Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Monday, May 28, 2007

To be Republican... Democrat... or American.

Cindy Sheehan quit the Democratic Party yesterday.

I and many others happily welcome Cindy into the freedom of 'Independent-hood' with open arms.

Leaving the Democratic Party was a very empowering experience for me. I became an Independent after placing a call to Nancy Pelosi's office last winter. I asked the aide who answered Pelosi's phone just what - exactly - it would take for Nancy to put impeachment 'on the table.' The aide became flustered, angry, said something snippy and hung up on me.

I was stunned, furious and speechless. Something snapped: I felt it break. It was the cord that tied me to this broken party.

No voter (let alone active supporter) should ever tolerate this kind of abuse from a representative that we supported and carried into her vaulted position as House Speaker.

The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men (and apparently the women) who pervert the Constitution. - Abraham Lincoln

After a lifetime as a Democrat, I quit the party on the spot. I felt a heavy weight lift from my soul. Suddenly I was no longer powerless. I have opted out of the lie. I refuse to play this 'if you don't want them, you're stuck with us' game anymore. Anyone who wants my vote will have to earn it.

I highly recommend this - it really has changed my perspective, on everything. I can think of no better way to end this childish, partisan behavior than to simply walk away from it.

Neither a Republican nor a Democrat be; be rather, a true American citizen. Swear allegiance to no party with small-minded, selfish interests, but rather save your devotion for the high-minded ideals of true patriotism, democracy and liberty. - me, trying my best to sound grave and historical.

Lincoln left the Whig party and became a Republican, in a time when being 'Republican' meant believing in freedom for all people, regardless of race. He walked away from the Whigs - and we can walk away from these two corrupted parties.

The only way we will save our democracy is to turn our backs on these corporate pawns and build a coalition that represents the will of the people. I use the word 'coalition,' because no one should be left out, from either party.

No one will do this for us - no one else will magically fix our government. We must do this ourselves, as our forefathers did it before us, and for us.

In her Memorial Day letter to Congress, Cindy wrote:

The Camp Casey Peace Institute is calling all citizens who are as disgusted as we are with you all to join us in Philadelphia on July 4th to try and figure a way out of this "two" party system that is bought and paid for by the war machine which has a stranglehold on every aspect of our lives. As for myself, I am leaving the Democratic Party. You have completely failed those who put you in power to change the direction our country is heading. We did not elect you to help sink our ship of state but to guide it to safe harbor. We do not condone our government's violent meddling in sovereign countries and we condemn the continued murderous occupation of Iraq.

Cindy is right. There must be a third alternative. Not a weak alternative, or fragmented, divided groups that only undercut other progressives, including those still within the Democratic Party. Gore would have been a terrific president, and hopefully we will get another shot at electing him. When discussing his new book, "The Assault on Reason" recently, he described many current politicians as 'good people trapped in a bad system.'

Strangely, these 'good people' can't seem to get together and actually fix the 'bad system' that has shut them down. It appears our only hope is to somehow fix it from out here, by electing representatives free of ties to either of these partisan parties.

My version of 'becoming an Independent' doesn't preclude voting for progressive Democrats, or Republicans for that matter. What it does mean is that I - we - no longer endorse these parties as a whole. We no longer serve the interests of their lobbyist toadies. We have opted out of the game, as played by their rules - which are not the rules of our nation's founders.

Both parties have sold their souls to corporate interests, and in doing so, both parties have sold out the people... and apparently now, the planet. We need a third party that can be embraced by enough people to actually win.

In our particular case and in our time, winning is everything. The winner restores democracy and fights climate change - hopefully in time to make a difference. Time is running out. If Gore had been in office the past 6 years, we could be reversing harmful greenhouse emissions right now, at this very moment. Instead, the Bush administration only made it worse. He and his corporate minions have corrupted and infiltrated the very watchdog departments within our government that served to protect us from tainted food, poisoned water, and environmental calamity.

We can't afford to let another Necon walk away with the White House. Whatever we do, we can't afford to let that happen again. It will avail us nothing if we try to claim some sort of ideological high ground while our democracy - and all of humanity - are destroyed in the process.

We must commit to actually win.

This will undoubtedly mean pulling together to back an Independent candidate, an Independent Bipartisan ticket, or a Progressive Democrat - and invite all angry Republicans and Democrats to join us. The only way we will win, is by throwing out those divisive 'wedge' issues and coming together in this common cause.

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country. - Abraham Lincoln

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