Rob Kall, founder and publisher of OpEdNews, does a lot of work for little pay, and somehow manages to keep a positive, cheerful attitude while doing it. At times, I have wondered how he manages to remain as excited and upbeat as he does when it is so easy to become discouraged everytime the Democrats in Congress - supposedly the ones on our side - fail their duty and our expectations by capitulating to a minority whose backward ideology nobody but the DC Democratic establishment even considers relevant anymore.
This Saturday, Rob sent a message to the editorial staff while attending a conference of Progressive Democrats of America. Rob said:
At the beginning, each attendee was asked to introduce ourselves. When I said, "I'm Rob Kall, with OpEdNews.com" the whole room applauded. We're getting there.
It's little things like this that let Rob and the rest of us know that we are doing something that matters. That we can make an impact. That we can make a difference.
And it's the not-so-little things, like helping to change the mind of one of the best Democrats in Congress, Robert Wexler, persuading him that support of a bill dealing with sanctions on Iran could be construed by Bush as permission for a naval blockade and lead us one step closer to another war. Rep. Wexler acknowledged that OEN helped him come to the decision that he could not vote for his own bill unless changes were made to prevent the president from overreaching yet again.
On a shoestring budget that a snowcone stand would find challenging, Rob has turned his vision of "bottom-up" citizen journalism into a reality. Commentary is the rule here, "straight" reporting secondary. Which is exactly the way it should be in this particular venue. We are a community with a mission, unashamedly progressive, but tolerant of other views. Respectful "conservative" views are respected in turn, and we are confident enough in our ability to defend our beliefs that instead of feeling threatened by other views, we welcome the opportunity to debate them. But we will not entertain bigotry or prejudice - overt or veiled. There are some lines that simply shouldn't be crossed.
They read us in Iran. They read us in Pakistan, India, China, Afghanistan, and places around the globe. Our voices provide a counterbalance to the voices of those who would dare to label entire nations as "evil." They let the world know that Americans are not all in love with death, destruction and empire.
For all this, I join in the applause for OpEdNews. I hope that it will continue to have an impact on the world we live in, and I thank Rob for giving so many people the chance to make a real difference. We're not there yet.
But we're getting there.
By JC Garrett