It's Hard To Be a Democrat
September 3, 2004
By Todd Smyth
was checking George Bush's play book the other day for the passages
that say "Steal from the poor and give to the rich because they
know how to dodge their taxes" and "Attack people with depleted
uranium cluster bombs."
But the Bible I have says, "Blessed are the peacemakers," "Love
your enemies," "Heal the sick," "Give to the poor," and "Plead the
cause of the poor and needy."
I thought: Do I have the wrong version? Does Bush have a special
translation? Or... does Bush's simply understand things as the opposite
of what they really mean?
It's hard to be a Democrat because we have to be so many things
to so many different people. We're undisciplined, disorganized,
and we're up against billionaires who don't like to share and don't
play well with others.
These billionaires own the corporations and sit on the boards of
all the major media outlets. They control the message and they use
fear to divide us, so many will vote against their own best interests.
They embrace the uninformed, paranoid and gullible among us, and
they call themselves and their minions Republicans. They are well
funded, organized and unified around the basic emotions of fear
George Bush's chief advisor, Karl Rove, once said: "As people
do better, they start voting like Republicans - unless they have
too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be
too much of a good thing."
Despite the fact that in the last century Democrats performed
better on National Security and the Economy, Republicans have reversed
the general perception. While Republicans won the invasion of Grenada,
Democrats won WWI (Wilson), WWII (FDR/Truman) and Korea (Truman).
While Republicans paid for economic performance with reckless deficit
spending, Democrats created more jobs, increased the stock market
and GNP while doing better at reducing deficit spending, balancing
the budget, and still protecting the poor.
In the past, Republicans have used coded language like the "Soft
Bigotry of Low Expectations," "Welfare Queens," and "Quotas" to
mask their assault on social programs that protect the poor. Pleasant
sounding lies like "Compassionate Conservative" and claiming to
be a "Uniter not a Divider" were used to make the 2000 election
close enough so the Santa Claus of the wealthy could be installed
by the Supreme Court.
George W. Bush has used deceptive language like "No Child Left
Behind" to dismantle funding for education in poor neighborhoods.
He uses doubletalk like "Clear Skies" and "Healthy Forests Initiatives"
to roll back pollution and logging restrictions. All to favor and
maximize profits for super-rich Republican cronies.
Republicans cry "class warfare" when we point out what they do.
Like a pick pocket complaining, you looked at his hands as he robbed
you blind. When the news is bad they blame the "liberal media" even
though they own the companies and sit on the boards that make the
decisions that shape the news. If Al Gore had been president during
the 9/11 attacks and had failed to act on the August 6, 2001 PDB:
"Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" he would have been burned
alive by the same Republican witch hunters that made national scandals
out of Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate and Troopergate.
Republicans wasted $45 million dollars on a four-year persecution
that cleared Bill Clinton of all charges. They had to settle for
a job favor for an intern, while Dick Cheney and Ken Lay were stealing
billions from taxpayers, investors and employees of Halliburton
and Enron by declaring false profits and receiving no-bid contracts
from our government.
While Democrats are not without flaws, the Republican Party is
the one pressing the agenda of the super-rich and powerful. While
these may not be the original ideals of the party, they are a cancer
that has taken over our government. Before you wince too hard, read
the concerns of former presidents who wrote about the threat to
our Democracy of corporate wealth and power.
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our
monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government
to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
- Thomas Jefferson 1816, (U.S. President 1801-09)
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves
me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country... Corporations
have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will
follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong
its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all
wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
- Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 (U.S. President 1861-65)
"This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the
people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations,
and for corporations." - Rutherford B. Hayes, 1876 (U.S. President
"Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures
of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the
people's masters." - Grover Cleveland, 1888 (U.S. President
1885-89 and 1892-96)
"The citizens of the United States must effectively control the
mighty commercial forces which they have themselves called into
being. There can be no effective control of corporations while
their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be
neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done." - Theodore
Roosevelt, 1910 (U.S. President 1901-09)
"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate
the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger
than their democratic State itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt,
1938 (U.S. President 1933-45)
And then it happened. The concerns of our former presidents came
to pass while we were numb to the mutation of Jeffersonian democracy
into a feudal plutocracy where only the very wealthy have reliable
access to political power. There was no need for conspiracy, just
the natural result of mutual self interest and greed, growing unchecked
like mold on our society.
