I wasn’t going to write about the State of the Union speech, because it was so lame and said almost nothing about anything important for our country. But then, John, a guy at the club asked me if I had seen the speech. I told him that I had listened to it on the radio. He told me that he missed it and he wanted to know if Bush had said anything. That seemed like a pretty silly question to me, because the guy was walking on the treadmill right across from the TV tuned to MSNBC, which was going over the points of the speech as he asked me this question.
So, I thought for a moment and said, “No, he hadn’t said anything important. He pretty much repeated what he always says.” And, John said, “You must be a Democrat!” Well, since I had actually been registered as a Libertarian up until the California primary in 2004 I took a little bit of an offense to this comment. So, I just told him that I was neither Republican nor Democrat and I really thought that Bush was a bad president and he was hurting our country. “Well, he’s better than Kerry,” John shot back at me. I just let it go, because we will never know how true or false that statement could be.
This confrontation got me to thinking about our country again. How can one man, the president of the United States, have created so much division in this country? I don’t ever remember a time where I was working out in a public place and then be accused of being a Democrat. In fact, it brings images of Nazi Germany to my mind when I think about it. Isn’t the President’s job to try to bring us together to make this country work? Apparently this guy at the club didn’t get the message. Didn’t the President tell us that he was a uniter not a divider? If this is true, then why are his followers using the Nazi tactics singling out people they don’t agree with? As far as I can tell, it doesn’t get any worse than this. But, we have three more years of this regime and the Nazis did a lot in three years.
So, my guess is that the State of Our Union is a lot worse than what the President is willing to admit. There is division on every major issue and the slim majority that the Republicans hold is being used as if it were a mandate. The Republicans have a majority, but they do not have a mandate of the American people. The Christian right has taken over the Republican Party and good fiscal conservatives like John McCain, Lincoln Chafee and a few others are left to fight for the good of their party while these Religious Zealots turn the Republicans into the Christian Taliban. But no one wants to talk about this.
If the state of the Republican Party is scary, the Democrats don’t seem to be doing much better than the Republicans. Moderate Democrats and Liberal Democrats only seem to agree that they don’t like the Religious Fundamentalists over at the Republican Party. That’s good, but it isn’t enough to win elections. The American people demand more. The American people want a vision of hope for the future. They should have learned that from Reagan and Clinton who both created visions to appeal to the average American. Obviously there needs to be some reality behind the vision, but lets get a vision out there for Democrats to rally behind before its to late. I’m warning you, if you don’t come up with a vision soon, then I’ll have to create one of my own. :-}
President Bush has always given us a vision, and no matter how stupid it is he continues to stick with it. This should be a lesson for the Democrats to learn from. Create a vision and stick with it. If it is only marginally better than Bush’s vision you will win. And, it doesn’t take much to be marginally better than George W Bush on vision.
Let’s take the ridiculous vision that George W Bush gives us on freedom. Freedom is what makes American great. We want freedom in the Middle East. Democracy will give the Middle East that freedom.
Freedom is just a buzzword for Republicans. They don’t even know what it really entails. Freedom could mean anything from the idiot that claims total freedom and jumps off a building because he wants to be free of the laws of physics, to freedom from paying a traffic ticket because you know the judge. Total freedom is impossible. Similarly, we subject ourselves to constraints on our freedoms everyday when obey the governments laws. Total political freedom can only be found in remote places where the rule of law hasn’t taken that freedom away. But, we subject ourselves to these constraints, because we believe that it makes a strong society when people have the rule of law and those laws are enforced. However, the Bush administration does not believe in the rule of law. Instead they have created justification to declare themselves above the law. Sleazy Politics, Torture, Wire-Tapping are all enemies of freedom, but rampant in the Bush administration.
Then there is the outright attacks the administration has made on free speech over the last five years. Bush speeches are screened so only supporters can attend. Protesters are moved to locations where the object of their protest will never see them. And, even last night Cindy Sheehan was arrested for wearing an anti-war T-shirt to the State of the Union speech last night. It sounds a lot more like Gestapo tactics than American freedom.
And, if the Bush administration can’t even understand the concept of freedom that they base their rhetoric on, then how can we trust their vision of anything at all?
So, let me sum up the State of Our Union. The Union is in disarray. The politics of the country has us divided and there is no uniter on the horizon. But, just because we don’t see the answer today does not mean that no answer exists. In fact, we need to be hopeful that a strong person that is not tied strongly to any particular party or ideology of special interest will be able to generate support and create a new way to look at America. That person might be one of my readers. We can dream that a strong person like you will actually listen to those of us who are worried about the environment - the rural, natural and the urban environments that effect all of us. We can dream of a strong leader who will recognize the human rights of every human being and act accordingly to protect every human beings rights fairly. It isn’t much, but it is a beginning of a vision. And, we continue to hope for these simple things because we are Americans living in America where dreams are made possible.
(I told you that I’d create something.)
02.01.06 (1:26 pm)