Peace Activists Find Bipartisan Support at Straw Poll

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Nonpartisan citizens at 2011 Iowa Straw Poll

Excerpted from Coleen Rowley’s reflections about peace-leaders’ engagement at campaign events.

Coleen Rowley, August 2011

Thousands of attendees at Iowa’s recent Republican straw poll responded positively to the “Come Home America” message a group of citizens and I brought there.

The Des Moines news reporter who noted our anti-war theme for the Ames, Iowa event was just not present long enough to see the real story.

Our “Endless War = Endless Debt” and “War IS Taxing” warnings caught on with people from all political perspectives—including many from conservative, libertarian, and socially progressive backgrounds who stopped to speak with us.  Most exciting was to witness many give up an hour or two to help us spread the word.

Attendees seemed genuinely interested when we encouraged them to sign our letter to President  Obama.  We told them we were part of a non-partisan effort to focus on the most important issues of the day.  Instead of the promises, slogans, winks and other campaign antics of any particular political candidate, they related to our encompassing message.

The truth they shared with us is that no party or political beliefs wins if the US government doesn’t pull the plug on military engagements.

Progressives who support social safety nets, funding of public education, and who are opposed to widening disparities between the wealthiest and the poorest in the US cannot possibly see their goals realized without a break from a decade of destructive, costly wars.

Libertarians will not see a return to adherence to the Constitution, civil liberties and away from national security policing and “War Presidency” empowerment.

Greens will not see more funding and research diverted to sustainable and environmentally clean energy technologies.

And fiscal conservatives cannot possibly get the small, decentralized government they long for while the United States government manages costly oversight of empire-building and superpower status.

All people’s critical needs are connected by money.  And thus are antithetical to the US’ astronomical spending on militarism run amok.

If the US government continues to be controlled by the military-industrial-congressional-media complex in defiance of its citizens’ consensus, none of these groups’ objectives can succeed. Throwing trillions of hard-earned and increasingly scarce taxpayer dollars on bombs, drone technology, armoring tanks, and corporate contractor fraud is no answer to populist problems.

While hundreds of national media in Iowa covered the straw poll near-tie finish as Michele Bachmann beat Ron Paul by a mere 152 votes, the media did not seem to care about the enormous outpouring we witnessed.  Though numerous national polls, including those by Gallop and USA Today, confirm the powerful reality.

People of all different political backgrounds and loyalties are showing unprecedented consensus to support the end of wars and runaway militarism.

Our “Come Home America” kick-off at the early Iowa Straw Poll event revealed the unique moment our Country is in. What we are all watching is a “perfect storm” of various formerly polarized rationales coming together.

Look for our Come Home America initiative to engage this non-partisan convergence and build momentum.  We’ll continue strengthening the consensus outside many of President Obama’s upcoming speeches as well as at other major political events, throughout the nation. We’ll mount many more banners like those that caught the attention of so many citizens at the Iowa event.

While politicos and bettors talk on and on of choosing between the  “lesser of two evils” one thing is clear: it is real people’s issues not political personalities that matter most.  And promotion of economy-crippling war is the greatest evil for all for our citizens as well as citizens of other countries.

It is the one that contaminates our economy and poisons everything else citizens care about. These issues therefore transcend political party loyalties.

Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent, is a “TIME Person of the Year and recipient of retired CIA officers’ honors for integrity in intelligence.  For uncovering mishandling by the FBI that had delayed the arrest of 9/11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui. Rowley is a peace activist.


  1. Russell
    Posted 30 Sep ’11 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I admire the courage to speak out… to go against the common flow.. that thing we think is common wisdom… so to speak… this site does that… but overlooked in the public debate about how best to remain civilized overlooks the fundamental weakness of American culture.

    It’s based on John Calvin via his disciple Adam Smith… who provided the founding fathers with a “bible” to establish our “civil” religion. Hence, we live in and always have lived in a theocracy based on the “chosen vs. not chosen” social construct implemented by Calvin’s entitlement doctrine of the “chosen” that dictates obedience to free market idealism for Smith’s chosen AKA “entrepreneur.” And thus we are supposed to worship our oligarchs who by their own acclimation, ‘chosen” to enjoy the fruits of this so-called democracy.

    Dan Quayle even addresses that idea… the chosen.. at party fund raisers by declaring the party faithful.. are “God’s chosen” and thus exempt from paying taxes.. which is a transfer of their celestial endowment to the “not chosen’ among us.

    Even presidential candidate John McCain admitted that the only spiritual guide he would take to the Oval office would be Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations in his exercise of running the nation as it’s president. Thus we were never and never can be a nation of equals.. especially to the Republican party which is based upon Calvin’s model.. and thus us “not chosen” have no rights to enjoy the so-called fruits of the free market via assurance that in our old-age, we can have health care and a retirement income to enjoy our senior years.

    We as a nation with an outdated theocratic belief system need to declare the republican party as a subversive organization as it disavows allegiance to the Bill of Rights…. It is time to abandon our collective worship of the oligarchs who rule to profit from our citizenship.

    In summary, as Pogo put it: we have met the enemy and he is us… worshipers of John Calvin.. and his dispensing of human suffering as God’s plan for the not chosen. Any doubts of the veracity of that? Ask Dan Quayle.. any of the Bush family members.. and if still alive, Ronald Reagan.. all devout Calvinists by birth.


  2. Posted 30 Sep ’11 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    The epitome of what you speak, Russell, is probably Mac Hammond’s “prosperity theology”. Have you ever listened to him preach on a Sunday morning how “God blesses those who who are wealthy”? Resounding applause. How their wealth is proof of God’s support if only they will pay for God’s blessing by donating a good percentage back to Mac Hammond?

    The only caveat I would mention is that the false “prosperity theology” is firmly at work in both major political parties.

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