Jackie in the News
So Much Goodness in One Story: Giving Away a Purple Heart
By Upper West
Rep. Jackie Speier was shot five times in Jonestown in 1978. Former Rep. 'Pete' McCloskey, wounded twice in Korea, thought she should have been recognized — so he gave her one of his Purple Hearts.
So begins an LA Times Story.
In the midst of such frustrating and often depressing news, a story like this shines like a hopeful distant light that will grow brighter as it approaches.
(Before I continue, in addition to reading this Diary, please take Mokurai's advice and spread Gottavote.org far and wide - Facebook, Linked in, emails. It's essential to fight the Voter ID threat.)
Back to McCloskey -- What do I love about this story? (found through Pierce.)
A short list:
1. The lovely gesture itself by former Rep. McCloskey, who said of Spier, "She is pure. She's a true public servant inside and out."
2. The generational "passing of the torch" from the older to the younger.
3. The recognition that bravery need not just be for wartime exploits.
4. The reminder that there were once moderate and sane Republicans like McCloskey (who finally changed parties in 2007).
5. The stark contrast between McCloskey's Purple Heart gesture and the nauseating displays of "purple heart bandaids" at the 2004 Republican convention.
6. Speier's ordeal and recovery to be elected herself to Congress:
Jackie Speier was a 28-year-old staffer who accompanied then-Rep. Leo Ryan to Guyana in 1978 to investigate Jim Jones and his People's Temple for alleged human rights abuses. Their entourage was ambushed as they shuttled defectors onto an airplane, and Speier was shot five times as she lay on the jungle tarmac in a polka-dot dress. She waited 22 hours for help. Ryan was killed.
7. The grace and selflessness of a (former) Republican in the face of that party's surrender to hate, greed and racism.