The last days of the Roman Empire.
It is impossible for me to overstate how disappointed I am with my country, my government, and my fellow citizens. We stand at the precipice of a great and terrific future (terrific in the ACTUAL DEFINITION, not as in great), a future shrouded in mystery and wonder. Where are we going? What does it hold? For the first time in my life, I look out ahead of me and don’t see a path for our country to follow. And this election sums up why.
On one side, I have a fortunate son who promises to increase my taxes, grow the federal government, and keep us mired in a conflict which we cannot win by anything more than a pyrric victory. On the other side, I have a fortunate son who promises to increase my taxes, grow the federal government, and keep us mired in a conflict which we cannot win by anything more than a pyrric victory.
Excuse me. Did I miss something? Did the Republican and Democratic Parties merge into one mega-Party, a monolithic entity of proportions so grand that it cannot be defeated? Increasing my terror in the face of this monstrocity, this abortion of the Republic that is this election, is the fact that, when given two candidates who are virtually identical in every way, the country is *divided*! One would think that, given the similarities in background, family connections, history, service, governing and politics, this would be a time of great unity! But no, we’re on the brink of bloodshed in the streets.
Where is my candidate? The one who debates issues like Social Security and what it means and why or why not we should support it. The candidate who dares to say “I believe this, and you believe that. Here’s why I’m right and you’re wrong.” Ronald Reagan could do this. Clinton did this to some extent. Truman was a master at staying a course. And for the love of God, FDR! I cannot tell you how many times in the past month I’ve been tempted to drive to Roosevelt’s tomb with a pick-axe and shovel, dig him up, prop him in a wheel chair and run HIM as President! At least we’d have someone who is *actually* brain dead rather than the two baffoons who are in the race now!
But alas, this is America (Or Merkah, if you prefer the Texanese pronunciation). So we can’t have an election about the rights of man, as dictated by the United States Constitution (which is seriously flawed on some interpretive points, mind you). Instead, we’ve a debate about what happened thirty years ago. I can see the hearings now, two years removed from today, when Kerry wins. “Mr. Kerry,” says a faceless, McCarthy-esque senator into a microphone, “Where were you on Christmas Day, 1967?” Or when Bush wins, “Mr. Bush, where were you on Christmas Day, 1967?”
Instead of a debate about this war and this enemy, we’re debating a war that’s over, a war that was such a bad idea that *many of the soldiers who fought in it came back and protested it!* And on one side of *the current war*, we’ve got a man who, despite a security briefing report that sees *no way* out of the situation other than a civil war in Iraq and on the other side, a man who’s taken so many positions on the war I’m not convinced he’s not on a playground merrigo-round.
This election should be about the War on Terror. Regardless of where you stand or whom you support, you should be asking questions of the candidates that have to do with what they did/will do about terrorists. “Mr. Kerry, what would you do to combat terrorism around the world?” “Mr. Bush, did you receive a security briefing on August 6th where you were warned about the possibility of a 9/11 style attack?” “Mr. Kerry, were you aware of the threats?” “Mr. Bush, why USA Patriot Act?” “Mr. Kerry, why USA Patriot Act?”
Let’s make this a campaign about the war. Let’s make this a campaign about rights, about freedom, about what it is to be an American. And for the love of God, let’s stop politicising the Military. Julius Caesar tried that and we see where it got him. Of course, I don’t much suspect there is a Brutus in the Senate, anymore than I suspect Nancy Reagan could have been Cassandra.