July 19, 2001
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the
stormy present. As our case is new, so we must think anew
and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall
save our country." - Abraham Lincoln
"This election was decided by the voters of Florida a
long time ago. And the nation, the president and all but the
most partisan Americans have moved on." - Ari Fleischer
It happened here. Move on, we are told. The election is over.
Bush won. No one cares anymore. Get over it.
I cannot get over it. It happened here.
An election was stolen in broad daylight. About this there
is no longer any question. Hundreds of illegal overseas ballots,
lacking minor legalities like postmarks and signatures, were
counted in Florida. But only in counties controlled by the
GOP. Counties controlled by the Democrats actually obeyed
the law and threw most of those ballots out. It happened here.
The governor of the state of Florida sent absentee ballots
to Republicans. Democrats and independents received no such
mailing. The mailing itself contained a letter bearing the
governor's Seal of Office. According to Florida law, the Seal
cannot be used for partisan purposes. This is called breaking
the law. It happened here.
GOP consultants set up shop in the office of the Secretary
of State during the entire election controversy, plotting
strategy, even after she recused herself from being involved
with the Bush campaign. At a minimum this is highly unethical.
It happened here.
A Florida canvassing official admitted that, due to GOP pressure,
her board accepted some ballots that would have been rejected
in other years. "I think the rules were bent," said
Ann Kaylor, to the New York Times, "Technically, they
were not supposed to be accepted. Any canvassing board that
says they weren't under pressure is being less than candid."
Bending voting rules is called fraud. Pressuring officials
is illegal. It happened here.
Thousands of people in Florida, most of them minorities who
usually vote Democratic, were thrown off the voter rolls because
they were felons. The fact that most of them WEREN'T felons
was apparently a secondary consideration for the people who
approved the plan. It happened here.
We finally had a coup in this country. Through a variety
of means, including voter intimidation, counting illegal ballots
in GOP areas, the surpression of vote counting in Democratic
areas, "pressuring" public officials, illegal absentee ballot
drives, and near-riots conducted by paid congressional staffers,
we had a coup. It happened here.
The man occupying the White House is not the legitimate President
of the United States. It is more than outrageous; it is a
betrayal of everything that stands sacred in our country.
I'm sorry, Ari Fleischer, but I can't "move on." To forget
what happened, and to accept what your party did would be
to make myself complicit in the destruction of our Country,
our Democracy, our Republic. The media may ignore it. Most
of the population may go about their daily lives, oblivious
to the criminal regime that occupies the White House. But
What can we, as individuals, do? Resist. Organize. Protest.
If you can't donate your time, donate your money. Support
the Democratic party and all other lobbying organizations
which oppose the GOP. Talk with your friends and neighbors,
especially those who are moderate Republicans or John McCain
supporters. Remind them of what happened, of the way repugnant
way Bush treated McCain in South Carolina. Point out the illegalities
of what happened in Florida. If they ask you to move on, say
"I can't. I'm a patriotic American. Aren't you?"
It happened here. But it must not happen again. We must disenthrall
ourselves, tear the curtain of lies down, expose the rottenness
at the core of the modern Republican party. If we fail to
do so, we will be no better than the people of the Weimar
Republic, who let their Democracy be stolen from them with
nary a whimper, standing condemned before the altar of history.
We are not partisans, Mr. Fleischer. We are patriots.