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This will probably be my last column before Election Day. I had intended to make one last appeal to voters to end the Republican stranglehold on governmental power; but it seems that Americans have already gotten the message and are ready for a change.
Recent polls indicate that if (a free and fair) election was held today (10/26); Democrats would not only take control of the House of Representatives, but possibly even the Senate. Unfortunately, the election is not today; so all we can do is wait, and wonder, and worry.
Wait for election day.
Wonder: What will the October (or November) Surprise be, and can it sway the election to the Republicans? Will the Republicans be able to purge/prevent/obstruct enough Democrats from voting that they can retain control of Congress?
Worry: Have the Republican-supplied voting machines and Republican-controlled counting machines been rigged to assure a victory for Republicans?
But let's pretend that we still have free and fair elections in America, and the Democrats do take control of Congress. What then? I would suggest a celebration, complete with handshakes, backslaps, hugs and kisses--with strains of Happy Days are Here Again playing in the background--in other words, a night of congratulatory revelry. Then, we should get up the next morning, wash our faces, and dedicate ourselves to making America a better place--because nothing is going to change; unless we change it.
This election is not about taking power from the Republicans and giving it to the Democrats. If that is all we do, we will just be exchanging the organized corruption of the Republican Party for the disorganized corruption of the Democratic Party. This election has to be about more than that. It has to be about returning power to where it rightfully belongs.
"In all our associations; in all our agreements let us never lose sight of this fundamental maxim--that all power was originally lodged in, and consequently is derived from, the people. We should wear it as a breastplate, and buckle it on as our armour." --George Mason (1725-1792), Author of Bill of Rights
"The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people. The streams of national power ought to flow from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority." --Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 22, December 14, 1787
The Bush Administration exploited the fears engendered by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to make the biggest power grab in American history. We Americans, for the most part, sat in stunned silence, while our representatives in Congress traded away one Constitutional protection after another in exchange for the false security offered by the Bush Administration. It was a poor trade.
"If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws--the first growing out of the last.... A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government." --Alexander Hamilton, Essay in the American Daily Advertiser, Aug 28, 1794
Now, Americans are no safer, and America is no longer a nation of laws. We are now a nation that kidnaps people, puts them in secret prisons, and tortures them. We give them no access to lawyers, no trial, no charges, and no means to challenge their imprisonment. King George simply throws them in the dungeon, and that's the end of them.
This is not the America bequeathed to us by the Founding Fathers. That is why we have to stand up and take back America. It is up to us to be the new patriots in a new American Revolution to restore the Constitution and fulfill the dreams of our Founding Fathers.
"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does NOT mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country." --Theodore Roosevelt
"Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom." --John F. Kennedy
I hope the election results are dramatic enough to get our representatives' attention, because they need to hear this message: "Wake up and pay attention! We are watching you. You are not royalty. You are not our leader. You are our servant. You have two jobs: (1) represent the interests of the people who elected you (not the lobbyists or the corporate donors), and (2) 'support and defend' the Constitution, like you promised in your oath of office. If you do those two things well enough, we might let you come back for another term. So, welcome to OUR Congress, but don't get comfortable. America is in a mess, and you have a lot of work to do."
Among all the things that need to be done, there is one thing that can't wait for the new Congress to start. We need to stop Mr. Bush's wars and bring our troops home--NOW!. Every day that Congress fails to act means two or three more American deaths--and for what: Mr. Bush's ego? Too many people have already died for Mr. Bush's ego.
Once our troops are out of harm's way, we can discuss and decide on our priorities. Then we can tell our representatives what they are to work on--rather than letting the corporations and lobbyists set the agenda as they have been doing in the Republican-controlled Congress. This is the real change that must take place in Congress.
"Unless the people, through unified action, arise and take charge of their government, they will find that their government has taken charge of them. Independence and liberty will be gone, and the general public will find itself in a condition of servitude to an aggregation of organized and selfish interest." --Calvin Coolidge
Now is the time to vote for change. After that, we must keep the pressure on by staying active and staying informed. The governing of our nation is too important to leave it to the politicians. We have tried that, and we are now living with the result.
Mick Youther is an American citizen, an independent voter, a veteran, a parent, a Christian, a scientist, a writer, and all-around nice guy who has been aroused from a comfortable apathy by the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush Administration.