I’m with ya’ all the way, Timmy Boy!

There are some individuals who are extraordinary human beings — talented artists, intelligent thinkers, articulate speakers, passionately responsible citizens. Tim Robbins is one of these. (Of course, I also have to note that he also has the smarts to team up with “older/wiser woman” Susan Sarandon.)
The following is excerpted from his April 15th address to National Press Club
For all of the ugliness and tragedy of 9-11, there was a brief period afterward where I held a great hope, in the midst of the tears and shocked faces of New Yorkers, in the midst of the lethal air we breathed as we worked at Ground Zero, in the midst of my children’s terror at being so close to this crime against humanity, in the midst of all this, I held on to a glimmer of hope in the naive assumption that something good could come out of it.
I imagined our leaders seizing upon this moment of unity in America, this moment when no one wanted to talk about Democrat versus Republican, white versus black, or any of the other ridiculous divisions that dominate our public discourse. I imagined our leaders going on television telling the citizens that although we all want to be at Ground Zero, we can’t, but there is work that is needed to be done all over America. Our help is needed at community centers to tutor children, to teach them to read. Our work is needed at old-age homes to visit the lonely and infirmed; in gutted neighborhoods to rebuild housing and clean up parks, and convert abandoned lots to baseball fields. I imagined leadership that would take this incredible energy, this generosity of spirit and create a new unity in America born out of the chaos and tragedy of 9/11, a new unity that would send a message to terrorists everywhere: If you attack us, we will become stronger, cleaner, better educated, and more unified. You will strengthen our commitment to justice and democracy by your inhumane attacks on us. Like a Phoenix out of the fire, we will be reborn.
And then came the speech: You are either with us or against us. And the bombing began. And the old paradigm was restored as our leader encouraged us to show our patriotism by shopping and by volunteering to join groups that would turn in their neighbor for any suspicious behavior.
In the 19 months since 9-11, we have seen our democracy compromised by fear and hatred. Basic inalienable rights, due process, the sanctity of the home have been quickly compromised in a climate of fear. A unified American public has grown bitterly divided, and a world population that had profound sympathy and support for us has grown contemptuous and distrustful, viewing us as we once viewed the Soviet Union, as a rogue state
And he finishes with:
We lay the continuance of our democracy on your desks, and count on your pens to be mightier. Millions are watching and waiting in mute frustration and hope – hoping for someone to defend the spirit and letter of our Constitution, and to defy the intimidation that is visited upon us daily in the name of national security and warped notions of patriotism.
Our ability to disagree, and our inherent right to question our leaders and criticize their actions define who we are. To allow those rights to be taken away out of fear, to punish people for their beliefs, to limit access in the news media to differing opinions is to acknowledge our democracy’s defeat. These are challenging times. There is a wave of hate that seeks to divide us — right and left, pro-war and anti-war. In the name of my 11-year-old nephew, and all the other unreported victims of this hostile and unproductive environment of fear, let us try to find our common ground as a nation. Let us celebrate this grand and glorious experiment that has survived for 227 years. To do so we must honor and fight vigilantly for the things that unite us — like freedom, the First Amendment and, yes, baseball.

Hey, Ronnie Reagan got himself elected president, and he wasn’t half as talented, smart, articulate, intelligent, or brave. I wonder if Robbins ever thought about running. Susan Sarandon as (unmarried) First Lady. Now there’s Crone Power!

4 thoughts on “I’m with ya’ all the way, Timmy Boy!

  1. You know, I have enjoyed watching Tim Robbins grow into a thoughtful, compassionate & articulate Man. I saw him yesterday (wed.) on the Today Show. He was saying about Bush: “What’s the guy think, that he can cancel the 2004 election just because people don’t agree with him?” (or something like that) and people’s First Ammendment rights are being annihiliated because they criticise the current govt. and we’re letting him get away with it…
    I swelled up with pride, I tell ya. Busted a coupla buttons off.

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