the vietnam era, giving Nixon hell. The whole trip can be for both you and Jenny individual statements of a humane andor political nature that to yourself and others will be very real and tangible. Collectively, as you gather with others like yourself in Crawford, you will create a very noticeable impression on the minds of other Americans, and possibly the encampment at Crawford will be the event that spurs a truly solidified anti-war movement again.
Anyway, good luck and please don't think the gender divide line is all that distinct on this issue. Though the basic event that spurred this particular protest, a mother losing her son, may immediately come to the attention of women before men, I believe or at least hope that men are as much invested in seeing an end to Bush's war as women.
and yes I am of the male gender variety
i am overwhelmed by your going to crawford
it is the action of people like you who make america
beautiful-america, the heart of a mother, the courage of clarifying your emotions, the right to be proud and to grieve, the power to forgive.
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