What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 75...Dear Mr. President... We were both wrong.

Day 75

Dear Mr. President,

On Saturday, July 23rd I wrote about standing with you so together we could “…get some stuff done.” Stepping up to the plate to see if we could get some movement going in the minds of the masses.

When you said, “…the American people are just desperate for folks who are willing to put aside politics just for a minute and try to get some stuff done,” I actually thought you were talking about ‘everyone’ including me. It turns out we were both wrong.

It reminds me of the famous statement attributed to Martin Niemoller, “First they came…”
First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.

The modern version of “First they came…” could be something like this:
First they wanted for cuts in Social Security, I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t on Soc. Sec.
Then they wanted cuts in Medicare, I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t on Medicare.
Then they wanted my retirement, and no one spoke for me, because no one cared anymore.

Niemoller was describing the dangers of political apathy, as it often begins with specific and targeted fear, which soon escalates out of control.

You were wrong about the Republicans, they still won’t budge even though Harry Reid offered trillions in cuts without any increase in revenue… just what they said they wanted. I guess I was right about one thing I’ve said over and over… Republicans are only interested in one thing, and that is to make sure you fail… even if it means destroying this country.

I was wrong when I believed that ordinary Americans, like myself, would be willing to step up to the plate and pitch in to help get things moving. I offered to put my politics aside and ‘pledge’ $100. per month of my Social Security check to help save some programs that are on the chopping block. Programs like day care for the elderly, after school programs for kids, or any other program that benefits the less fortunate, take your pick.

When I posted your letter on my Facebook page I asked people to “like” it if they were willing to help out as well. Guess what? Not one stinking ‘like’… not one stinking thumbs up… not one stinking comment. I reposted it on Sunday, saying the ‘silence was deafening’… still nothing. My husband posted it as well… still nothing. Sadly, Niemoller was right…

So we both learned something, well at least I did… I learned that the average person doesn’t really care all that much. It’s easier to bitch than to put yourself out there or get involved.

The Republicans don’t care if they destroy our country, and the people don’t care because they are allowing it to happen through their apathy and aversion of all things political.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers,
Your Gadfly Granny

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