Posted December 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm, in From the News
By Robert Creamer
Political organizer, strategist and author
I was struck several days ago to hear Arizona’s Senator Jon Kyl claim that the Democrats’ insistence on considering the new START nuclear inspection treaty in the short time before Christmas somehow defiled the holiday.
Perhaps, I thought, Senator Kyl forgot for a moment that Christmas celebrates the birth of the “Prince of Peace” — that the Christmas story is about “Peace on Earth, good will to men.” Could there be a better way to celebrate Christmas than to approve a peace accord that would reduce the risk of nuclear war?
Of course, this particular episode is actually emblematic of the fundamental disconnect between the values held by Senator Kyl and many of his radical conservative colleagues, and the progressive values that have served as the very definition of human morality, freedom and progress.
When you think of the heroes and heroines of American — and world — history you think of the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Cesar Chavez, Robert Kennedy, Mohandas Gandhi and Franklin Roosevelt.
They are people who expanded the realm of human freedom for everyone. They stood up for everyday people — not the rich and powerful — of their times. They are the people who ended wars, not those who began them. They are the people who created mechanisms that help us avoid violence; who enhanced the ability of every child — no matter her background or income — to live a fulfilling life; who stood up against ignorance and oppression and greed; who understood that we’re all in this together — not all in this alone.
Most of all, they were people who believed that what is important in life is what you can do for other people — not simply what you can do for yourself. (more…)