copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert
Welcome Home Netroots Nation attendees. You may recall, it began with a dream, an impossible hope for a future unforeseen. It was your wish, his want, her desire, and my aspiration. Together we were the inspiration. We imagined greatness would be if we worked together. The issues of import to us were and continue to be the Environment, Education, Energy, Ethics, Wars in the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, and of course Peace. Health Care, and the fragile nature of medical coverage in the United States, does not escape our gaze. While we may embrace Free Enterprise, we are not ignorant of the inherent flaws within a system that rewards the rich and punishes the poor. The Courts, and Congress do not escape our scrutiny. Those of us who are far from apathetic examine the Executive Branch of government as well. Indeed, citizens that actively care inquire of and study every subject, deeply.
We, the vibrantly engaged people believe prosperity for all is a real possibility. Power, we trust does not reside within the halls of Congress, or corporate chambers. Nor is it found in the Oval Office. Rather the strength to bring about change is embodied within us.. When we came together and communicated, we created a net that grows from the roots. As a whole, we are a nation of thinkers, doers, and dynamic. We are determined to attain the incredible, just as our forefathers intended. We, the people who participate in endless discussions of what is, could be, would be, and work to ensure that the beauty of America is as was proposed hold dear the original declaration of independent believers
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
The words of our ancestors resonate within us. Hence, just as the authors of this glorious creed did hundreds of years earlier, we met to discuss what we might do. Initially, we became acquainted in a community of computers. Then, we moved closer together in conferences, online and ultimately outside our homes. We may have met three years earlier at the first Yearly Kos, or two months prior as we passed through an essay. It matters not when we introduced ourselves to each other.
You gave rise to his verve. He encouraged her to trust. She buoyed my beliefs. Together we, each one of us, energized a nation. The topics we spoke of titillated, tantalized; others thought these subjects were taboo. Yet, for us, politics was personal. Religion was real. For us, the vocal few, faith is found everywhere, not merely in a house of worship.
We, the wondrous ones, willing to participate in profundity, cared to discuss what we thought crucial. Education, the curriculum, what our children learn, and teachers teach, reaches far beyond the classroom. We yearn for a healthy happy community, just as our forefathers did when they wrote the United States Constitution.
Perchance, that is why we consider the law. We understand that essential freedoms must be retained. For us, an awareness exists, if Americans are to be safe and secure, we must be able to express ourselves, particularly in private. Those of us who talk of the taboos rather than blindly trust concur; we are not able to feel as though our life is our own, if we do not live a liberated life within reason, an inherent right to happiness will not be realized. Contentment comes when we, within the greater community care for our brethren.
Perhaps, this knowledge prompts us to share stories of our experiences with the health care system. We have learned to consider the complexity of how, where, if, or when we will receive treatment. Chatters in cyberspace also ponder those who are denied a cure. We, the people within the net neighborhood broach what hurts the hearts of those who do not verbally venture into the realities that preclude a more solid union.
In America, more than a few have died needlessly due to medical glitches and Insurers hitches. That is the reason, unlike many, we do tell tales of woe. We acknowledge that those with medical coverage could lose the medical plans that provide a false sense of security, in an instant, indeed, retroactively. Those within the net neighborhood run, skip, walk, and crawl away from computers to aid the ailing. Advocates in the blogosphere take action to correct a structure wrought with corruption. Our desire to delve expands our horizons.
The common folks from throughout the land, when in cyberspace, chatter of health care and how the notion cannot exist as long as medical coverage is inaccessible or too easy rescinded buy “providers.”
Food for us is more than an ingestible. Fodder, we realize, has an effect on our bodies, the environment, and our evolution. A cuisine, when commercially produced, can be a source of contaminants to man and beast, and we are not afraid to say so. Oh, there is much that those in the worldwide web talk of and take on. Problems are but a paradigm, and shifts are sustenance. In the Internet neighborhood, silence is the only enemy.
Those who address the unspeakable, discuss sex. You, he, she, and I give voice to the words often whispered; physical intimacy is a not a sin and lust does not give birth to closeness. Out in the open we speak of the significance of marriage, and not just the ceremony or the legal license issued. It was you, he, she, me, and we, who understood that love is not limited. Each of us trusted, our gender did not restrict the fondness we feel. Emotionally, we work to be intelligent and just, fair, people who honor reverent freedoms. We are Progressives and proud to care for our fellow man.
We know ethics cannot be ethereal if we are to achieve a greater good. Profound principles are essential if we, the people are to truly unite as one, and this week we did. In July 2008, in Austin, Texas, bloggers beamed with delight as we entered a new era. On Thursday, the 17th through Sunday the 20th politicians, pundits, professionals, and people from all walks of life joined forces and followed what was no longer a whimsy. Careful, thoughtful, honorable change came and united each of us. Together, we moved forward. More than two thousand strong showed they are committed to countless causes. As a nation rooted in the Net, individually and as a whole, we thrust towards a venerable transformation. There we were, Americans returned to the roots the founders provided.
Netroots Nation, we have grown. Our influence increases. As long as we continue to believe and act, no matter our differences, we can achieve the excellence envisioned. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, let us all remember . . .
(W)hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Let this thought be our guide when next we meet. Until then, please register for the next Continental Constitutional Cyberspace Conference, Netroots Nation 2009. Until August 13, 2009, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, may we look forward to our Internet interactions.
A Byte of Information . . .
- Netroots Nation
- The Online Candidate Confronts Critical Netroots, By Katharine Q. Seelye. The New York Times. July 16, 2008
- Appealing to Bloggers’ Influence, Gore Asks for Help in Promoting Energy Challenge, By Katharine Q. Seelye. The New York Times. July 20, 2008
- The Next President and the Law, Netroots Nation 2008
- Time for Action: How the Netroots Can Lead on Healthcare Reform, Netroots Nation 2008
- The Recipe for Change in America’s Food System, Netroots Nation 2008
- Breaking the Frame: Revitalizing and Redefining Reproductive Rights Media Coverage, Netroots Nation 2008
- Whatever Happened to the Religious Left? Netroots Nation 2008
- Politically Active Youth on Political Participation and Civic Education: What They Have to Teach Us, Netroots Nation 2008
- Declaration of Independence. USHistory.org.
- Netroots Nation Registration.