Revolution #75, January 7, 2007
Daring to Change Minds and Move Millions: The Case for Impeachment Now
The following excerpt is from: “Daring to Change Minds and Move Millions: The Case for Impeachment Now,” a speech given by Sunsara Taylor (World Can't Wait advisory board member and writer for Revolution newspaper) in NYC on December 10.
For five years we've gone through this dance where the Bush regime proposes--or gets caught doing something--outrageous. At first the Democrats make some noises of opposition, then they get reasonable, and eventually capitulate, and the world is made worse.
There's been Roberts, Alito, the Patriot Act I, the Patriot Act II, the Terri Schiavo theocratic lunacy, the NSA spying, the Military Commissions Act, it just goes on and on and on. And now, we're seeing the same thing happen--again--with the war on Iraq. The Democrats promised a “new direction,” but already they are accommodating to Bush, saying it’s too messy to pull out, and maybe best to send in tens of thousands MORE troops.
But there is another force in society. There are people. Millions and millions of people. People who are sick of this war.
Troops who don't believe in their mission stuck on their second and third tour of duty.
Thousands still scattered across the country by Hurricane Katrina and millions more whose smoldering anger at how Black people were treated there has been inflamed again by the NYPD's 50 shots that killed Sean Bell.
Women and gay people whose fundamental rights are being systematically shredded.
Rivers of immigrants who not long ago clogged the streets of every city in this country in protest.
Intellectuals and artists who are not ready to bow down to a king.
And there are all the people who tried to give expression to their sentiments through this election.
These people, totaling in their millions, have the potential strength to upset this whole direction. These are the people that WE need to get out to and WE need to bring into the streets on January 4th, the first day of the new Congress, to demand: Impeach the war criminals! The Bush Regime must go!
Some people say we should stay away from impeachment, that it’s better to just let the Republicans twist in the wind and take a loss in '08. How removed from reality, how enveloped in political meaninglessness do you have to be, not to see or not to care that it is the torture victims, the Iraqi families, the people of Iran, the women and gays, the immigrants and Black people you would be leaving to twist in the wind as this regime barrels forward?
Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats say that "impeachment is off the table." But if George Bush is not impeached over these crimes, then everything he has done -- the doctrine of preemptive war, the torture, the assault on the separation of church and state, the undermining of the rule of law -- all of this is legitimized and will continue, no matter who becomes the next president. And it means we are complicit in all of this.
Some say--oh no, this will divide the country. Today the major media won't mention impeachment except to say that the Republicans would love it. And many are afraid of saying things because it might incite the Republicans. Hello! Bowing down and giving them the horrific future they want without a fight, is even worse.
When you had racist vigilantes hunting down and terrorizing Black people and you had laws and good ol' boy networks backing it all up--you had to politically confront it!
When you had an unjust war sending tens of thousands of young men to their deaths and destroying the Vietnamese countryside and slaughtering millions of Vietnamese--you had to politically confront it.
Without a political confrontation, these crimes weren’t going to go away.
We are not talking about spoiled children making mischief that you can ignore long enough that they'll eventually get bored and move on. This is a regime with a strategic plan for remaking the whole world. They have their hands on the levers of state power and they have an unthinking fanatical social base they have built up and are increasingly unleashing to intimidate and terrorize people who don't agree with them. This reality needs to be politically confronted and transformed. Avoiding that political confrontation, avoiding the necessary polarization and upheaval means being complicit as all of this gets worse.
Besides, what is so wrong with polarizing people when they are wrong — and going along with great crimes?
The biggest problem right now is not that people don't want what we are for. It is that too many people are inactive, tuned out, they don't know how bad it is and they don't know how they can affect things. The only way this will change is if we go out and challenge and polarize people around what is being done in our names.
Seriously, imagine how much further along we'd be if every person in this country was forced to take a side: Are you for torture or are you against it? For the slaughter of the Iraqi people or against it? For spying on the public or against it? For preaching abstinence, ignorance and patriarchy or against it? For denying fundamental rights to gay people or against it? For replacing science with religion in the public schools or against it? For papering over global warming or against it? Let’s get people picking sides.
It is good to stand against these crimes. It is RIGHT to stand against these crimes.
This country needs to be polarized. The White House and Congress need to look out and see that the country is overwhelmingly polarized against them and they need to seriously fear that if they don't put a stop to this whole direction that they are going to lose the allegiance of millions of people.
We have to challenge people to take a stand on this. And we have to do it on terms that are radically different than those being counseled right now by the Democrats.
So, January 4th, everyone here needs to be serious about getting to Washington, DC and organizing others to be there. On that day, the new Congress, the people of this country, and the people of the world need to hear the will of the people ringing out loud and clear: Start the impeachment and open the investigations. If war crimes, torture, and crimes against humanity aren’t enough to start impeachment, then what is? Bush must go!
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