As the Dalai Lama says. And he’s someone who knows opposition when he sees it. Did the Dalai Lama squeal about how mean the Chinese were? How they overran his country and killed his people and destroyed his cultural heritage? Nope. He spoke truth to power, while continually pointing out that “the Chinese people are good people.” Frankly, these days I’m looking to those folks who have seen real tangible serious oppression. The Dalai Lama. Nelson Mandela. Vaclav Havel.
So what did I do today to make positive effort for the good? I wrote letters. Yup, boring old on-the-ground letter writing. You know, old-fashioned letter writing. Like your mom did. I wrote to Max Baucus, my Democratic senator. I wrote to Hilary Clinton, to Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer — I wrote asking them all to stay the course. To resist the Republican juggernaut that is coming. To stand up for all of us who voted out there. Not to roll over like the last time. I wrote to John Kerry and thanked him for running, and asked him to lead the Senate Democrats, asked him to hold the president to his “promise” to “be a uniter”.
And I wrote to Ted Kennedy. I’ve been thinking of him a lot these past couple of days. I’ve been thinking of what it took to go back out there and run for office after they murdered his brothers. Murdered them! You all know, I’m deeply in touch at the moment with what it means to lose a beloved brother. Did Ted Kennedy give up? No. Ted Kennedy went out there and ran and ran and ran again. He ran in the face of personal humiliation and he ran even after the right turned him into the poster boy for liberal demonization. He ran because there was still work to do. He ran because there were poor people who needed someone to stand up for them. He stayed in the game. He made positive effort for the good.
So I wrote him a little note today to thank him. To tell him I’d been thinking of him. I thought maybe he’d like a nice letter for once (imagine the hate mail he must get). I wrote to ask him to help buoy up his Democratic compatriots in the Senate.
Tomorrow, I’ve got more letters to write. The new minority leader in the Senate, for example. And Nancy Pelosi. I’m going to keep writing, keep encouraging them to stay the course. It’s a small thing, but do you think those right-wingers didn’t get into power by believing that small actions in large numbers will work? Don’t forget, we’re still 50% of the voting public. We still have a voice. We must use it.