The Flags are Down

The flags are down,

I noticed this morning,

on Broad St., in Bloomfield, N.J.,

my hometown.


Perhaps 20%, maybe less,

of the homes

along this major thoroughfare

are flying

Old Glory.


After September 11th,

it was more like 75-80%,

maybe as much as

85, who showed the

Red, White and Blue.


Please don’t misunderstand me.

I don’t think that

everyone who wears a flag/

waves a flag/displays a flag

is a Bush/Cheney supporter,

a war-and-oil man,

a usurper of all I hold dear,

a monumental threat to

the people of the world

and hope for a decent future.


No, I don’t think that.


But I believe that

the coming down of many flags

means some things:


-that there IS hope for the future


-that growing numbers of

our fellow citizens

are deeply concerned and afraid

about the world the Bushites

are trying to lead us into


-that many of us are

just not buying

the plans for war,

the false patriotism,

Ashcroft attacks,

the lies, the lies, the lies.



     It’s the same thing that I’ve been experiencing as I interact with people around the state of New Jersey while campaigning as a Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate. When people ask me what I stand for, one of the main issues I talk about is the need for a major campaign to develop alternative energy, wind and solar, to deal with global warming. I go on to say that this will also deal with the threat of terrorism, that underneath the “war on terrorism” is really a battle over control of Middle East oil. Alternative energy, I say, provides a realistic way to reduce dependence on that oil and thereby lessen the threat of terrorism.


Almost without exception, this elicits a noticeable positive response.


     Our peoples, in the main, are not stupid, despite all of the brainwashing and disinformation they are subjected to by a compliant, corporate media. They may sometimes be confused, but they’re not stupid. A recent poll reported that about half the people believe that not all of the truth has come out about what the Bush oil-and-war men knew prior to September 11th. Bush’s popularity continues to slowly drop. On many of the domestic issues, particularly related to the economy, health care, schools and Social Security, solid majorities support progressive approaches to them.


     We need to be out there with our peoples this summer, this fall and beyond. We need to be going in an organized way, with peace and justice materials, to street fairs, street corners, county fairs, anywhere people are gathered. We need to let them know that there are options to the gung-ho Republicans and the me-too Democrats. The people are open; it is urgent that we take steps to make ourselves and our views easily available to them. This is not a summer to take it easy.