Theodore Roosevelt, Labor Day speech at Syracuse, NY, Sept 7, 1903 ("Theodore Rex" - Edmund Morris)
26th president of US (1858 - 1919)
This Labor Day weekend I have received a much needed recharge from two events. The first was the courageous, passionate, fact-based welcome speech by Salt Lake City mayor, Rocky Anderson to Dubya Gump. And the second, MSNBC's Countdown host Keith Olbermann's commentary on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's condemnation of thoughtful dissent saying those against the policies of the Bush administration and the Iraq Occupation are "morally and intellectually confused." Der Rumsfeld- fuehrer then tried to egregiously compare loyal opposition with Fascist sympathizing. Mayor Anderson's speech and Mr. Olbermann's rebuttal revived me like rushes of cooling, super oxygenating air on a stifling hot day. For those of us working everyday to change, improve, replace, or eliminate the injustices and threats to our democracy that assault our sensibilities from every angle, adult daily living takes on an additional burden. The knowledge we must carry within us to fight the power causing these injustices takes a heavy toll on our peace of mind. We've gone beyond casual observer status or even interested partisan. We've become activists because we give a damn . . . and we're pissed! We dug deep into the data to learn the truth and discovered that America is on the brink of losing its freedoms, its identity, its very soul. We carry with us always the knowledge that this 230 year experiment in democracy could actually fail. Maybe not in our lifetimes, but we might be witness to the slow tipping into the abyss of totalitarianism that our children and grandchildren will be made to suffer. It happened once before on this orb and we all must not let it happen again.
So, I am encouraged and grateful to Mayor Anderson and Keith Olbermann for their courage and intelligence to do what all of us must do every day, speak truth to power. They didn't just lay out the facts of the crimes and assaults on our sensibilities by this Bush crime family on our democracy. They painted pictures of the real and increasing danger by these neocon, Republican, Christocrats and the very reasons why we must not let these outlaws in office continue to abscond with our country . . . with our nations very lifeblood. If you haven't already drunk deep from the refreshing waters of their healing words, you owe this respite to yourself.
Every now and then you have to reiterate the dream. You have to remember why you are in the fight, why your sacrifice, struggle, and commitment were called upon in the first place; why you were called to service. I think it has to do with our intuitive understanding of what President Theodore Roosevelt warned in his Labor Day speech 103 years ago! We have seen that he was prescient about our modern day government. Thus, we can do no less than engage our hearts and minds in this fight to regain our country from these elitist burglars occupying the government. And, like our brave troops facing bullets and bombs from 360 degrees, we too have an almost 24/7 rush of adrenaline as we fight our war against totalitarianism on several fronts and many levels. We must all guard against burnout. Which is why, every now and then, it's good to hear words to help us sustain the fight.
Michael Shelby Straight from the Shoulder
Speech by Mayor Anderson can be seen at: