Long-time readers will remember that this whole blogging business, for me, started out with "The Bush Diaries," which took the form of a daily, somewhat irreverent letter to George W. Bush about the lapses, misdeeds and crimes of his administration. My first blog entry ever followed immediately after Bush's re-election in November 2004. I could not, then, believe that the American electorate could be so blinded to his disastrous policies--both foreign and domestic--as to vote him back into office for another term. I knew I had to do something, and the only thing I know how to do is write. It was then that I stumbled headlong into the blogosphere...
And two years after that, I woke one day with the realization that waking up with Bush every day was no prescription for serenity or sanity, so "The Bush Diaries" morphed quietly into "The Buddha Diaries."
The events of this past week, however, have convinced me that I cannot remain silent. The Glenn Beck/Sarah Palin rally that attempted to co-opt the memory and the values of Dr. Martin Luther King was loathsome enough to arouse the old political bile. Their call to restore America to God--and, oh yes, the radical conservatism that God apparently approves--came at the same time as the Jane Mayers article in the New Yorker about the Koch brothers and their determination to destroy President Obama no matter what the cost, financially, or to the truth. This past week, too, we had news of the poll indicating that vast numbers of Americans had been persuaded against all reason to believe that Obama was neither American nor a Christian, but rather a cuckoo in the nest, a foreign-born Muslim out to destroy this country.
Enough already! Even the Buddhist blood boils at the enormity of the lies that are being disseminated, the hatred that accrues, the prospect of the country's future--the future of the world--in the hands of people of this kind.
Don't worry. I'm not going back to daily politics. That would drive me crazy. Besides, it's perfectly plain by now that it's not about the honest debate of issues and ideas It's about money. It's about the inordinate greed for money and for the power that goes along with it. It's about defending, consolidating and multiplying wealth, and seizing the political power to make that possible. It's about deluding the American electorate into wild and self-destructive beliefs.
I cannot match the Koch brothers in political contributions. I cannot match Rupert Murdoch in access to the hearts and minds of American voters and in the manipulation of their views. I must think more in terms of proportion. I will act proportionately. I will give money in proportion. A billion in Koch money equals, what...? A hundred dollars of my own? I'll give the hundred dollars. I'll even double them up: I'll give two hundred to support the Democratic effort to retain control of Congress at mid-term.
And I will make a point of asking all my friends, and all my American friends on "The Buddha Diaries"--and all my "friends" (Facebook)--to do the same. I will importune them mercilessly, to give ten dollars, twenty, fifty. If they can, a hundred... I have about nine hundred friends on Facebook alone. If I could persuade them to give, say, an average of fifty dollars apiece, that would total forty-five thousand dollars. And if each of them were to pass on my challenge to, say, a hundred of their friends, and each of their friends were to respond with a donation, say, of an average of fifty dollars apiece, that would total four million five hundred thousand dollars. And if each of their friends' friends... It's a dream! An "American Dream"--and not the kind that simply advances my own interests.
But wait! I know that you're all impatient to get started, but hold your fire. I intend, in the next few days, to write up a kind of manifesto, something that can easily be copied and pasted and sent on, so that we could hope to start a movement and gain momentum--along with the millions of dollars--in time for the November elections. When I'm done with that, I'll post it. But in the meantime, your feedback would be appreciated. I'm ready to modify my plan to include all reasonable suggestions.