Jane Smiley is a talented novelist and essayist who also posts on www.huffingtonpost.com.
On March 28th she blogged about the ridiculous show Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma put on last week when the Senate convened to listen to Vice President Gore discuss the perils of ignoring global warming. I’m sure everyone reading here saw Senator Inhofe lecture, berate, sneer, and snicker, while never actually listening or trying to ascertain what should be done to halt the assault on our planet. Jane Smiley pointed out what a disservice the Senator was doing to the people who elected him, as about 50% of Oklahoma is suffering from drought, and one section is suffering from a most severe drought. But whether talking about Senator Inhofe, or Senator Lieberman (who voted the other day in contradiction to the wishes of over 70% of his constituents), or any elected official who advances his or her own personal agenda over the wishes of the populace, I think Jane’s words are worth noting and considering:
In a democracy, the citizens are responsible. In the end, they can only plead that they were ignorant or misled or lied to or tricked for a few years. After that, it is their responsibility to get a clue and get rid of the officials who have been misleading them, or lying to them, or tricking them, and also the ones who are as dumb as a bag of hammers, as Senator Inhofe repeatedly reveals himself to be. All wounds, in a democracy, are ultimately self-inflicted. That means that if you won't pay for schools and then you don't know anything, it's your own fault. That means if you have a volunteer army and you let the Administration break it into rubble, it's your fault. That means if you have scientists who agree that you are destroying the atmosphere and you elect officials who don't do anything about it, even out of prudence, it's your fault. That means if you suck dry your only source of water and there isn't any rain, you did it yourself.
My mantra is to be an active participant in the changes I wish to see in this world, and I do something every day, no matter how small, to make a difference. You probably do that too, but if you haven’t done so today, make a call, send an e-mail, or write a check to make something you care about better. Because a large minority of our elected officials won’t be doing anything today to enhance, improve, or even question anything you think is important.
Have a great weekend! Final Passover shopping awaits, and of course: the official commencement of BASEBALL! I’ll be watching the NY Rangers play a bit on Sunday night while ESPN focuses on that Midwest team getting its rings and raising its banner. But I will be tuning in by the time the first Met steps into the batter’s box, as to me, there is no sound to compare with an ump’s proclaiming, “Let’s play ball!”