We progressive activists all have issues that drive us to try to make our country and our world a better place. We call, we write, we picket, we lobby. And sometimes we feel like we're running out of steam or resent banging our heads against the wall. Who hasn't asked himself a question like, "Why am I leaving messages for Eric Holder? He doesn't listen to them." "Why do I call Jane Harman's office? She's never going to prioritize peace over military spending." "Why don't I just throw in the towel? It's not working."
But sometimes you get to see that you've had some effect. That happened to me this week.
I called the White House a few days ago to make three points.
Out of Afghanistan. Now. No escalation, no status quo.
Medicare for all. Everyone in; no one out. Period.
Freedom for Don Siegelman. (The issue closest to my heart and the one I work hardest for)
If I have called on behalf of Don Siegelman once, I've called fifty times over the last year or so. Maybe more. (Now I'm feeling guilty for not calling enough. Why don't I call EVERY day?)
Well, this week when I told the WH comment line volunteer my third point, I started to spell Governor Siegelman's name for her. This nice woman stopped me midstream and said, "You don't need to spell his name. He's a category." It blew me away. Don Siegelman is no longer a write-in. He's a category. Why? Because so many of his activists have consistently made phone calls to the White House that those people could no longer consider our pleas an aberration. We have cracked into their consciousness and made them legitimize our struggle for Governor Siegelman's freedom. He is on the list with healthcare and global warming and war. To paraphrase Jessie Jackson, HE IS SOMEBODY!!!
Of course I'd rather Don Siegelman weren't on the list. I wish he could wake up without worrying that he could be sent back to prison. He is not a criminal. He was targeted and taken out of action. He has paid dearly for his activism and because he didn't stop trying to do the right thing.
But thank goodness this good man is now a category. Attention must be paid. This is so encouraging. Everyone hang in there and keep fighting the good fight. "They" want us to give up. We can't stop now.
Whatever your issues are, please recognize that a whole bunch of little phone calls can add up to something. Keep the pressure up.
The White House number is (202) 456-1111 Let them know what matters to you.
Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was. Dag Hammarskjold