On Sunday next, February 19th, but four days from now, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, a hopeful historic event will take place. At that time, and in that place, people who have long felt little but hateful animus for one another will gather to begin a long, dangerous, and arduous journey together. Though it seems very late to begin publicizing this event, (I myself just heard about it yesterday), which therefore may be but a modest beginning, just the fact that this event, no matter how modest, is taking place at all, should fill ALL our hearts with new hope.
We all know the old cliches. Many cliches may be trite, and therefore all but meaningless, but some have been spoken for so long, by so many among Humanity’s Common People, simply because they are SO true, simply because these simple old expressions contain such profound wisdom.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The first one is the hardest.
For me personally, I think it was Bobby Kennedy who I first heard use that ‘cliche’, in ’68, when I heard and saw him speak, only days before he died. Or it might have been from his brother before him, who also died along the way on this journey. Or perhaps it was from Dr. King, or from Malcom, or Huey, all of whom died in walking down this crooked path. But we surely could have heard it from Confucius, or from Jesus, or from Esther, or from Spartacus, or from Joan d’ Arc, or from Patrick Henry or Nathan Hale, or from Cochise or Chief Joseph, or from mythical characters, from Aragorn , Gandalf, or Galadriel, or from Joe Hill striding bravely, or from Dorothea Lange limping courageously, or from Gandhi, on his Salt March walk to the sea, or from our own beloved grandparents or parents.
Every journey, no matter how long or arduous, begins with a single step.
The first step is so hard, of course, because the journey is so long, and the terrain immediately ahead so difficult, that our hearts recoil in discouragement before the journey is even begun. We ALL have had the burning acid of vitriol toward one another poured into our hearts, to sear our souls with anger that has so widely mushroomed into hatred. And as the searing hatred has poured so freely, hopelessness and fear have seized so many into dull, lifeless apathy and inaction. When we feel the sweet warm spring breeze of hope, we ALL will awaken to hungrily breathe in its life-giving aroma.
We ALL have pointed the finger of blame at the very ones whom we now must find the way to regard in friendship, or, if not yet as friends, then at LEAST as allies.
People who should be allies must FIRST stop being enemies. To do this, we must take the ‘first step’ in that direction. The first step, on this long, arduous but heroic journey, is the hardest one. But every journey, no matter how many miles long, begins with only one.
Let us have Sunday, February 19th, 2023, be a day that will be remembered, through all the future annals of a hopeful Humankind, as THE historic day when our tragic, bleeding nation’s triumphant journey, returning from the wilderness of hatred and intolerance, began with one modest ‘first step’.
In an article published just yesterday by Consortium News, Diana Johnstone writes:
“A rally by people who disagree with each other gives hope that a movement to stop war can grow, and even shake the political system paralyzed by the military industrial congressional complex and confusion spread by its servile media.”
We ALL share a Common Enemy. The “military industrial congressional complex” and its IMMENSELY powerful “servile media”, are a fearsome behemoth Dragon, whose eye is surely that of the evil Sauron himself. NONE of us, no person, no group, no faction, no caucus, no party can EVER even hope to defeat this terrible evil Dragon alone. Only when we, the Common People, take the field together, UNITED against this powerful Dragon, to form up in line, to do battle ALL together, regardless of any or all beliefs that may divide us, can we fill his evil heart with fear, and with the dread of impending defeat, rather than feel him fill ours with hopeless despair. Only when we fight together as allies, despite our differences, can we drive a fatal stake through this evil Dragon’s foul black heart.
In her article linked above, Ms. Johnstone mentions an obscure “militant socialist” named Jeff Mackley, a naysayer who condemns this event in hateful foolishness. In his pathetic prideful weakness, ruled over by his own desperate ego, dominated by his stupid need to puff himself up with foolish pride and false self-importance, this man stupidly refuses to join forces with anyone whose beliefs do not conform EXACTLY with his own.
Ms. Johnstone writes:
“Leftist militants who believe a man can be transformed into a woman should have no trouble believing that a libertarian might be transformed into a socialist. Such miracles do occur.”
She writes from a left perspective, but from another viewpoint surely the same is true. Surely a Libertarian dedicated to human freedom can believe that we ALL can free our minds from rigid, hateful dogma.
We all share a Common Enemy. We all can see that our nation has been captured into the clawed clutches of evil forces, which, not satisfied to rule merely over us in our nation, not satisfied to oppress merely our lives into ever deepening miseries, are also determined to rule over every nation, to oppress all Humanity into misery, so that they, these few alone, can sate their evil greed and lust for power. In their evil, crazed determination, these people are eager to unleash their vicious, deadly dogs of war on us ALL. And we ALL can see that should those vicious mad-dogs be unleashed to run free, it will be the death of all Humankind.
These are the evil forces that have transformed a once hopeful and striving nation, working earnestly, even if haltingly, toward justice for all its citizens, and for all Humankind, into a boiling cauldron of burning hatred, with every soul fearing and hating every other, as these evil few take so much that the rest of us fight viciously with one another over the scraps that remain.
When we defeat this Common Enemy, we will be freed to devote our minds, energies, and spirits into building a new nation, a New America, into a just nation, in which even the least among us will live in good decent housing, in safe neighborhoods, with good schools down the street to provide our children with every opportunity to achieve their own dreams.
When our Common Enemy is defeated, we can create a moral nation in which none can take so much that many do not have enough, in which a few canNOT take so much that millions suffer the horrible spiritual ravages of the Demon Poverty.
ALL our problems, ALL of them, are cast from the pockets of this terrible Demon Poverty, as it now prowls our nation unrestrained, casting misery, fear and hatred everywhere it passes.
When we create a just New Nation, a New America, a nation in which all bellies are full, in which all families feel safe and secure in good homes, in which all children are free to dream hopeful and happy dreams, then, and ONLY then, can we think we can turn to one another to settle our other, more minor cultural and tribal differences. Then, and ONLY then, will we realize how minor those other differences are.
After we all join in alliance, despite our differences, to fight together to defeat our Common Enemy, and then to eradicate this Demon Poverty from walking our land, after we accomplish this one immense, heroic task, all our tribal and cultural differences will shrink to insignificance.
America was once, and not so long ago, on a path that led toward achieving such momentous and spiritually heroic accomplishments.
Let us now reach across our differences to once again walk down that path toward Liberty and Justice for ALL. Let us reach across our differences, to join in alliance, to take the first steps down that path together.
With so little time to prepare, the event on Sunday next may be modest, (I certainly can’t attend on such short notice), but let us make it a historic fist step.
People who should be allies must FIRST stop being enemies.
Many thanks to all who took this first step by organizing this event.
PS: An organization calling itself “Rage Against the War Machine” has been the driving force behind this event. Anger is always the first emotion felt by people emerging from hopeless despair, but on this journey, as we progress, let us realize that other emotions, besides “rage’, will serve us better. If we intend to build a movement, a truly MASS Movement in alliance together, a Movement so powerful that no evil forces can withstand it, let us let love, brotherhood, sisterhood, and parenthood, not rage, be its highest animating spirit.