Friday, January 23, 2009

POLITICAL “HEROES” LIST

Man is our new president moving quickly to correct many of the mistakes and missteps of the previous administration or what? Yesterday’s moves—installing George Mitchell as special envoy for the Middle East and Richard Holbrooke as special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as doing it all at the State Department, legitimizing the idea that diplomacy is the most important tool in our political arsenal, not just our military might (which has proven less than adequate for some of the present challenges)—were brilliant. He is officially now one of my alltime greatest heores of the political arena. I had already started a list of those the night before he made these moves.

Falling back asleep the night before last—after I woke myself, my son, and the neighbor upstairs up by shouting in a dream because a giant dog was about to attack me and actually really shouting out loud (a new phenomenon that doesn’t auger well for others nearby I guess)—I used my alphabet-list device, only this time thinking of Obama led me to a list of political (in the broadest sense of taking a political action or an action with political consequences) “heroes” (again in the broadest sense of that label, meaning I do not admire necessarily everything these people did). So here ‘tis:

ALI, MUHAMMED (for his stand against the Viet Nam War)
BOLIVAR, SIMON and BRENDAN BEHAN (maybe he doesn’t seem that political, but all his work, especially the memoirs BORSTAL BOY and CONFESSIONS OF AN IRISH REBEL, but the plays too, had as much of a political impact as artistic)
CHILSOLM, SHIRLEY (and all those who fought and especially those who died in the fight for civil rights for African-Americans), and CESAR CHAVEZ
DOUGLAS, FREDERICK, DOROTHY DAY and BERNADETTE DEVLIN
ELK, BLACK and ROBERT EMMETT
FRANKLIN, BEN and FRANZ FANON (although I don’t agree with all his theories, his impact was enormous when I was a young man)
GHANDI, MOHANDAS, WOODY GUTHRIE, CHE GUEVERA and MIKHAIL GOBACHEV
HILL, JOE and VACLAV HAVEL
I?
JEFFERSON, THOMAS, CHIEF JOSEPH, MOTHER JONES and BARBARA JORDAN
KING, MARTIN LUTHER JR., JFK and RFK, and AUNG SAN SUU KYI
LINCOLN, ABRAHAM and THE DALAI LAMA
MANDELA, NELSON
N?
OBAMA, BARAK and CARL OGLESBY (whose essay VIETNAMESE CRUCIBLE transformed my thinking on the Viet Nam War at the time, as well as on American history in general, as it did for many others who ended up anti-war activists)
PARNELL, CHARLES STEWART
QUILL, MICHAEL
ROOSEVELT, ELEANOR, FDR and YITZHAK RABIN
SANDS, BOBBY, ANWAR SADAT
TONE, WOLFE, SOJOURNER TRUTH, HARRIET TUBMAN and HARRY TRUMAN (for integrating the armed services)
U?
V?
WASHINGTON, GEORGE, LECH WALESA and PAUL WELLSTONE
X, MALCOLM
YOUNG, ANDREW (in many ways the precursor of Obama and other young African-American “politicians” of late)
ZAPATA, EMILIANO

5 comments:

The Kid said...

Please don't forget Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.....

AND

Common dream analysis for DOGS: if attacked, you are being warned to look out for actual deceit or harmful trickery from someone you have trusted.

Butch in Waukegan said...

Frederick Douglas, a true hero.

Reminded me of this interesting little historical fact I just learned. A few years ago Donald Rumsfield bought, as a summer home, the plantation where Frederick Douglas was beaten (tortured) as a teenager.

Donald Rumsfeld's summer home on Chesapeake Bay is a place known to locals as Mount Misery. It was originally owned by a notorious slaveholder named Edward Covey, who was known as a "Negro breaker". Other slaveowners would send their slaves to him to have their will broken so they would be docile and submissive from that point on. Among those went to Mount Misery was Frederick Douglass, who later escaped and became one of the world's most brilliant and eloquent voices against slavery. Douglass wrote of his time there in a book published in 1855 called My Bondage and My Freedom.

From:
http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/10/rumsfelds_mount_misery.php

Also referenced here (with other facts of the Bush years):
http://harpers.org/archive/2009/01/0082319

JIm said...

The trio of Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul who made it possible for the Solidarity movement of Lech Walsea to succeed and end the Soviet Union, should be at the top of the list for the last half of the twentieth century. Reagan and Thatcher also lowered taxes and ended the Carter Malaise and the Labor government ineptitude.

Anonymous said...

To me Cindy Sheehan is a kind of Joan of Arc. Before she camped outside Crawford, NO ONE in media had the guts to question Bush, or comment on what he was doing to this country, or even draw attention to all the vacationing he was doing.
She broke it open.
Suzanne G

Cheap Viagra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.