Tim Carpenter seemed unstoppable. He was part of the WarIsACrime website from day 1, when its name was AfterDowningStreet. He was part of activism in this country from long before that. He was an organizer, a lobbyist, a rabble rouser, and a talker.
The cell phone never left his ear, but that didn’t prevent him talking to you in person, and getting in more words per minute — and all of them right to the point — than an auctioneer. His emails were shorter, often a few words, or a single word. Often that word was “Teamwork!”
But they made up for brevity in the sheer number of them. If anyone could make the current U.S. system of government work by combining electioneering and lobbying with street demonstrations, it was going to be Tim — and sometimes he did, sometimes he nudged things in the right direction. I came to the conclusion sometime back that the system needed far more radical repairs, and that the catalyst would have to come from outside of it. But if there were 2 or 3 or 4 more Tim Carpenters in this country, I’d be willing to reconsider.
And if they were healthy, I’d be willing to bet the farm on them. Tim struggled with health issues that would have sidelined lesser souls, and did so without slowing down. It’s hard to believe he really left us today, not just because of the presence he was, but because he seemed to have nine lives. Let’s hope the movements he advanced for peace and justice prove as resilient, and that they can be carried on, in whatever form becomes most strategic, in his memory.