Friday, August 13, 2004

Do you hear the people sing?

Do you hear the people sing,
Singing the songs of angry men,
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again.
When the beating of your heart matches the beating of the drums,
There is a life about to dawn when tomorrow comes.

With these lines the freedom fighters in the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's take up their arms to fight. They are a people who have suffered too much, had far more wrongs hoisted on their shoulders than their backs can take; with this rallying cry they struggle for justice and righteousness.

Here in America we are currently engaged in a struggle divided by those same battle lines; but our battle will come to head not on the crude but heroic barricade hastily wrought on a Paris street, it will be fought in curtain covered cloisters where we will strike blows of glorious Democracy.

And as we stoke the forge of Liberty, we have our own battle cry; it is a song deeply rooted in the song America, sung again during the Revolution in France. It is a prayer for change, a chant of liberte, fraternite, egalite, of Freedom equality and brotherhood.

It is the song of the Abu Ghraib prison, of torture, and of broken laws and false accountability.

It is the song of lies, of avarice and greed, of leading a country to war; of pride and arrogance and a hardly final end to combat; of doing what may be the right action for thousands of wrong reasons, and in thousands of wrong ways.

And it is the song of outrage at the trade-off spoken of in Franklin's wise words, of trading liberty for false security and receiving neither. It is the song of fury as the event we can never forget is held hostage to ambition we cannot deny; the song of a President who plays on fear and hate and fights for a God that must be unique to him alone.

It is a song being sung more and more by those on the left and on the right, a bubbling and broiling anger simmered over a fire of economics and stoked by the bellows of outrage at an America who believes God is on it's side while playing a game of might makes right.

It is a song of change in the fall, a song of hope and righteous anger, and a song finally being sung that cannot be ignored.

The question Mr. Bush is: Can you hear the people sing?

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