Acts of Extremely Civil Disobedience

I don’t happen to think our leaders’ ideal republic has a lot of room for overeducated lefty feminist childfree gay-friendly non-religious Spanish-speaking ex-Jewish librarians, either.

I’m with you, Dorothea – right up to the Spanish-speaking part, and I’m quite friendly with the final two constituencies, too. And I’m definitely in the “It’s a womb, not a clown car” club. I saw a Discovery/Health show on the Duggars brood the other night – the combination of fundamentalism with fecundity gave me the heebie geebies just before the election, so it was just great timing.

Oddly enough, I have some rooibos tea at home. I’ll have some of that tonight in solidarity. I’m sure it’ll help.

In any case, I’ll be doing a lot of thinking, pondering, and reflecting for a while. For one thing, I think very soon somebody will be re-writing the familiar quotation of Pastor Martin Niemoller.

‘First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing. Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me.’

I’ll wager they re-order the lines, trash the Communists altogether, and have it start “First they came for the Democrats…”

I’m taking a lot of calls today – the lines are busy, and I’ve noticed the oddest thing: callers from Red States are extreeeeemely cordial and syrupy and nice on the phone. And very understanding and patient. And it’s setting my teeth on edge, and I suspect my blood pressure may be spiking and I may need insulin later (I’m not a diabetic so far as I know). And I find myself looking forward to hearing a nice grating Noo Yawk or braahd Bahstin accent next.

I’m trying to give up conspiracy theories for the rest of the year, but can’t help but wonder if They aren’t all just being a little too nice. I read something earlier in USA Today:

Many Republicans said conciliation wasn’t necessary.

Angela Lutz, 33, a Bush voter from Waterville, Wash., said she understands the divisions the campaign opened. Kerry signs in her town were torn down several times. She said “it would be nice if everyone could just get along.”

But how to do that? “It would be nice if some people could just change their minds,” she said.

AAAAAH! You know she’s not changing her mind. Of course, it would be lovely if we were all singing out of the same choirbook (shudder). This is why it will be hard for me to give up on the “hairy-eyeballed wing-nuts are taking over” theories, too.

One act of extremely civil disobedience that I will try to commit in the coming years is to make donations to NPR stations in Red states, such as Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado (KUNC is heard in southern WY and western NE, too). National Public Radio offers cultural and news programming that can seem like a lifeline to lonely progressive thinkers out in the heartlands. It can reach moderates whose only other news is local TV and commercial radio… and religious/talk radio.

When David and I went on our long road trip, we had a CD player along, but wanted to listen to various weekend shows on NPR to pass the time. Sure enough, no matter how far out there you are, you can usually find a station, even if it’s only a repeater from a college NPR station far away. As the Abu Ghraib news was literally breaking open that first weekend (Sy Hersh was on Sunday Edition) we were glued to the radio, and frequently had to twiddle the dial to get a better signal, or pick up another repeater. It was comforting to be in touch with national events, and later when the music shows came on, it was the only alternative to our small CD rotation.

NPR: it’s national, and rational, and we need it more than ever. I still love AAR, but I doubt a Bush believer will listen for long without getting turned off and turning it off (as funny as Al Franken is, he’s not making any new friends in the “Dumb States.” Heh.)

I see by my readings at and the echo chamber that is my personal Bloglines list that the bloodletting and recriminations have already begun. I have a solution: we’re simply going to have to start up a Democratic Party version of the Grange movement, or perhaps Chatauqua, with speakers of interest, social services, and so on. Maybe the Democratic Party could spend some of those vast sums of money on more grassroots groups that work for positive change.

The “mild Protestantism” of Chatauqua shouldn’t be a deterrent to the secular (I’ve been to a concert at the Boulder Chatauqua complex, it’s like an old fashioned summer retreat). The movement was nearly killed off by the rise of fundamentalism in the 20’s, so it would be satisfying to breathe a little life on the ashes and revive it.

I feel like the people who voted against gay marriage in all those states just weren’t stopping to think of their friends and family who are gay. If they don’t have any friends and family who are gay, they certainly need some. The irony is, they probably already do. So maybe nice gay people in fleets of tastefully decorated Winnebagoes ought to ply the rural byways of this land, offering cultural exchange, makeover tips, and banana bread. And we ALL, gay and straight, need to travel the world and reassure them that we’re not all religious zealots.

And maybe we should all drink more rooibos tea. We latte-sipping liberrrls could sure stand to cut back on the caffeine a little to reduce the stress.

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