Many of you, I am sure, have read that interesting and arresting story by Washington Irving titled “Rip Van Winkle.”
The main idea of the story was Rip slept for 20 years. On his way to the mountaintop, Rip passed an inn featuring a picture of King George of England. When Rip came down 20 years later, the same sign posted a picture of George Washington, the first president of the United States.
When Rip noticed the picture of George Washington, he was truly amazed because he knew not who George was. This reveals that one of the most striking things about this story was not so much Rip sleeping for 20 years, but he slept through a revolution.
Yes, while he was peacefully snoring on the mountaintop, a great revolution was taking place, a revolution that would change the face of the Earth. But Rip knew absolutely nothing about it because he was fast asleep.
One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people find themselves sleeping through great periods of social change and they fail to achieve the mental attitudes that the new changes demand. And in a real sense, there is nothing more tragic than to sleep through a revolution.
Certainly, a revolution is going on in our nation today. Our friends across the aisle seemingly are only interested in Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS, massive tax breaks for the 1 percent and the super rich, repealing the Affordable Care Act (even though 8.5 million have signed up and most have paid premiums,) and investigating voter fraud (even though there has not been any widespread accounts in any of the 50 states or Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Grand Ole Party seems to have little to no interest in raising the minimum wage to a living wage, extending unemployment benefits, passing the Jobs Act (which would produce hundreds of thousands of jobs almost immediately), global and climate changes (which humans are inescapably involved), and passing immigration reform.
In my opinion, my party, the Democratic Party, should be steadfast, vigilant and continue to register as many potential voters as possible to elect candidates who will serve our causes. To remain awake through this great revolution, we must be vocal, aggressive and willing to dedicate the time and service in order to win the elections in 2014 and 2016.
Robert E. Cordell Sr.