By Clyde Davis
What do July 4, 1776 in the eastern colonies and July 4, 2005 in Clovis have in common? At first glance, not much, except the date and heat that is borderline unbearable. We might even say worlds apart.
Look again, however, and we can see some similarities. In each case, we can dervive an experiential glimpse of democracy in action. In the example from 230 years ago, we saw a group of people fighting for that democracy. In our town we see a group of people giving that hardearned democracy their best shot by trying to save an air base which is crucial to the area and, I for one honestly believe, tactically significant as well.
Did you go to the BRAC hearing last Friday? Were you proud of the job that was done by our elected leaders, and by the men and women who have taken on the task of presenting our case? I was.
I cannot imagine the hours of research, coordination, and even practicing the presentation which went into the hearing. I do know, however, that as one newspaper promo stated, we were experiencing democracy in action. The whole thing, as most of you understand, is a vivid example of checks and balances: the DOD cannot unilaterally decide which bases are to be closed. In other words, we acknowledge that even the experts can be wrong.
I hope you have written your letters. If you have not, it is not too late. In fact, the race isn’t yet over. Just because the hearing has been held is not an allowance to let up on our efforts to keep CAFB open.
Continue to lobby. The data is still being collected and your voice can still be heard.
Pray. Ultimately the Divine One will decide on the courses of human action. Pray not only for our base and town, but for other small towns (i.e., Groton, Conn., which is a wonderful little town) as they wage similar campaigns.
Do not listen to the negative voices. Consider the source.
Are they community leaders, Air Force or National Guard/retired officers, senior NCO’s, people who have experienced much of life and contribute heavily to this community and CAFB? Well, you can answer that for yourself.
Stay informed. We have less than three months to keep our nose to the grindstone and make this a priority in terms of listening and acting based on that information. It’s a well known truism that you can stand anything for a while, and that includes standing the ability to keep focused. A lot of people have been well trained to guide us in this “scrimmage,” if we let them.
Remember we will survive. Whatever happens is what the Divine deems best for Clovis, and our military. That is an article of faith, nothing I can prove, but I really believe it. Let’s keep working at this.
Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at: