Sunday, February 20, 2011

Warm Hats Not Hot Heads, or Back To Political Activism

You know, for a girl who grew up in the 60's and came of age in the 70's I'm a total failure. We left Ohio before Kent State. My first visit to Haight-Ashbury was two years ago. I wasn't at Woodstock. I didn't participate in many other aspects of the 60's resulting in my being the antithesis of my friend's declaration - "If you remember the sixties, you weren't there."  I guess I wasn't there.

In fact, my sole foray into political activism was two years ago and was a total bust It resulted in my becoming, at the tender age of 53, a confirmed independant. I've yet to meet a political party I can deal with, let alone agree with.

Now anybody who has made more than a cursory glance at this blog has probably figured out that I love to knit.  (That has more to do with Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams than with any back-to-basics movement.) I've knit for charity. I've knit hats for the military.  I've knit hats for chemo patients, both those I know and those I don't. But one day last week, I decided to poke my nose back into the political arena by knitting a hat. Please welcome onto the stage, folks, Warm Hats Not Hot Heads.

So what is WHNHH? A simple way of saying enough is enough; of saying cut the argument, name-calling, divisiveness, and pass-the-buck-ism. How?  By knitting a hat. Knitting a hat for every Senator and Congressman we have.  So here I am, knitting a hat for my Congressman.

Well, okay, not MY Congressman.  My buddy - the one who introduced me to this whole movement snagged my Congressman before I got a chance to.  Both Senators were taken by the time we figured out that we were both in the same district - it's a long story. So I'm knitting for Congressman Lamar Smith - my Congressman before I moved.

Dear Congressman Smith:

Hi, I’m Debbi. I was once your constituent, but I've since moved out of your district. I do remember you, though, and voted for you. As I'm sure you've figured out by now, I'm a knitter. I’ve knit hats for chemo patients, hats for the military, and hats for anybody else who asks. But now I'm knitting a hat for you.  You've probably noticed that quite a few of your colleagues have received similar hats. All these hats have been knit by people who have two things in common - we love to knit and we want to make a difference in our world by encouraging rational dialogue.

The beautiful thing about this movement, it seems to me, is that it applies to everyone equally. It matters not on which side of the aisle you sit. It’s a way of bearing witness to the divisiveness that threatens us all. Abraham Lincoln was truly right. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Of course I hope you like the hat and that it keeps you warm. But what I would really like you to do is to keep it on your desk to remind you, whenever the going gets tough and the harsh words fly, that you have a responsibility to your constituents (and to us all) not to take the low road of anger and discord, but to take the high road of respect and reasoned dialogue.

With best wishes,


  1. Wonderful! And I really like the hat.

  2. Thank you! I'm probably going to sneak one of these hats in for myself! I really like the pattern and it's such a pleasure to knit.