Who stands each week on those corners in Port Orange, Daytona Beach and Ormond? Are these campus radicals or anarchists? No, those who stand are our neighbors, folks who study history and current events and see beyond the mainstream claptrap news . A blend of retired teachers, librarians, union organizers and working nurses ( Rita, Frances, Walt, Bernice and Mona). . Former and present educators, store managers, landscapers, even a " Ph D." ( Jack, Sue, Rod, Rene, and John D ). Retired government employees, working professors, county officials, veterans ( Robert, Ruth, Barbara, Jamie, Don ). In Daytona we see a CPA, working moms with two jobs ( Phil, Kathy, Doreen) regularly standing together in earnest. In Ormond, outside of Wal-Mart, of all places, a single mom schoolteacher, a banker and an infirmed Viet Nam veteran ( Marge, Donna and Pete). Little by little, more are joining them on those street corners each Tuesday at 5 pm, Thursday at 6 pm and Saturday at 10 am. Students, postal workers, small business owners, all kinds of regular folks seeking change. Making a statement before even that becomes forbidden in this fragile republic of ours.
Cars whiz by, as cars always whiz by at rush hour in any town. For 19 months, the Port Orange group has watched and waved, and yes, debated issues of war, health care, corruption, cronyism and wasted life. All on that very same corner, at the very same time and day, in a very ordinary town in Florida. Strange occurrence lately, though. More and more of the folks in those cars are beginning to get it. A symphony of honks and waves and thumbs up sent forth to the demonstrators. Some even heed the most imperative sign displayed: " WE NEED YOU ... PLEASE PARK AND JOIN US! " And, as the line of sign holders grows from the original eight per week, to now well over 30 , hope does spring eternal. Yet, in Ormond this Saturday, the three aforementioned stalwarts stood alone. And, as the " bully loves the vulnerable ", so too does this trio meet the most terrible assortment of sneers and ****. If only their numbers could increase, would then the cowards and hypocrites shrink from view.
When change and sanity finally come to America, and we have a Congress and White House that puts people before politics, remember those street corner protesters. Remember the street corners throughout America, and those who stand there, week after week. Not the twice a year events that draw the crowds but never the consistency. It seems it's always the dedicated and selfless who bring about a better world. Confucius said it best: " You succeeded because you tried again!!" Perhaps more Americans need to stand for something, now don't they?
P. Anthony Farruggio is a progressive talk radio host in Port Orange Florida