What use to be known as "the rich get richer and the poor get
poorer" is now called a "jobless recovery." Over the last 30 years,
the poor and middle class have been squeezed tighter and tighter
while the wealthy have become filthy rich. The richest 10% in the
US now own over 70% of our total accumulated wealth. In 1970 there
were 190 billionaires and now there are more than 3,100 billionaires
while middle-class jobs are outsourced, work hours increase, income
declines, and poverty has reached an all time high in our country.
Benito Mussolini claimed credit for defining fascism stating: "Fascism
should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a
merger of state and corporate power." In 1938, Mussolini established
the first fascist state by replacing the Italian Parliament with
the "Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni" - the Chamber of Fascist
During World War II the New York Times asked U.S. Vice
President Henry Wallace: What is a fascist and how dangerous are
they in America?"
"The American fascist would prefer not to use violence.
His method is to poison the channels of public information. With
a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to
the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public
into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power."
… "The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate
perversion of truth and fact.
"They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every
liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise,
but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their
final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to
capture political power so that, using the power of the state
and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the
common man in eternal subjection.
"…to crush fascism internally, (democracy) must develop the ability
to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the
budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It
must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit.
We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy
in the form of monopolies and cartels."
Republicans call Democrats "socialists" because it makes them
look less like fascists as they persistently move our country closer
to Mussolini's definition. George Bush has tried to make liberal
a dirty and unpatriotic word when it actually means warmhearted,
generous and freethinking. George Bush has played on our fears,
questioned our patriotism and divided the country with his "with
us or against us" message.
"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the
leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are
being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism,
and exposing the country to greater danger." - Herman Goering
(Testimony from the Nuremberg trials)
George Bush's radical neocon Republicans have spent tens of millions
of dollars to brainwash Americans into believing that John Kerry
and John Edwards have done something wrong when they tried to stop
Bush from stealing from and endangering our children.
Bush has sacrificed public safety, seeking tort reform and relaxed
regulations that would poison the air and water and endanger our
children by producing dangerous products, all to maximize rich Republican
profits. Bush has tried to buy his way out of economic quicksand
with reckless deficit spending that piles up massive debt on our
And here is another item that might surprise you.
Despite common belief, the Boston Tea Party was not a protest
against a tax increase. The Tea Act of 1773, which led to the Boston
Tea Party, was a tax refund and exemption for the East India Company
that actually lowered the price of tea in the colonies. Powerful
members of the British Parliament were heavily connected to the
East India Company which was poised to gain a monopoly over the
American tea trade.
The Boston Tea Party was a protest against corporate corruption
and unfair influence on a corrupt British Parliament - corruption
that pales in comparison to the influence-peddling and war profiteering
that has favored Cheney's Halliburton and Bush Sr.'s Carlyle Group
as a result of the Iraq war. Notice that Ken Lay and Osama bin Laden
are still free while Martha Stewart is going to jail.
Now that Bush has turned over the government in Iraq more than
$8.8 billion is missing from US tax dollars along with more than
$20 billion in Iraqi oil revenue. From Halliburton alone tens of
millions are unaccounted for in overcharges and missing equipment.
Bush is presiding over a fleecing of both the American and the Iraqi
Based on Dick Cheney's blueprint Halliburton offshores their profits
and pays less than 1% in US taxes. They are repeatedly fined by
the SEC for accounting fraud, defrauding the government in overcharges,
price gouging and ignoring health and safety regulations and yet
they continue to receive no-bid sweetheart contracts from George
Bush and Dick Cheney.
