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It Happened Here
July 19, 2001
by FDRLincoln

"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 I cannot.

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.


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