During the past two years, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan’s motives have been challenged, her intelligence has been questioned and her daily existence has come under increasingly close scrutiny. The former Vacaville woman has been called everything from a saint to a seditionist.
More recently, critics have charged that Sheehan is nothing more than a senseless pawn being used by the news media.
(You know, the liberal, left-wing media that wants to overthrow the federal government and turn the nation into a socialist anarchy where we’ll have abortion clinics in every convenience market? Yeah, that news media…)
Man, how did they ever figure it out? I thought we had the Cindy Sheehan Project pretty well covered up. Now I guess it’s all over.
How well I remember those halcyon days when we, the media elite, would get up bright and early each morning to plan what we’d have Cindy Sheehan do on any given day.
“Let’s, like, have her camp out down near the president’s ranch and raise a lot of hell and stuff and embarrass George Bush and disrupt traffic. How about that?” a Southern California wire service chief would suggest.
“And after that, she can stage a one-woman march on Columbus, Ohio. That’s never been done before,” a newspaper editor from North Dakota would chime in.”
Hey, what about one of those protests like they have in Marin, where everybody gets naked and then stretches out to spell ‘Peace’ or ‘Mellow’ or something? Those are always good for plenty of ink,” a bright-eyed paperboy from St. Louis would propose.
Sad as it seems, though, those meetings never happened. As powerful and misguided as it is, the news media has never been able to manipulate Cindy Sheehan.
Think about it, if the White House can’t influence Cindy Sheehan, what chance does the news media have? Cindy Sheehan is a rugged individualist who does what Cindy Sheehan wants to do and stands firmly behind her beliefs, no matter how unpopular they may be with some segments of society.
Persistent rumors that Cindy Sheehan was somehow being used by one or more nebulous socio-political groups used to puzzle me, but I think I know why they crop up from time to time.
We live in a nation where an individual taking a stand, putting everything on the line, is somewhat of an oddity. Most of us are content to sit back, perhaps slap a yellow ribbon magnet on our cars or pin a discreet peace sign on our lapels and be done with it.
Vote? Hey, we’ve got better things to do.
The least motivated young Mormon missionary shows more personal commitment than the great majority of us.
So when a lone woman steps up to take on the powers that be, we desperately look for some reason other than the fact that she might simply have the courage of her convictions.
As for the news media using Cindy Sheehan, we don’t have an ice cube’s chance in hell…
Originally published March 26, 2006