It’s been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The success of the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s bright yellow LIVESTRONG bracelets (I wear one myself) have spawned a host of imitators, none of them even remotely close to experiencing comparable success. To date, something like 31 MILLION LIVESTRONG bracelets have been sold at $1 apiece. Now, everyone from athletic teams to other charities have jumped on the bandwagon. I suppose it was just a matter of time before cheap plastic bracelets took on a political tone.
You can now buy two different blue bands and a black one to protest George W. Bush. There is also a red band available for those who support Bush. In my mind, all of this is a highly pointless, though somewhat entertaining exercise. Personally, I would have no problem with wearing a blue anti-Bush bracelet. I am angry enough that, in a moment of weakness, I may just order one. Still, I am realistic enough to recognize the futility of such a gesture.
If one wants to effect change, outward physical manisfestations will ultimately accomplish nothing. If it is change you’re after, you have to work for it. Organize, write, wheedle, cajole, whine- whatever it is you can do to greatest effect. Change will happen when we can convince a majority of Americans that they need to make better choices when it comes to casting their votes. How do we do that? By coming up with better idea, better ways to communicate those ideas, and better, more articulare candidates. Until we can come up with better representatives of our ideals than John Kerry, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, Democrats will continue to be the Loyal (and ineffective) Opposition. Blue rubber wristbands will get us no closer to achieving our goals, though some us may feel a bit more chic.
Fashion statements are no substitute for the hard work that will be needed to once again reach the top of the mountain. Unless and until we can recognize that, we will go nowhere.