Friday, March 12, 2010

In Memory of an Intrepid Campaigner for Political Reform

Dan Weeks pays his respect for Granny D - who at 90 walked across America in an attempt to highlight the nation's need for Campaign Reform:

It was these stirring themes, expressed in the rise-and-fall tones I associate with great orators of old, that planted in me the seed of political activism when I first heard Granny D speak ten years ago. I was a junior in high school in the small corner of southern New Hampshire we both call home. Having recently completed her cross-country jaunt for a peculiar cause known as campaign finance reform, she spoke with an irresistible fervor about returning government the people and having fun in the process. As it turned out, her peculiar cause would come to be my own consuming passion in the ten years since -- and for that, I owe her my deepest thanks. By her words and example, she gave a kind of moral-political direction to my life that few at that age find.

Now that she's hung up her hat for the final time, I'm reminded of remarks she gave at the end of her other long journey a decade ago. Arriving in Washington by foot after 3,200 miles, she invoked the "brave spirits" of Arlington cemetery in stirring remarks delivered on the Capitol steps: "Did you give your lives for a government where we might stand together as free and equal citizens, or did you give your lives so that laws might be sold to the highest bidder, turning this temple of our Fair Republic into a bawdy house where anything and everything is done for a price?"

For her part, the answer is clear: Granny D gave her life for a government where We the People stand together as free and equal citizens, untrammeled by special interests. Let us give her our patriotic salute by completing the unfinished task of returning government to the people through campaign finance reform.