Sunday, September 26, 2021

What 9/11 taught me – Oak Park

Barbara Jean Lee was only in Congress for three years when she stood before her visibly disgruntled colleagues to explain her opposition to the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. Lee, of Oakland, was the only member of the House or Senate (there are 535) to vote against the authorization. 

“Now this resolution will pass, although we all know that the President can wage a war even without it,” she said. “However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint. Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, let’s step back for a moment. Let’s just pause, just for a minute and think through the implications of our actions today, so that this does not spiral out of control.”

When Lee spoke, her voice trembled and cracked with emotion. She nonetheless kept her composure, although the effort was barely visible (controlled breaths; an even, almost motherly tone; hand gestures for effect). 

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