Prominent Republicans have publicly stated they want to reduce
government control over private industry. Some have said they want
it small enough that government can be drowned in a bathtub. They
accomplish this by massive deficit spending that racks up the national
debt and weakens our government. It prevents us from enforcing trade,
labor and environmental controls which empowers US corporations
to abuse and exploit people around the world which has led to the
terrorism and hatred we face today.
The terrorists don't hate our freedom. They don't hate our Social
Security or our desire for affordable healthcare, clean air or clean
water. Terrorists hate that our government supports brutal dictatorships
that cooperate with US corporations to abuse and exploit their people.
From their point of view, terrorists and the people who support
them believe that Americans profit at their expense and suffering.
In reality, only a small minority of the wealthiest profit but the
American people are targeted.
George Bush has made this situation much worse by using the war
on terrorism as an excuse to accomplish his agenda. Our reputation
around the world has never been lower and our alliances are weakened.
Before the attacks on 9/11, George Bush did nothing to protect
us from terrorists; demoting his chief counter-terrorism expert
and ignoring warnings from the previous administration. The official
report that named Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda responsible for the
USS Cole bombing came out two months before Bush took office, but
he did nothing to pursue the growing threat.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz criticized Bill Clinton
for his obsession with Osama bin Laden. Despite repeated warnings
John Ashcroft told his people he didn't want to hear any more about
After 9/11 Bush turned the world against us by insulting our allies
and misleading the world into a war for his own re-election and
war profiteering. He sent our troops to war unprepared and poorly
equipped. He failed to pursue Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and
turned to invade the one country in the Middle East that had the
fewest ties with al Qaeda.
Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt all
had significant ties and contact with al Qaeda and Islamic Jihad.
Iraq is a secular country and had the fewest ties with al Qaeda
of all the Islamic countries in the Middle East. But Iraq had the
second largest oil reserves in the world and once he got access
to that oil George Bush announced "Mission Accomplished."
George Bush fulfilled Osama bin Laden's wildest dreams by invading
a country in the Middle East. With no one held accountable for the
widespread abuse and torture of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Bush has further outraged 1.4 billion Muslims
around the world against the United States. Bush has increased the
number of al Qaeda terrorists from 3,000 in 2001 to more than 18,000
We found no weapons of mass destruction. There was never any connection
between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks. There were no mobile
labs or stock piles of biological or chemical weapons. There was
no uranium or aluminum tubes intended for nuclear weapons. There
were no unmanned aerial drones that could be launched within 45
minutes resulting in a mushroom cloud on US soil. These were some
of the lies that were told to the American people by the Bush administration.
Tony Blair has now admitted that the claim of 400,000 mass graves
in Iraq was exaggerated. They have only found about 5,000 bodies
which correlate to the uprising after the first Gulf War when Bush
Sr. encouraged the people of Iraq to overthrow Saddam but then failed
to back them up and they were slaughtered.
In a global war on terror, you can not win without the support
of the global community. And in a global economy you can't get ahead
by pissing off the global part of that equation. Democrats engage
our allies not because it's easy but because it's the smart way
to fight terrorism and grow a healthy economy. Democrats balance
the budget because it makes our democracy stronger and more efficient.
"Peace cannot be kept by force - it can only be achieved
by understanding" - Albert Einstein
It requires effort to think of others first, keep an open mind
and include everyone. Democrats don't use God as an excuse to ignore
science; we thank God for the science he gives us to perform miracles
like healing the sick and feeding the poor. We are thankful for
the science that warns us about global warming and tells us why
missile defense won't work. We are skeptical when Bush and Cheney
ignore the same science because it benefits Halliburton and their
cronies. We don't have much faith in the benevolence of corporate
generosity or trickle down economics. Democrats don't try to take
God's place by legislating discrimination into the Constitution
in God's name.
It's hard to be a Democrat because you have to go up to people
you don't know and beg them to register to vote, volunteer and donate
money. Republicans just scrub Democrats from the voter rolls. We
Democrats are fighting to restore our democracy on a field that
is rigged against us. It's easier to hate your enemies, insult your
allies, ignore the poor and ignore science because the alternatives
are complex and difficult. And that is why it's hard to be a Democrat.