Friday, March 24, 2006

Signs of Change...

Yes, Idaho has a red, red, red history. Up until recently, we were the #2 reddest state in the nation. In my community, I could count who I knew were my fellow Democrats on both hands.

Over the last few months, things have been changing. Idaho is BLUE-ming, more and more every day.

We need to think about why that is happening...

Yes, Bush and cronies are lying and stealing and cheating and otherwise destroying all we hold near and dear as Americans... but that has been going on for years. What's different?

I don't have "the answer" for this question, but I think I know of one reason why the red tide has been turning...

"Little" people are starting to speak up and out. Grassroots, whatever you want to call it. The housewife, the grandmother, the retired professor, the college students, the school teacher... people like you and me.

For me, it was watching Cindy Sheehan that gave me courage. She was a regular person. A wife. A mother. NOT a politician or a talking head. She was speaking from her heart. Her pain was MY pain. She was saying the things that I didn't have the courage to say.

That's when I coordinated the Candlelight Vigil and discovered what happens when someone speaks up about their feelings. Ouch. I felt slapped and slapped HARD.

So I started my blog. I could express my thoughts and feelings there. I don't know who reads my blog -- hopefully some people do -- and maybe if I could help ONE person find the courage to start speaking out (like Cindy Sheehan helped me)... and that one person helped one MORE person, then slowly we could make a difference. Meanwhile I had someplace to vent my frustrations and ask my questions and process my emotions.

I started e-mailing people who I knew felt the way I did. I started meeting other people (mostly online) who shared my opinions. I began to learn so much from those other people. I followed their links and discovered even more people, websites, and blogs. It was exciting!

I signed up to receive newsletters from Make Them Accountable and now I receive information on a regular basis about what is happening nationally. When the news is too depressing, I at least have some hilarious cartoons to enjoy!

I keep finding wonderful new blue blogs in Idaho . Many of them have only been started in the last few months {Idablue last month, Fear for the Earth this month). Others have been ongoing for over a year. We are working together, sharing our information, supporting each other, and building a network among us. How many others are hiding out there?

Only last month did I discover Drinking Liberally -- which started not much over a year ago (after the 2004 election). They are growing by leaps and bounds with 135 chapters in 40 states. I started one here in Gooding and now have face-to-face contact with warm live bodies!

Recently I found Leftyblogs... which helps me keep up on the postings from other Idaho liberal blogs (if you have a liberal blog over a few months old which discusses mostly local and state issues, PLEASE sign up!). This allows me to see "who" is posting "what" and keep up with what is being discussed in Idaho. More communication, education, and support.

Like I said, part of the change sweeping America is related to Bush's own continued lies and incompetence. But I truly believe that another part of it is because we are becoming informed and speaking up about our concerns. I wrote earlier that, as hard as it is to speak up, it is much harder to have the consequences of our silence forced upon us. I would like to encourage all of you to blog, comment and support other bloggers, write letters to the editor, attend meetings (whether Drinking Liberally or something else), become visible, contact your representatives, and so on.

We need to fight our own war here in America. We don't need guns and bombs, we need voices. For three years, we've been told that Bush is sending our troops to Iraq to fight for America's freedoms. We must ALL find the strength and courage to fight for our country HERE.

The war has started with us already. Instead of blood-red running in our streets like it is in Iraq, we are seeing beautiful blue blooming throughout our nation. We must not turn back. We must continue to defend our freedoms. Honor those who have died in the name of freedom by demanding truth and accountability.

Anything less is a failure to do our duty.

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