I’ve never been so proud of being an American as I was the past week when some forty members of the Senate held an unprecedented filibuster and it was followed up by Congressional Democrats who took the House Chamber hostage for a“sit-in” protest against our nation’s inability to halt the sale of high-powered weapons now being used for mass destruction.
One of my all-time favorite movies is “Mister Smith Goes to Washington.” It stars Jimmy Stewart as the naïve new senator who learns of corruption in politics. Members of his own party, of his own state, have been bamboozling Americans for years and Mr. Smith can do nothing but use the rules of the Senate to bring attention to this hurtful action. He stages a filibuster and is vindicated by the end of the show.
A young senator from Connecticut, Chris Murphy, led a similar filibuster getting help from his colloquies in a protest against the Senate’s inability to pass gun regulations in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. He succeeded in getting a vote even though it failed. It showed the country where each elected government official stood in reference to the “No Fly, No Buy” bill in hopes that voters would remember it in the November election.
Yesterday, Congressional members of the Democratic Party hearkened back to the revolutionary days of the 1960s and conducted a “sit-in.” They took over the Congressional chamber and refused to leave, breaking rules of Congress in what was a clear act of civil disobedience.
The protest is on-going as I write this. I cried a little when I saw Congressman John Lewis lead the action. He’s the African American leader who marched against discrimination some 50 years ago and helped to show all of us that the voice of protest is still alive today.
What struck me however, were the individual voices of Congress members as they appeared live on C-Span 3. I cried when a representative from North Carolina spoke of a young woman from his state killed at the Pulse Nightclub.
I also wept when seeing Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts read a letter from a woman whose husband was shot and killed by a lone gunman about a year ago. Her husband tried to save the life of a woman brought into a hospital, but she died in the emergency room. The embittered son blamed the doctor for the loss and went to the hospital and killed the physician.
His widow had been unable to sleep properly since then, she wrote. She has had nightmares where she sees the gunman approach her husband and chase after him causing indescribable fear in him during the last moments of his life.
Yes, I was proud of these protests. I was proud of the men and women in our Congress who staged such a public outcry against the NRA’s threatening hold against our elected officials. I was proud that we the people can hear their protest and know in our hearts that “a change is gonna come!”
“Oh, yes it will!”
I never saw this movie I’ll have to watch it😀
You’re in for a real treat!
Jean Arthur stole my heart away as she did it with Jimmy Stewart in the movie.
My favorite tv lawyer is pm.
P.m. Would that be Perry Mason?
He’s on at 9 am and 11:30 every day😀
My favorite all-time movie lawyer was Jimmy Stewart in “The Anatomy of a Murder.” He represents an army lieutenant charged with killing a man who had just raped his wife.
There is a classic scene when meeting Ben Gazzara in the jail cell, and Jimmy, “just an ole country lawyer,” advises the defendant of the three ways to “try” the case. It is the truest scene I ever saw about a lawyer dealing with a client.
More importantly, it worked! The man playing the judge, a Mr. Joe Welch, was a real lawyer and is famous for confronting Sen. Joe McCarthy in the 1950s when McCarthy attacked one of his fellow lawyers.
“Have You No Sense of Decency?” Welch asked in what has become one of the greatest lines in American history. McCarthy was eventually censured by Congress for his red-baiting of alleged Communist sympathizers, and he died shortly after being forced out of office.
Jimmy Stewart also highlighted another favorite movie when tried to kill himself until an angel — named Clarence — showed him what a “Wonderful Life” he had as a banker in the fictional town of Bedford Falls. Jimmy’s life is saved, and he is reunited with Donna Read and they lived happily ever after getting the angel his wings
I agree that the Senate and the House of Representatives have brought glory and compassion back to our government. We will see improvement and changes in the future and we owe it all to brave men and women who protested in the halls of Congress!
Yes, we will overcome as the old Gospel and labor union song indicates. It may take a little more time, but “the times they are a changin!”