A while back, I had been wondering what had happened to my favorite columnist, and why her columns hadn't been on Working For Change much. I've been following Molly Ivins' columns faithfully ever since I was a teenager, so I knew of her struggles with breast cancer. I had feared the worst back then. Today I found out I was right: Molly Ivins passed away today at the age of only 62.
Liberals loved Molly Ivins' columns for her effective juxtaposition of humor and ass-kicking fury. Conservatives probably frothed at the mouth -- I know I've read more than one angry letter to the editor after one of her columns. Ivins lost her fiance during the Vietnam War and has been a virulent opponent of war and violence of all stripes ever since, from Gulf War I to the war on Iraq, even extending to the assault on Waco and the so-called "War on Drugs" (which, as she so astutely pointed out, was really just an extension of the Cold War by people who just couldn't seem to stop fighting the damn thing). In her columns, she envisioned a governement that was less corrupt, that served all people equally, and that was run for the people and not for big business.
Yet she never failed to charge each of her readers with the responsibility of making that happen. She reminded us over and over again that a democracy needs an involved citizenship. She was always encouraging us to get off our asses for one reason or another, whether it was to vote, to protest, to write letters to our elected officials, to run for office ourselves, to get involved with campaigning, or to encourage others to do the same.
In her memory tonight, I'd like to encourage all of my readers to do the same. Even the conservative ones are invited to celebrate the life of a great American voice. Is there something about our government or our society that's been pissing you off? I invite you, for Molly, to do something about it in the next few days. Write an elected official. Write to the newspaper. Join an organization dedicated to fighting the thing that's pissing you off. It doesn't have to be anything huge. If it aggravates the absolute hell out of you that there's no stoplight STILL at the dangerous intersection in town, go out and get a bunch of your neighbors together and show up at a town board meeting. Get involved. Be one of the good ones. And come here and tell me about what you do.