I swore to myself that I wasn't going to write a diary today. I was going to take a day off from writing and blogging after what has been a busy two weeks.
I was doing really well - I had taken about 30 minutes over lunch to read other recommended diaries and post a few comments, but otherwise I was actually outside doing non-computer things. My plan was working.
And then I checked email and received one which I have posted below the fold. I had to put a diary up and share it with everyone.
Ok first - this was a personal email sent to me by a very dear friend who has been, historically, a Republican. He's not the type that simply spews right-wing talking points, however - not one that advisorjim would refer to as a "Dittohead". Like any good progressive, I have always considered him workable territory. Reason and facts just might have an effect with him.
He and I were catching up earlier this week and I was talking about the diaries that I have posted here at Daily Kos and the ones that others had been posting as well. The information on the entire Katrina disaster, since before the disaster (starting with DarkSyde's excellent warning diaries) has been remarkable. This community has brought tales of survivors, activism, caring, fundraising, outrage, fact- and fault-finding, outing and tears to bear on this disaster. It's a remarkable place, is Daily Kos. The many things I have learned reading the excellent diaries of Daily Kos users was information I was imparting to him. The conversation had a lot of "Well did you know..." and "Did you see where..." etc. and so forth - filled with facts that this site had armed me with.
After a lot of ranting and frustration on my part, I was joking about being placed on some kind of "no fly" list as a result of a letter I sent to the President and about which I posted a diary. He asked if I would send the letter along in an email because I referenced that it was the one things that I've written of which I am proudest. So I sent it to him. After the conversation and the email, this was the reply I received:
Wow! That is an emotional but controlled admonishment. A very powerful ending. I want you to know something. I have reached a turning point in my eroding support for this president. Your fair but painful observations are to be recognized as a real light on the circumstances and characters involved. How have we come to this? It IS time for a substantial overhaul. Whatever support you need from me, you have it. Let me know how I can help you continue your much needed efforts. Keep me in the loop on your postings and letter writing campaigns. I'm sick in my heart at what has happened and I agree with you totally about Bush and his administration. Thank you for your patient and consistent presentation to someone who didn't want to see the shameful shortcomings of these people. Any good that may have been gleaned from their policies can no longer keep us from holding them responsible for the unimaginably bad judgment and ensuing fatal decisions.
I have reprinted this here with his permission, by the way.
This really does go to show that there is a whole block of Republicans out there for whom there is a line. That line was crossed, I think, by the government's woeful disregard for the survivors of hurricane Katrina. There aren't a lot of ways to parse and spin the starvation and dehydration of American citizens it seems. In some ways I find it ironic as well - because Bush is a self-styled "war President", those who buy/bought into his mission and rhetoric further seem to assume that he could have and should have marshalled the resources to get New Orleaneans some water. Talk about being hoist on one's own petard.
I'm posting this mainly as encouragement of the activism that has sprouted exponentially on this site since August 29th, the landfall of Katrina. Activism does work, and it works even better when there's an example of the real human cost of ineptitude. Hurricane Katrina is a metaphor for failure and one that can be applied to a host of other examples provided in the actions of this Administration.
Just one person changing their mind doesn't make a movement - but one person talking to another person who talks to his/her family members etc. and so forth IS a movement. Ours has begun, and it's WORKING. That's what I wanted to share.