News item: Cindy Sheehan bids goodbye to her role as “media darling” of the anti-war movement.
Unlike a lot of other people who seemed to truly despise her, I always felt pity for Sheehan more than anything else – even when she did idiotic things like show herself alongside the likes of Hugo Chavez. She always seemed like a sad and pathetic lost soul who couldn’t, or didn’t, want to face the devastation or grief at the loss of her son – choosing instead to him the face of the anti-war movement.
I mean, to me, the only ones who can truly identify with her (and those like her) and have any right to express an opinion about her activities are those who also have lost sons and daughters, or moms and dads and/or other loved ones in service to their country. I can’t speak for myself, as I’ve never had to attend a military funeral and don’t even know anyone who ever has (perhaps that puts me in some kind of privileged minority). But others have, and they’ve painted her as everything from a hero, to an icon, to a fool, and to a traitor and every expletive deleted in between. But now, as Sheehan posts today on the Daily Kos, she’s had enough and is heading home to try and put her life back together again, disillusioned at finding out that – gasp! – the liberal wing of the Democratic Party is just as manipulative, hypocritical, and corrupt as those on the other side of the aisle:
I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we donâ€™t find alternatives to this corrupt “two” party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I donâ€™t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that personâ€™s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?
…I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group wonâ€™t work with that group; he wonâ€™t attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.
Well, welcome to modern American politics and the mainstream media in the 21st century, Cindy. I say, where you been, darlin’? Are you truly surprised at the antics of the anti-war Left and those in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party who pander to it for their own political advancement – hello Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid! Don’t you realize that those celebrities and people you have identified and aligned yourself with are the same ones who spout all their concern about global warming, yet drive around in SUVs and corporate jets traveling to and from their multiple homes? Perhaps you’ve finally discovered that Presidential candidates like John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, or – most lately – New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson wouldn’t even think twice about using you, your son, or any other fallen warrior or grieving family for their own political purposes if it meant gaining the White House, and that there is no such thing as a pure, unstained politician in Washington? I mean, come on, Cindy – how the hell do you think they got there in the first place?
The fact is, Cindy, you’ve been duped. It’s one thing to want to add your voice to try and change things if you feel the elected officials of this country are taking it down the wrong road. And there’s nothing wrong with being a protest warrior when you feel passionately about injustice and things your country does that you believe are deeply wrong. But when you yourself become the story (unwittingly or otherwise), when your passion and hatred for someone like the President becomes the story rather than the crusade you represent to the point where your health is affected and, in your own words, you feel you have to “be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost”, and you need to “try to repair some of the [relationships] that have fallen apart”, then clearly there was some line that was crossed.
The primary reason I’ve always felt sorry for Cindy Sheehan more than anything else is, it’s the same kind of sorrow I’d feel for anyone who hates another human being so much that they expend all their time, passion, and effort focusing on nothing but the hatred and their loss, to the point where the hatred basically eats them alive from within like a giant maggot, leaving nothing outside but an empty shell. Certainly, the loss of anyone’s son is cause for grief, mourning, and yes, perhaps, even hatred. But life goes on; life must go on, and you have to, just as the one you have lost would have wanted you to. After all, life is for the living. It must be a sad thing to finally come to the realization that, in the end, no matter how passionately you feel about something, everyone has their own lives to live, their own agendas, and, yes, their own hypocracies. And, whether you believe Sheehan was the epitome of a patriot or a misguided loon, to read or listen to her disillusionment at recognizing this, it is a pitiable thing to behold.
For the last word on Sheehan, I leave it to one of those from the progressive Left who commented to her post, a one “cdale”, who writes:
This isn’t a knock against Sheehan. Her courage, bravery and commitment are exemplary and we are all in her debt.
However, as a (hopefully) career grassroots organizer, I can’t help notice that this is a case study in burnout, something we all deal with. For all of us who are going to continue in this work, let this be a lesson to us. You CAN’T destroy yourself to save the world.
Indeed. Whether you admire or despise Sheehan for everything she’s said, done, or stood for, I hope we can all agree that it’s time for her to find some sense of peace in her life. Even she deserves that much.