Comments from The Outpost

What are you Doing?

September 27, 2002

by Dan Murphy

Good evening. By now, it is probably clear to many citizens, and definitely to most of you who listen to this program, that the Bush administration is using the September 11th attacks to advance the right-wing political agenda in this country. Everywhere we turn, civil liberties are being eroded in the name of smoking out terrorists in our midsts. A national association of librarians has pointed out their concern that post-9/11 laws allow the government to spy on what citizens borrow from libraries, and prohibits librarians from even informing people that their borrowing records are being scrutinized.

Even mainstream and centrist Democratic politicians are beginning to find the resolve to question the President's mad rush to war with Iraq, and his demand that Congress pass a blank-check, Gulf-of-Tonkin style resolution.

My question for you this evening is not, "do you oppose the policies of the Bush administration," but rather, "what are you doing about it?" My question for you this year is, is it time to return to activism and stop letting all the established powers-that-be continue to provide us with everything from Enron and Worldcom, to secret trials and imprisonments, to pre-emptive war with Iraq?

Activism has had something of a bad rap for a couple decades or more now. It gets tossed in with beads and tie dies as another relic of those old sixties hippies. The generations coming of age the past 20 years or so seem to have been too busy thinking about making money on wall street and living the comfortable life to remember that freedom has come only at a cost. Some of those freedoms have only been won recently -- civil rights, abortion rights, other personal choice freedoms -- and at substantial cost by those who marched, picketed, protested, put themselves on the line, and sometimes died in the process.

It's now 2002, and some people seem to think they can sit in the comfort of their home, looking at their computer screen, and by forwarding some piece of spam email, delude themselves into thinking that they have DONE SOMETHING about an issue. Sorry, it ain't that easy.

There is an election coming up in a few weeks. As you think about whether it is worth doing anything in connection with that event, recall that the Gulf of Tonkin resolution passed the senate by a vote of 98 to 2. Will the Bush war resolution get 98 yes votes, or will enough people speak out that more than two senators will find the courage to resist blind, my-president-right-or-wrong, patriotism?

It's too late to stop the last war; what are you doing about the next one?

For this week, that's the view from the Outpost. For WMBR, this is Dan Murphy

Back to The Outpost.

Feedback to The Outpost.