Just had a journey down Memory Lane, reading a new book’s draft—Doris “Granny D” Haddock’s speeches, given as she walked 3,000+ miles from California to Washington, D.C., speaking for campaign finance reform when she was 89 and 90 (1999-2000). My draft is by way of group-sharing the editing task. I had assigned pages. I loved hearing Granny D again.
Sentences speak to me during our election-time now: “Fairness and leadership are everything to the life of democracy” (p. 46) “Where are our leaders and our representatives at this critical moment, when the shape of our economy and our jobs are in the balance, and when the health of our environment is in the balance, and when everything to do with fairness and equality that Dr. King and so many others lived and died for are in the balance? …They are sold and gone, I fear. Sold and gone. The lobbyists in Washington spend millions per month for their attention, and you know where that leaves you and me, don’t you?” (p. 47) “The biggest problem with the current campaign finance system is that we can no longer trust our elected leaders. We don’t know if they are making decisions for the right reasons, or for corrupt reasons. We have our suspicions, and suspicions alone are deadly to a democracy.” (p. 49)
From her speech collection’s last pages that I like: “We could, after all, stop illegal immigration by improving economic conditions in Latin America….” (p. 158) I lately read travel writer Paul Theroux’s On the Plain of Snakes, about his recent road-trip along both sides of our Mexican border. He clarifies that it was our NAFTA that changed so drastically the economies of Mexico and Central America, driving small farm families into poverty and changing everything. Forcing families to have to leave and head north, avoiding exploitation and money-incentivized gangs along the way. U.S.A. leadership, strong on foresight (and humanity) is what we really need.
Lynn Rudmin Chong