All Republicans should be thinking about the Bush Legacy; then they need to confront how Bush and his NeoCon administration has converted the legacy of the Republican Party, the party that championed freedom for Blacks and the vote for women into something closer to fascism.
When I first read, "Conscience of a Conservative," in 1962, being a Republican meant you believed in the right of the people to order their own lives and govern their own communities. Government was to be small; the inherent rights of individuals were sacrosanct, chiseled in stone through the Declaration of Independence. It was not government who was sovereign but each individual living American. My Goldwater button maintained a place of honor at my desk. In losing, Goldwater had still awakened a generation to the ideas of individual rights and freedom.
Many of us still kept the tradition of reading the Declaration in its entirely aloud to our families on the 4th of July. Each of my own children read out those words, standing tall and proud, knowing that the Revolution was fought for them. We knew that understanding the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was the foundation that allowed future generations to keep faith with the past while building a better future for everyone. Our children could recite the Amendments and explain what they meant.
By hard work, honest dealing, and creative insights, we believed we would, together, realize the American dream. It was not making money that mattered but doing right. Integrity came first.
To lie was an act of personal dishonor for any reason. If your child lied any parent taught him that this was unacceptable. If you are a Republican today you know that the sense of honor, personally or in government, has no meaning. To the NeoCons only winning matters, and winning so you can steal became acceptable.
The NeoCons did this to us. If the Republican Party had closed up shop it could not have been used to against its own values. There can be honor in death. There is no honor in the actions taken under color of the Republican Party today.
The NeoCons now in control have been living out their inner most fantasies the last six years at our expense. It is tough to drive a country once as prosperous as America into bankruptcy, but they have managed that, too. Most of us now understand that those in power, the NeoCons, are not Republicans. They are a cadre of greedy who saw the opportunity to use the rhetoric of honor and our vision to steal for themselves and for their corporate employers. While rhetorically cloaking their actions in words like, "Freedom," "America," "Honor," and "Terrorism" Bush, Cheney and their cohort have been busily shoveling the wealth of America into the coffers of such as Halliburton and placing various petroleum companies to convert the reservoirs under Iraq into an asset line for their client companies, all at great cost all Americans and the world at large. Now, they are poised to do it again in Iran. After that, who knows; they may decide to hit Venezuela.
At the same time they have revoked parts of the Constitution in attempts to evade accountability; they have illegally used the force of government to invade our privacy. The information was gathered not to ensure our security but to stifle dissent.
That is where we are today. It is ugly to consider how many Americans and Iraqis have died while the rhetoric of honor still lingered in our hearts and minds, layered in like a cover to arsenic in speeches built to deceive us by prostituting our highest values. But that is what happened. Slowly, as Americans and Iraqis died horribly and our nation hemorrhaged money the stark horror began to sink in. Then, last November America delivered a mandate. That mandate was to get us out of Iraq and to return to the American values that evoke a true loyalty.
For those elected the message has also been delivered. Deescalate, investigate; end the war, bring our troops home. After the Shout Down that sent the newly elected Democratic Congress scampering like mice for cover we can hope the message has sunk in. Democratic activists are also challenging their leadership, having found them wanting.
We Republicans are not alone. All Americans have been through the same process of belief, doubt, and concern. We have all been paralyzed by fear as all we thought was true turned upside down. But it is the legacy of honor, conserved in the Republican Party, that was used as a weapon against the freedom of all Americans. As Bush considers his legacy, one of deception, greed, and violence, it is our own legacy we must renew.
As Republicans we need to take back our party, thus denying the NeoCons a conduit to power and allowing us to begin the work of rebuilding what was. Communities where people live, deciding for themselves, working at jobs, starting businesses, raising children whose education they control, worshiping and prospering by doing right, these were the goals that made us Republicans.
Barry Goldwater, the grandson of a peddler, understood hard work and doing the right thing. He understood accountability.
Barry Goldwater was a man who understood the need to take action. Never a fence sitter, Barry would have understood the specter we confront today; he would have delivered the word to the White House, Resign. Failing that, he would have himself written the Bill of Impeachment. He knew that the gravest danger to America came from within.
"Our tendency to concentrate power in the hands of a few men deeply concerns me. We can be conquered by bombs or by subversion; but we can also be conquered by neglect-by ignoring the Constitution and disregarding the principles of limited government. Our defenses against the accumulation of unlimited power in Washington are in poorer shape, I fear, than our defenses against the aggressive designs of Moscow. Like so many other nations before us, we may succumb through internal weakness rather than fall before a foreign foe."
As a Republican, I demand Bush and Cheney resign. I think now is a good time for that.
Republicans and other Americans can register their wishes by writing him letters to be delivered to the White House. If you like, you may send them first to The Iconoclast, where they will be counted, and then forwarded. Just send to Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, c/o The Lone Star Iconoclast, P.O. Box 569, Crawford, TX 76638. Then we can demand Congress pass a Bill of Impeachment NOW. Since Congress has been confused about what they are supposed to do, we can go to our state legislatures and demand they pass a Bill of Impeachment to be delivered to the Clerk of Congress. With 50 states to work with surely one can be persuaded to do the job.
Since Bush and Cheney have already admitted enough wrong-doing we can skip the investigations and move to the vote right away.
This generation of Republicans can do the job and the right man to sit in the Oval Office is a Republican all Americans can trust and respect. Replace Bush with a Republican Barry Goldwater would have respected, too. I think that individual is Congressman Ron Paul. It is our party, let's do the right thing.