As I sit here outside the Senate Building at the Arizona State Capitol, I can’t help but notice the suits coming in and out of the the House of Representatives and the Senate. At one time these were foreign faces. Not as in nationality or ethnicity, but as in strangers who carried a mystique about them as they entered with their briefcases and portfolios. Rarely did they glimpse over at me, let alone squeak out a good morning. After all, I’m the protester! The odd man out! The guy who won’t follow protocol or as Senate President Russell Pearce puts it, the guy who breached decorum in the Senate Building.
However as time passes relationships are formed and many Democratic and Republican State Legislators have approached me to chat. The people in the suits have also approached me and engaged me in conversation. It turns out the suits have names and lives and feelings just like I do. I never doubted it, they just never showed it. In their haste to run into the buildings to advocate for their personal agenda, they figured it was easier to ignore me than to engage me. The same can be said for many of the legislators. Some fear the walk of shame as they are told the truth about their misguided legislation or their double standard lives. No one gets a pass. After all that’s the idea here. Get there attention! Be vocal! Let them know you are watching them and that they will be held accountable for their actions. Does that sound extremist? Well all I did was take a page out of what many of you consider to be the most patriotic splinter of the Republican party, The Tea Party. The twist is I have been out at the Arizona State Capitol for 34 days now.
I have watched Stan Barnes a political pundit complain about us on Sunday Square Off and have been advised by Steve Smith (R) from District 23 that I would be more effective if I made an appointment to speak to him rather than scream at him in the Capitol Courtyard. However, when reminded that the Tea Party whom backed Mr. Smith wholeheartedly and threw their support behind him engages in the same sort of patriotic behavior, he was quick to chastise me by informing me that two wrongs don’t make a right. Imagine that! I would love to see Mr Smith face the Tea Party whom was largely responsible for promoting him by telling them they are wrong for shouting at those who have been supportive of Obama Care. I quickly put Mr. Smith on notice. “You will be held accountable for your actions while in the State Senate.” “We will make sure that we remove you from office Senator Smith.” With a confused look Mr. Smith slithered away back inside the Senate building.
As time has passed we have strengthened relationships with Democratic legislators here at the Arizona State Capitol. This morning we are scheduled for a photo shoot with eight state legislators in the Capitol Courtyard. The same place where we have been protesting for 34 days. Where once these legislators, not all, may have not wanted to recognize the very important work we are doing daily of holding legislators accountable for their actions, today they join us in solidarity with the understanding that what we are doing is for all of Arizona. Today is a clear reflection of the forging of new relationships and alliances in which we will be supportive of those who legislate for all of Arizona, and not just a select few as Arizona’s fiftieth legislature has been doing since they entered into session under the leadership of Russell Pearce.
So the way I see it, being loud isn’t always bad, it’s knowing when to shout and when to shut up and stretch your hand out in solidarity as a good American and a proud Arizonan that’s important. On the other hand, I do question the Tea Party’s actions. In fact, they, and many of their supporters seem to invoke Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote. “When a whole nation is roaring patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart.”
Carlos E. Galindo is a radio talk show host & political analyst conducting radio shows in both English and Spanish on four radio stations in Arizona. Mr. Galindo is a weekly contributor to KPFK 98.7 FM Los Angeles and has appeared on CNN, Univision and Telemundo as a political analyst. Mr. Galindo is also an Op-Ed columnist on Prensa Hispana Arizona. www.nospinonair.com/http://www.carlosgalindo.com
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