As I read Ian Tober’s letter last week, I had to smile. Ian’s accusation that I and those involved in Idyllwild Indivisible are un-American because true Americans support legally elected government and their country, was fairly ironic. What makes America so very special is the right and the duty of every citizen, on some level, to take an active role to hold his or her government accountable.
By taking action to preserve and protect our environment, our economy and social justice, Idyllwild Indivisible members and I are supporting the ideals of our government and country.
Our forefathers took great care in crafting a Constitution that would allow for and invite citizens’ involvement. After all, that is what democracy is all about. What Idyllwild Indivisible is doing is honoring our forefathers and the Constitution they crafted.
“Amendment 1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Our actions and the actions of millions of citizens today are petitioning the government for a redress of grievances. These grievances are with the treatment and mishandling of health care, immigration, women’s rights, the environment and the economy, to name a few. Being an American citizen does not mean being a spectator, watching perceived injustice.
Civil rights leader Barbara Jordan said it so well when she said, “Let each person do his or her part. If one citizen is unwilling to participate, all of us are going to suffer. For the American idea, though it is shared by all of us, is realized in each one of us.” Idyllwild Indivisible members are the epitome of good Americans.
I feel so blessed to live in a country where I may express my opinion in the voting booth, on paper and through action, and I pledge to never take my citizenship for granted.
So yes, Ian, we have chosen to “suck it up,” but we won’t let that be the end of it. For too long we stood idly by and now we see the results of our inaction. We are sucking it up and proudly moving forward to stand for the rights of our country’s men, women, children, animals and environment. And Ian, you never know. The rights for which we stand just might be yours.