It isn’t always ideal

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Warning: this is yet another disconnected ramble.

I never publicly thanked Dorothea for her strong defense of me in my recent confrontation with a well known weblogger. I did privately, but didn’t want to publicly because, well, I wanted to let the whole thing just die out.

However, now is the time for me to thank Dorothea, not so much for speaking out for me, but for speaking out for, to paraphrase Dorothea, the kind of talk that makes you uncomfortable. Stripping away social politeness, dropping the niceties. Yelling fire in a room full of fireman.

A little digression: You know why Vietnam ended? I got into an argument once with someone in California about this. He said it was because people like him (and myself) protested it when we were younger. Thirty years ago, I would have believed him, and marveled at the power of my flowerchild-like fingertips. However, today, I know that the reason the war ended wasn’t because people like me got sick of the war. It was because people who were not like me got sick of the war. When almost every family in this country had received at least one body bag. When people at home, watching news on TV watched yet another film about the atrocities committed in Nam, by both sides. When middle America wearied of the blood and the cost and the horror, that’s when the war ended.

This all leads me to a thought: You want to change this country? Convince someone who is totally unlike yourself to want this change. Then you have a chance.

Tomorrow big anti-Iraqi invasion demonstrations throughout the world. I think it’s great that people are making a show of solidarity about this issue, and will be attending a rally here in St. Louis. However, I hope people remember that though great big group hugs among people of like mind might make us feel good, they won’t change minds. Calling President Bush “King George” or “Shrub” won’t change minds, either.

You want to change minds? Find your way into the kind of mind you want to change, and speak the language it can understand. That’ll change minds.

Well, bit of a ramble. Time for bed. Big rally day tomorrow.

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