December 11, 2005
Grass roots vs. Big Bucks
Went to Mississippi River community for a hell-raising fundraising gathering. It was fun. Fun because the crowd put up with John Nichols and me and still remained awake and ready for reform. What do they want? Public financing of campaigns, fair elections, troops brought home and national health care. While it was a Vernon County Democratic dinner, they identify more with the People's Legislature and Fighting Bob Fest than they do with the Party. A good time.
While thinking about our odds of achieving real reform, news came about the death of Gene McCarthy. Could he force a debate on Vietnam in 1968? Of course not. Could he mobilize millions to get into politics with a passion for peace? Don't be silly. Could he challenge a sitting president in his own party? Nah, get serious.
Well, you know the story. He mobilized, inspired, challenged and won. Not the presidency but something more. He convinced my generation that fighting for peace is the only option.
We miss him already, but his inspiration lives.
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