I Stay Or Should I Go?
By David Rothschild
the last few weeks, I have come to believe that the 2004 election
is one of the most important elections in our history, not
necessary because of the potential for great good by our nominee
(although that is important), but because of the guarantee
of great harm by an out-of-control regime that will become
even more dangerous backed by the legitimacy of an election
There are a litany of ways, big and small, that George II
has traded the good of the country for short-term economic
gain. The regime has assaulted government regulations against
industry like no previous administration has either dared
to - or would even want to - since Teddy Roosevelt spearheaded
government oversight of business and the environment. While
rich businessmen have been given the green-light to continue
deceiving and stealing from their shareholders (Enron), their
workers (American Airlines), and the citizens (Halliburton),
other rich businessmen have been doing real well destroying
priceless natural resources for their short term economic
Following current trends, after eight years of Republican
control, tens of millions fewer Americans will have healthcare
than the day the regime began. That does not even delve into
the declining breadth of coverage for those who retain healthcare.
The poorly constructed education plan remains an unfunded
mandate (do I need to say more?)
Yet, three other assaults on the American Dream harden my
resolve for change even more.
First, there is the regime's reckless pursuit of upper-class
tax cuts, in the face of overwhelming condemnation by economists
and skepticism by the American people. This policy threatens
the solvency of the American government (as well as condemning
the less fortunate 99% of American citizens). How large a
debt can this country carry? 10 trillion dollars? 100 trillion
dollars? Every year we contribute a higher and higher percentage
of our budget to paying off interest on the debt, the dollar
is falling next the Euro, and we are reaching the point of
no return in regard to controlling the debt's growth.
Furthermore, we are returning to "Voodoo Economics,"
the same policy that in the 1980s opened larger and larger
economic gaps between rich and poor. How is Dick Cheney's
$350,000 tax cut going put food on the plates of an unemployed
families in Arkansas or give a booster shot to an uninsured
baby in Washington? I know the theory, but it makes it seem
all the more ridiculous when you think of it in personal terms.
How are we going to keep the after school programs running,
the libraries open, and the emergency rooms fully staffed?
Second, John Ashcroft has redefined the boundaries of how
the federal government can intrude into the private lives
of Americans. I will not bother to expand upon the countless
hypocrisies in the way that the federal government takes the
time to arrest medicinal marijuana users in California but
allows the states to "deal" with less pressing issues
of civil rights. Along with the attacks on abortion rights
and the federally funded building of churches, they are all
connected to George Bush's new outlook on controlling the
morality of America. I could write a book on the issue, but
I will sum it up with the book's title I am Scared the
Government Will Bug My Phone and Spy on Me, Because I am Writing
About All of the Harm It is Doing to My Country.
Finally, our foreign policy can best be described as one
big photo-op designed to make the President look good at the
expense of our safety and security. (I cannot wait to see
the television ad of W's tailhook landing; some things money
cannot buy, other things are bought and paid for by the American
public.) We need to send in the Peace Corps and humanitarian
aid - void of puritanical stipulations about healthcare -
not the Calvary. If we continue to disregard how our actions
have pissed of the rest of the world, it is only a matter
of time before we are hit again. We need to concentrate on
the War on Terror by eliminating the leaders and their grievances.
Until the grievances disappear, they will continue to generate
two new terrorists for every one we kill.
On Election Day 2004 the white folks in suburban St. Louis
will wait five minutes to use a fancy voting machine while
the black folks in East St. Louis may wait up to 3-4 hours
to have a chance at voting using an oft-broken old voting
machine. The country that demands and expects (although does
not nurture, read Afghanistan) democracy will once again make
a mockery of it. If you are looking for a simple reason to
doubt the sincerity of the current government, be "shocked
and awed" that they have failed to replace the faulty
voting mechanism that allowed them to come to power!
I have faith that we can restore legitimacy to our government
and our country, and that is why this election is so important.
That is why I decided, late last week, not to leave the country
and join the Peace Corps. I needed to be here to march in
the streets, to speak in the papers, and to do everything
I can to take back my country's institutions, its laws, and
its humanity. Get angry, volunteer, talk to your friends,
register, and register your neighbors. This election will
affect the country for the rest of your life.