Perhaps this will seem a bit over the top to a lot of people, but I am sorry that our election was not what I was hoping it would be. I felt it was a chance to show that we value our place as a respected member of the world scene. Now I have other realities to face.
It would seem as though the people of America were pretty well divided among the followers of Bush and Kerry, but Bush had a lot more momentum. I am now wrestling with the idea that they surely did not understand what this election told the world. Surely they were just misinformed on what has really transpired with our government.
Instead I am left with a sinking feeling that democracy is on the decline. I know that is unpatriotic of me to say, but I can not overcome this feeling that elections are no longer based on what issues the candidates stand for, but how much they can mud sling their opponent. Surely journalists and others would look at me and be amazed at my naivety on the subject, but this is a problem that America has to quit just talking about. The people of America gripe and complain about the lies and backstabbing involved in politics, yet they will not allow their voices to be heard.
This is a democracy; if we the people do not stand up and voice our opinions in the government, then who will? What amazes me is that the "interest groups" that were helping in the elections focused purely on running the other candidate down, not with the actual interests of the American people. So, if by interest groups we mean in the interest of those in power, then I say it is time to replace their defunct institutions.
President Bush rode into the White House on a white horse of anti-abortion, anti-homosexuality and anti-terrorism. Yet, there was no discussion on his anti-education, anti-economic and anti-environmental issues. Somehow these were parried with the ease of a skilled fencer. This was due to people suppressing the facts and the horrible state of inner turmoil by focusing on the outside issues. I would really like to make sure that people can understand it is OK to be afraid of terrorism; it is OK to question the government and it is OK to stand up and make your voice heard. This is not a totalistic state. We are a democracy. It is time that people band together and start acting like one.
I recently read an article on a reporter for the "New York Times," who was sent to jail based on the fact that she would not reveal her sources of information about an article that she did not even write. Secondly, during the election I witnessed people being arrested by the Secret Service (they can only really be ordered by the president ... right?) for wearing anti-Bush shirts at a pro-Bush rally. From the tapes I watched, they did not even disrupt the ongoing rally with obscenities or shouting. They just showed up wearing a shirt and were arrested.
Please, America, look for yourselves and find it within yourselves to give rebirth to the democratic lifestyle that our forefathers envisioned for us. Let us revive the America that George Washington and his followers fought for. Surely in this day and age it is hard to remember the spirit that these men had to allow us a free society. Please do not disgrace their sacrifices and the sacrifices of the mothers, wives and children of Colonial America by allowing these atrocities to continue.
Have we really allowed ourselves to believe that our way of life is so great that it can not be taken away from us? Did we not learn from the oversights of the government what not being prepared for an attack on America can lead to? What I would like to see is a resurgence of Americans that are concerned not with how much money they make per year, or how much power over others they can garner, but Americans that believe the only way we can be free to live our lives to the fullest of our ability is to make sure that we are properly represented in government by officials that will hold the interests of America close to them.
What I propose is a revolution in the terms of democracy. Citizens write your congressmen, your senators, even the president. Demand the ideals that we once held be honored, the government works for the people of America, not the other way around. We are allowed our voice, be it through journalism or the clothes we wear. We are allowed a president that will not fool us with falsehoods and slander. This I urge to both parties. Give Americans a man that will truly work for the rights and betterment of American citizens. We are the concern for you. Do not look away from our mounting social, economical and environmental problems in preference of a country that will never stop fighting among itself.
Do what is right for your children and grandchildren. Look into the fact that being president does not mean you invade a country with a dictator and look away as your people suffer. Citizens look into the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act and see for yourselves how this law can strip away your freedom of speech. I can be arrested as a terrorist for writing a call to strengthen democracy. How can that work? Ask yourselves how can that be feasible? A lot of the people that I have talked to about this article, have advised me not to print it, because I will disappear. They tell me that I have children to think about, and I argue that they are the reason I have to say these things.
I am not sure what to think about these opinions. I personally believe that it is just paranoia, but the beliefs are there. Citizens of the democracy are scared of it like it is a communism. That is why I wrote this: to show the meek that there is nothing to be scared of. Our efforts can reunite this country, and just as we want it to change, America wants to be as we envision it.
Please America; in four years we have a chance to mend broken fences. Demand a candidate that stands for America's safety and benefits without the expense of our liberties. Not one that talks about these things and makes us feel warm and fuzzy about helping out a country that is now and always will be divided in their extremist religious beliefs. The Muslim world is one that we cannot possibly understand, although we are slowly making a march to be as divided as they are. Let us stop it while we have a chance. Let us reunite this country for our betterment. If we allow what has happened in Iraq to happen to us, who on this earth is going to pull us out of it?
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© The Voice, 2005
Revised 050128 http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/2_9/commentary.htm