Pushing seventy and still carrying signs. Sobering but true. What should be the golden years for this quiet retiree are turning into rabble-rousing events reminiscent of the '70s, when liberals worth their salt demonstrated vigorously against the wrong-headed Establishment over a no-win war.
Today, in the company of dog-leading, baby-carrying, sign-toting compatriots, I showed up to rant against the failure of Republican U.S. Representative Mimi Walters from darkest Orange County in Southern California to hold a Town Hall where her constituents could air their legitimate concerns and she perhaps might deign to respond.
Needless to say, she did not acknowledge our presence with her presence. But it was still wonderful to be there. Hundreds (I'm guessing here, and my family will assure you my math skills are poor!) showed up at the classy, glassy Irvine mini-skyscraper where Mimi allegedly offices during Congressional recesses and other dubious down-times.
We chanted: "We're not paid to be here, but YOU are!" We roared: "What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like!" We sneered: "Mimi hides because she lies." We exhorted: "Do your job!"
In numb disbelief that this was even deemed necessary, we nonetheless dutifully signed the sheet signifying we were not paid demonstrators. And then we reminded ourselves of who we actually are:
- Passionate citizens who believe in the rights of those who come to this country seeking a better life -- just as every one of our ancestors did, with perhaps the notable exception of those who were here first and got the worst deal of all.
- Compassionate citizens who believe that everyone deserves access to affordable health care and the right to make their own decisions about what is appropriate for their bodies, themselves.
- Concerned citizens who believe in the scientific fact of global warming and the critical need to make changes that will save our glorious planet for our children, and our children's children.
- Disgusted citizens who deplore, yes deplore, that a crude, sexist, racist, fascist vulgarian with limited or no experience across many disciplines has somehow grasped the reins of leadership in a storied democracy and --- like unqualified offspring taking over a great family business -- is proceeding to run it into the ground.
I, and all my like-minded colleagues, can and will be heard. If not today, then tomorrow.