"A Force of Nature" Molly Ivins

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No, indeed, we are not all Molly. We didn't graduate from the Columbia University journalism school, and be among the first women writers at The New York Times for six years during the 1970's. We're not all feared, and lionized by former, and present presidents. Not even a fraction of us possess her uncanny sense of timing, determination, and indomitable wit.

Molly was one of two or three women columnists that people know, and read, in this country. which, in and of itself, makes her a force of nature. And, few of us possess the grace, heartand courage, in the last weeks of an eight year struggle with cancer, tothink about inspiring those we leave behind to take to the streets with pots and pans to speak out against the two-bit euphemism this president calls a "surge." "We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it, now!'" Molly wrote in her column last month. Indeed, even a president who shows no greater love for the press than he does for truth, openness, and justice felt compelled to read a statement of tribute to one whose motto was "give them hell."

More people succumb to fear than cancer and, though cancer may have taken Molly, she never gave in to fear. She spoke from her heart, with the kind of passion, and fire that move those for whom the words truth and justice still resonate to express only awe.

While she didn't make an issue of it, Molly worked hard to earn our respect, and she deserves nothing less.Betterthan anyone else I can think of, sheshowedhow taking oneself seriously is the refuge of fools, yet she was, in the best sense of the word, one of the most serious, and significant political commentators ofher times. There is only one Molly, she paid a high price to be who she was, and even the devil would surrender his seat to her.

Alas, we aren't all Molly Ivins; would that we were, but we can aspire to have her moxie,and defiance of defeat, as well as stand up for what we know is right and, in doing so, honor her memory.

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