October 18, 2004

A Nation That Has Lost its Way

from - smijer

I have a knot in my stomach, after reading this MSNBC piece touting a Bush lead in three of four polls. Now, I don't think these leads are necessarily an accurate reflection of the state of the race right now. For one, they left out the Rasmussen tracking poll which agrees with Zogby that the race is even and moving toward Kerry. For another, I've looked at some of the internals involved, as well as state polls, and the numbers aren't convincingly Bush. The real problem is that there is a race at all.

In 1968, after Johnson led the nation into a disastrous, illegal, and unnecessary war in Vietnam, he made the famous statement, "I shall not seek, nor will I accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President." If Americans now were as thoughtful and aware as we were then, we can be certain that Bush would have no chance at re-election.

Our leaders have made our homeland into a vigilante state, above the law, above reason, and above accountability. I know that Bush isn't the first to do so, but he is the first to do so without apology and without an attempt to conceal his purpose. I remember him telling us in the 2000 debates that he felt America should be humble but strong. Now, he is using millions of dollars of campaign money to tell us that America should be arrogant, and that arrogance is strength. This, perhaps, will be our undoing. Because, until now, America's people have never believed that. Now, to an unprecedented degree, Americans are beginning to believe that America's power is fit for use indiscriminately, without regard to the well-being of the world, or the legality or justice of our action. Now the "ends" (which are supposedly to "keep us safe") justify any means.

Bush often brags that he will not give anyone veto power over the United States' ability to defend itself. But, when he says "defend", he really means attack without provocation. Now, any military action that the leaders of the U.S. choose to undertake is a means that is justified under that umbrella goal of "keeping us safe". The ironic thing is that this sort of military overreach, this sort of hubris and unaccountability is exactly what will make the world the most dangerous for us. Our military is mired in a conflict from which there is no exit, and our enemies multiply and gain legitimacy from our arrogance.

One time, Americans really knew that the ends do not justify the means. One time, Americans respected the rule of law. That political awareness is being eroded, successfully, by the President of the United States and his re-election campaign. Our nation has lost its way. Let us all hope that we will repudiate our mistakes and once again join the world of reason and justice before it is too late. On November second, let us cast our votes for John Kerry, or Michael Baradnik, or Michael Peroutka, or even (heaven forbid) Ralph Nader. Let us tell the world that unthinking agression against all Arabs is not something the American people will stand for.


Posted by smijer at October 18, 2004 01:53 PM

I wouldn't worry too much about polls right now. Sometimes I think we are given these results just so everybody will stay tuned in. Coming to work this morning the radio announcer assured me that all polls showed the race as being dead even. Tomorrow Kerry will have a 3 point lead and the next day Bush will have a 5 point lead. Once every four years the people are lead to believe that they have a say in their government. You have to keep the races interesting at least. My prediction is that neither candidate will get 50% of the popular vote but Bush will win with 284 electoral votes. I'll just be glad when this is over.

univar.jpg Posted by Buck on October 19, 2004 09:46 AM
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