During the darkest days of the Third Reich, a little old man would walk to the newsstand each day, glance at the front page, then walk away. After weeks or maybe months, the news stand owner approached him. "Are you looking for anything in particular?"
"I'm looking for an obituary," the old man replied.
"Oh," said the news stand owner, "you'll find that on the obituary page."
"Not the one I'm looking for," replied the old man as he walked away.
Like the millions of others who grasped the nefariousness of the Bush regime from pretty much the beginning, I have spent the past six years looking for a sign of hope that a critical mass of Americans understood that the perpetrations and intentions of this cadre have less to do with right and left than they have to do with right and wrong. Sadly, the Democrats have been more of a hindrance than a help in moving forward the "up-wising."
Both Gore and Kerry -- and of course the Democratic Central Committee -- failed to recognize that the voter repression, miscounting and fraud in both 2000 and 2004 constituted a de facto coup. The Democrats' general approach to confronting the Republicans' boldface lying, cheating, manipulation, and cultivation of ignorance and fear is reminiscent of the archetypal out-of-town tourist timidly approaching a New Yorker: "Excuse me, could you tell me what time it is, or should I just go f--- myself?"
Now, after the courageous Rolling Stone article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on voting fraud,
even the mainstream Democrats have awakened -- possibly too late to prevent widespread misdeeds this election, but certainly in a better position than two years ago. At least these "dimocrats" are now aware of -- and speaking out loud about -- the clear and present danger of fascism. But even that belated courage doesn't address the one criticism of the Democrats which could -- if anything does -- keep them from an overwhelming victory tomorrow: We know what they're against, but what are they for?
I've been making calls on behalf of MoveOn.org over the past few days to folks in key Congressional districts, and the one thing that has stopped me cold hearing it from voters "first ear" is how the Republicans are associated with "moral issues" and the Democrats with gay marriage. Nowhere do we hear, the Democrats favor a sane foreign policy where war is not the first option, the Democrats favor an energy policy where we find alternatives to oil dependency, the Democrats favor taking big money out of elections so we the people can have greater representation, the Democrats favor breaking up the media monopolies so we get real news for a change, the Democrats believe in treating all citizens with respect and not discriminating against gay people, and in fact the Democrats represent the values that are the heart and soul of America -- individual liberty, protection of the commonwealth, and being a stand for truth, justice and freedom. Oh, and by the way, the latest careful rereading of the New Testament proves JESUS WAS A LIBERAL.
The Democrats -- in part because they too are caught up in the "money, money über alles" political system, but also because their "leadership" seems to lack courage, vision and a faith in their own beliefs -- have failed miserably to articulate boldly the values that 75% of Americans believe in, and instead have allowed themselves to be defined by Karl Rove. Consider this ... two thirds of Americans disapprove of the job George Bush is doing, and at the end of the day tomorrow the Republicans MAY STILL control one, if not both houses of Congress.
Awakening From the Nightmare -- Finally?
So, what's the good news? What might indicate the beginning of the end of the nightmare? Well, while the headlines conveniently blare the conviction of Saddam Hussein, the other headlines render an equally-damning verdict on the Bush regime. In an unprecedented editorial, the Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Times -- the newspapers for the armed forces that tend to reflect the opinions of otherwise voiceless service-members -- have called for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary.
Citing the failed policies and the troops that have more and more come to see themselves as targets in a thankless mission, the editorial acknowledges how unheard of it is for the military to question publicly its own military venture. Initially, it was just retired generals who spoke up, but,
"Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war's planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.
"... when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads."
The article concludes:
"Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.
"This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:
"Donald Rumsfeld must go."
Let's take a moment to "grok in fullness" the implications of this extraordinary "preemptive" editorial. First of all, it may as well be a call for George Bush to resign, since he, Cheney and Rumsfeld seem to be the Siamese Triplets of the Apocalypse, and Bush just recently expressed full faith in Rumsfeld. The second piece of good news is that a significant number of our own military people are not sold on the Administration's suicidal / homicidal path. Thirdly, let's examine the precedent. When was the last time a military publication representing the "voice" of the military in this country asked for their boss to resign? The answer is, not in our lifetime, and as far as I can tell, not ever.
But the most important implication of the editorial is this: Should the President decide that the popular will is not to his liking, and that he chooses to assume the dictatorial powers he recently legislated to himself, he cannot count on the unequivocal support of the military. While undoubtedly such a contingency would throw the nation into a turmoil not experienced since the Civil War, there's a heartening indication that there are those at all echelons of power who have not been "ethically cleansed."
And so, as Karl Rove and company cart out every dirty trick they can think of to promote injustice and disinformation, we can take heart in one thing: No matter what the final tally tomorrow, the tide has turned on the "turd blossom" and his ilk. Even if the Democratic Party's so-called leadership is the last to get it, there is a new vitality in the body politic. It's not just the tens of thousands of volunteers who've been making calls on behalf of MoveOn not because they love the Democrats but because they love democracy, and see this election as a chance to demonstrate the tide has turned. It's that finally, America is awakening from the nightmare.
The wall of lies is crumbling, and will fall like the Berlin Wall. Now it remains to be seen over the next four years whether the Democratic Party or some more relevant force will leave the familiar harbors of "left" and "right" and come front and center to reclaim the heart and soul of America.