Following the 2008 presidential elections, I was surprised to hear interviews with certain staunch peace advocates expressing hopefulness that Barack Obama's election as president had opened wonderful possibilities for the ending of a bad chapter in our country's history. I dismissed the first such interview, but on hearing that theme repeated by others, I began to notice a vague feeling of discomfort and realized that the struggle in me had started again.
I had been devastated by the witnessing of my country's coldhearted aggression toward the people in the Middle East. I was sure that when the people of this country realized the truth behind our leaders' actions, they would oust the villains and make atonement for our sins. I waged a one woman campaign against the war movement by digging up information I found on the internet and on Democracy Now broadcasts and sharing it in emotional articles which I published wherever I could. But I eventually ran out of energy and ammunition and abandoned my lonely battle.
But I learned a lot during my research. The records of multitudinous deceits and betrayals by ambitious groups and individuals against the American people is well documented, and can be easily accessed by anyone willing to expend a little effort searching the internet. But for each travesty, I found at least one person who stood out as taking the prophet's stand against the wrong and an eventual triumph over powerful evils, such as slavery as a legal institution in this country.
The lessons in our history and the unyielding bravery of yesterday's and today's prophets, people like Kathy Kelly, unrecognized by most disciples of the mainstream media, convinced me that love is more powerful than hate, and that the peacemakers would indeed eventually inherit the earth. What I was left questioning, though, was whether there would be anything to inherit once the bombing was over.
I was skeptical about Hillary Clinton's candidacy, because I saw her as a partner with Bill Clinton in abandoning their campaign promises and yielding to pressures to move into the ranks of the totalitarians. The press's soft treatment of Barack Obama and his shifting toward the Bush administration's positions regarding the middle east made me mistrust him. And what about McCain? My responses to his candicacy would require another essay.
I wouldn't say that my expectations for positive change resulting from the 2008 presidential elections were low -- they were totally nonexistent.
My hopes were raised when Hillary dusted off some of Bill Clinton's campaign promises, like single payer insurance, ( I 'm one of those people who can't afford to get sick because of lack of insurance). When she included bringing our troops home and defending our natural resources, I became a "Hillary' supporter. Then her rough treatment by some members of the press and promotion of Obama by the media at large, which I felt contributed to her apparent decline and defeat in the primaries, threw me back into my old cynical mode.
Following Barack Obama's election, I had little interest in the speculation that followed. Remarks by peace proponents emphasizing the importance of our making a united effort to influence the new president in the direction of peacemaking caught my attention, though.
I thought, " I'm not going down that road again," because I was convinced that Barack Obama had been anointed the next figurehead of the United Empire. It seemed the general public had become so blinded that they would not repent of their part in the suffering imposed on other peoples until we were subjected to some of the same hardships. The downturn in the economy seemed a clear signal of the beginning of our retribution. The future looked grim.
But as I heard more testimonies of belief in the door that was opening to the humanitarians in this country, I began to be swayed. Truly, there are powerful influences directing us toward a turbulent future, but advocates for peace have a wider than ever audience, in spite of suppression of informative news among the mainstream press. Even with the widespread irregularities in many voting precincts, a majority of voters made their call for peace loud and clear this election. After considering all this, I wondered if peace makers' efforts might have brought us to a point where the direction of the political tide might be turned in favor of peace?
A lot depends on President Obama. His intention seems to be to give the public some of what it wants on the domestic front while planning to continue the militaristic campaigns, perhaps not so hard handedly. But citizens of the countries under siege are pleading for peace, well organized anti-war coalitions are pleading for peace, the scorched earth pleads for peace. Can our new president be swayed in the direction of becoming our beloved peacemaker instead of our next war chief? There could be great risks in going against the interests of the war coalition.
The action of Congress would also be required in order to change the government agenda to one of peacemaking. I've come to realize that legislators need the backing of concerned citizens to make the risky stands that are required to promote more humane legislation, therefore the changes we desire requires action on the part of ordinary individuals like you and I.
This newly realized possibility -- that opponents of this country's aggressive actions might have gained voice and unity enough to rally the country toward a respectable position of world leadership -- stirs hope that victory over the rogue movement that has overwhelmed us might be achieved sooner than might have been imagined.
I'm grateful this Christmas for the renewed hope I feel. And to you who have stood firm in the struggle against enslavement of this country and the world -- my deepest gratitude.