from an address to the Alliance convention at Gettysburg on June 8, 2002, by
Doris Haddock, "Granny D," which was followed by a standing ovation
of perhaps three minutes' duration.
After I finished by 3,200 mile walk
across the United States to speak out for the campaign finance reform movement,
I was often asked to share how I prepared for this walk....What I learned--and
I hope you will not take this too personally--what I learned is that it is
never too late to get in shape. It is
never too late to dust off the dreams you may have had for yourself and for
your community and your country--and do something about them. It is never too late to have another great
adventure, make a few thousands of new friends, and, well, if you like--it
worked for me--to march on the Capitol and get arrested....
Getting special interest influence out of
our politics is...an important precondition to becoming a responsible
community. I have been working in that
particular area for the last two years, and the work, being done by many
thousands of dedicated people, is far from completed. But it is time for all of us, I think, to look past that....Let
us assume that we will perfect these reforms, and let us look ahead to the
question: once we again have
representation at every level of government, what are we to do with it?...We do
have a responsibility, after all, to those who sacrificed everything, who gave their
lives to give us a free society. Those
people who died did not die for a Corporate World, but for Lincoln's democracy:
a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We ignore their sacrifice if we do not turn
our country back to that government....
Who of us--who of you--can set aside your
own political views and look to the needs of a free society and all its people
with all of their views? Who among us
is responsible enough to be able to serve the interests of far right and far
left and all the shoppers in the middle?
Well, it is a big question of cultural leadership, and some of you must
rise to it.
I AM HERE
to offer a word of advice. I'm not
offering it because I think any of you will outlive me. Because, as things are going with the
current White House, it looks like we're all going to go together, and any day
Indeed, any time the leader of a powerful
country points to other people and says, "evil ones," you know he's
deep in a hall of mirrors and we're in for a few million deaths, including many
The only thing we can take any cheer in
is knowing that the same financial companies that backed all these bad leaders
won't be able to send us our credit card bills when we're gone. So let's have a nice dinner somewhere before
he drops the big one or rounds us all up--both being distinct possibilities.
But don't spend too much, because you
never know when you're going to be one of the survivors. And if you are, you can bet that the Master
Card folks were in the shadow government bunker with Tom, Dick and George.
But we who may not be able to run as fast
as you, leave you with a word of advice, as I promised. Some of you are going to be around to pick
up the pieces.
You will have to wrestle democracy away
from an imperial presidency, and from a corporate-military-industrial complex
the likes of which dear old Ike only half imagined.
You will have to replace winner-take-all
elections with proportional representation elections, so that all parties,
including Greens and Reforms, can sit at the table of power in this country and
in the world.
You will have to take down the prisons
and build up the schools. You will have
to dismantle a health care system that lets only the rich live and replace it
with a system worthy of a civilized society.
And how will you find your
victories? That is what I will tell
you. This is my advice.
As reformers, we seldom win by making a
frontal attack. No, we work and we work
at a reform and never get too far with it.
And while we are hitting our heads against the wall, we tinker with the
idea and it gets better and better and more and more people understand what we
are getting at. But we never win. The other side loses. Just when we are about to pack up our
banners, along comes an Enron or a Watergate.
In the states and in the nation, we only win by being ready, by being
on the spot with a good, workable
alternative, when the unsustainable systems fail, as they always do.
So don't worry if your state isn't ready
for this reform or that reform. Don't
worry if you think the federal government isn't ready for public financing or
proportional representation or instant runoff voting or single payer health
care or, God forbid, simple human justice and a mature concern for the global
More Enrons are coming than you will be
able to count. I see them lining up
like wobbling biplanes on approach. Go
do your reform work. Represent the good
issues, regardless of their chances of victory by today's measures. The measures will change tomorrow.
The rivers are drying up. The seas are rising. The poles are melting. Unsustainably corrupt politics on a global
scale has reaped the whirlwind for all of us.
We can only save this earth and this democracy by working hard and
developing our skills of timing and our courage to act with great leadership
and with great wisdom and expertise when opportunities present themselves.
Be an expert in these matters. Work hard as a reformer. And I promise that you will have your day on
the field, matched more evenly for the fight than you ever imagined
possible....When your enemy is unsustainability itself, you cannot lose if you
play it wisely.
WONDERFUL challenging time in which we live.
A time when so much is at stake and when we all have so much important
work to do in taking back our freedom, our elections from the Corporate World
that has been created. To be able to
re-establish responsible communities all over America. To establish in every state a Clean Money
election system. Four states are now on
public funding, and 40 more of our 50 are in various stages of working for
it Think how wonderful it would be if
all our state officers, and our Congress, could be elected because of their
honesty, vision, and character, instead of being elected because he or she was
able to raise the most illegal money.
A government of by and for the people,
means you and me. It is said there is
nothing more joyous than belonging to a group of interesting people, working
against great odds for a cause that is important to all. I say to you, if you aren't involved, get
involved and join the fun! Understand
what it means to be an American. It
means to take responsibility for mature self-governance. In a world where the divide between the very
wealthy and the literally starving is growing rapidly, where one child in five
goes to bed hungry, and two out of five if they are Afro-American, we must
assume responsibility. We must take our
place at the table of power.