As many of us do, we have friends, neighbors and relatives that have bought the Bush regime war propaganda machine, wrapped themselves in the flag, and have followed their irreverent, feckless, lying leader in the march towards fascism. Few, if any, ever really understood the true underpinnings of this remorseless, vile man. Few, if any, realized they voted against their own civil liberties and helped bring to power one of the greatest threats ever to confront our nation and its democratic form of government.
Many of these bravado-ridden nationalists had been frightened into false beliefs and refused to come out and greet the light of day for fear a mushroom cloud would appear over their head, let alone engage in a conversation involving uncovering the real truth. Yes, it was far easier to support a war-time President, chant "I am proud to be an American", slap ridiculous yellow ribbon bumper stickers on their cars, claiming that somehow supports the troops, and any dissenting voices were poisoned words and grounds for treason and death by a firing squad. Oh, how war brings out the best in us!
"Might makes right" was the mantra of the day - and the President was always right! Having role models the likes of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly painting anti-war activists as Communists, un-American and down right despicable human beings, one might possibly see how the uninformed, cable TV-drenched American could buy into the rhetoric of war and lies.
Rest easy, my fellow, liberal friends! The conversion of a Bush sheeple is possible! I must warn you, it's not an easy task; but with patience, persistence and a little thing called "irrefutable facts", it is possible! How do I know this, you may ask? Well, I am happy to report, there is one less Bush supporter in the world as of today! (Not that he had too many left, but hey, every "take-away" is one less barrier to restoring the rule of law.)
A real-life friend, who voted for Bush in both elections, solely based on the belief that George and company would "protect him" from the "axis of evil" has vehemently argued that Bush was a good and decent man, a great leader and a wonderful Commander-in-Chief. (Ugh!) When I began to propose to him that there was more than meets the eye of this miscreant and that Bush may not be on the level, he fought with a vengeance. (Mind you sans any evidence to support his claim other than the "trust me" lie).
Like a psychologist who plants a seed in a person's mind suffering from a psychotic condition hopes to snap people back to reality and their senses, I peppered him with pesky, thought-provoking facts. Facts, that at first, caused open denial and even angst, anger and anxiety. Undaunted, I present simple but logical explanations, figures, reports, interviews and web pages that supported what we already know about team Bush and his henchmen of hatred and deceit. To my dismay, he did not budge....at first.
As with any person, all of us being individuals, we all have our trigger points. One of his most foolish arguments dealt with the NSA's illegal wiretapping program. He insisted that as long as it was helping capture the "bad guys" and that he had nothing to hide it was okay with him for Bush to break the law in defense of the nation. Rather than barrage him with all the patriotic, rule of law and Constitutional reasons that giving up our Bill of Rights was beyond dangerous and ludicrous, I took a different approach. One that I highly recommend!
We all know that Bush ran into his own "Battle of the Little Bighorn" with the Dubai ports deal. Every Bush sycophant in the nation threw up their hands and said, " Hey if we are supposed to be fighting them over there, why are you inviting them over hear to watch out ports?!" I posited this very question to my friend and true to form he was anti-Arab and demanded Bush retract the deal. Forget all the other reason that makes sense to all of us "critical thinkers". All he knew was he wasn't going to have Arab "towel heads" manage his ports! Problem was, his illustrious and revered Commander-in-Chief was in disagreement with 75% of the nation, including my friend! What to do, what to do?
Thinking quickly, I sent him a petition link to sign saying he was against the port deal. Once done I said, "Welcome to the revolution and being a dissident!" He was perplexed at first. Then, I calmly explained to him that he now, in fact DID have something to hide! He disagreed with President Bush. This made him a radical, a possible 'terrorist threat', a potential 'enemy combatant' and subject to the brutal provisions of the Patriot Act on how to deal with people that disagree with Big Brother.
Miraculously, like how the "Grinch's heart grew two sizes that day," he had an epiphany! "What if I did, in the eyes of George Bush, now have something to hide? Could I be taken away from my wife and kids, detained indefinitely and have no writ of habeas corpus? What if I was subjected to torture and unwarranted government intrusions in my life for peacefully petitioning my government, as the Constitution says I have the unconditional right to do?"
After a few days, I got back the following email:
"I just took some time and read through the stuff you sent me about Russ Feingold. I agree with you that we should not be under surveillance, by law, without a court order. I don't believe that I have stuff to hide but my business is just that, my business. I've had a lot of time to think about this stuff you sent me and I think that President Bush should be accountable for what he has done. I think there is a fine line between breaking the law and protecting the nation. He broke the law so he should be punished and/or removed from office."
This took place over a period of months, hundreds of emails and phone calls. The good news is, we have one less Bushite on the streets today! He pledges to never again bury his head in the sand, take politicians on their word only and to do his due diligence before the next election.
As a fellow progressive writer says, "Saving the world from stupidity, one republican at a time!"