Friday, April 06, 2007

The Irrelevants

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A dedicated peace activist can be both.

A couple of weeks ago I parked at the Gualala Post Office to pick up our mail and buy a few things at the Surf Super Market across the street. On my way to and from the super market, I passed through a small crowd of about fifty peace protesters, many of whom are my friends and neighbors. Several recognized both me and my politics, and thoughtfully invited me to join them.

I gave them a cheery, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and continued on my merry way, thinking of all the peace protests and vigils I have seen and read of over the years, and of how they never accomplished anything.

The idea then formed that the peace protesters and activists should be named, “The Irrelevants.” No matter what they do, nothing changes. Further, their protests have spawned protests, and now any protest worthy of the name will include “Free Mumia,” “Liberate Palestine,” “Gay-Lesbian-Transgender-Bisexual-Interspecies Rights,” “Fight Global Warming,” “Save the (Whales) (Sea Otters) (Salmon) (Desert Kangaroo Rat) (pick one),” “Stamp Out Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO),” “Medical marijuana for all (because everyone is sick!),” and of course, how could you have a protest without “Socialists Wildly Indignant about Nearly Everything (SWINE).”

In other words, the protests have taken on a life on their own, and the only unifying factor is a mindless hatred of President Bush.

I wrote a letter to my local weekly newspaper, the Independent Coast Observer, and observed that it was a beautiful day for all the Irrelevants to gather and enjoy the sun and fresh air while they accomplished nothing.

One of my neighbors replied in a letter to the Editor that since I was outnumbered fifty to one, might I not be the irrelevant one?

That reply inspired the following response from me:

Relevance is not determined by numbers but by accomplishments. If one hundred thousand peace activists chanted to their crystals at sunrise on Mount Tamalpais, the world would not be moved one millimeter closer to peace.

The twenty-three million inhabitants of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are few in number, and are leading a miserable existence that starves both their bodies and their souls. Surely the world could send a vast contingent of peace activists to North Korea and overcome their belligerence with the power of love. After all, they are Democrats and it is a People’s Republic.

During the Cold War, one security policemen standing guard over a bomber on nuclear alert, on a cold, rainy night on an Air Force flightline somewhere in the middle of Kansas, or Nebraska, or some other place where they don’t think peace comes from chanting and burning incense, did more for world peace than all the peace activists of the world for all time.

Actually, having a lot of peace activists in Muslim countries would be a great idea, except then the world would have a lot of dead and imprisoned Muslim peace activists, and the world would continue as before. Lots of North Korean, Cuban, Sudanese, Congolese, and Chinese peace activists would be a good thing too.

Among the world’s great ironies is that the only place peace activists thrive are in peaceful places, and those places are peaceful because of victories in wars and the accumulation and development of military might.

It is sad but true that the despotic rulers of the world brutally suppress their peace protesters while encouraging ours.

My offer still stands, and in over two weeks now no one has suggested a potential war that peace protesters prevented. Or one they stopped. Or even slowed down.

The above letter will probably appear in Friday the 13th issue of the ICO, which will be in our mailboxes on the 12th.

So once again, the gauntlet is flung down.

When I’m dealing with Leftists, and the odds are fifty to one against me, I feel I have them outnumbered and surrounded.

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