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FIGHTING FOR THE SOUL OF OUR COUNTRY! --A Battle Cry for Our Movement

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Schmookler       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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[This is the latest in those pieces in which I offer my vision of how our struggle to save our country should be waged. In particular, it is a sequel to the piece of last week, "There's Only One Scandal." If you believe that the ideas here can be useful, I hope you'll help disseminate this piece to as many others as possible who could make use of it.]


It is clear: America is engaged in a great struggle now. One set of headlines after another declares it: something is amiss in the realm of power at the highest levels, and an increasing number of Americans recognize it.

And what is amiss is that evil forces have taken over our country. Evil in that:
* they have governed through lies, even on matters of life and death, war and peace;
* they have wantonly broken the laws and rules that are supposed to circumscribe the wielding of their great power;
* they have created division and conflict in every realm they've touched;
* they have shown indifference to the well-being of future generations (in their burdening them with debt and in their disregard of and lies about the gathering disaster of climate change);
* they have shown an insatiable greed and lust for power (consistently sacrificing the poor and weak in favor of the already rich and mighty);
* they have acted with shameless hypocrisy.

This list could be expanded at some length.

For some of those most impassioned about this struggle, the drive for the impeachment of this president is quite central in their thoughts. And well it might be: it is doubtful that there has ever been in the history of this country a presidency as deeply enmired as the present one in the kinds of criminal abuse of power that warranted impeachment --including the "national nightmare" involving the presidency of Richard Nixon.

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But impeachment is not the appropriate rallying cry for this vital struggle, because it does not really hit the nail on the head.

The idea of impeachment implies: 1) that there's something seriously amiss at the highest levels of power, and 2) that this serious problem can be located in a particular individual, whose removal will substantially solve the problem.

The first of these is certainly true. But the second? That appears doubtful.

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Imagine we were to remove George W. Bush, but leave in place the likes of Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Don Rumsfeld. These three have acted like gangsters and have been in cahoots with the man --their fellow gangster, their fool, or perhaps both-- who has been presumably at the top. Remove him, and how much would we have solved our basic problem?

Surely, removing all these people from power --and the other political actors who have abetted this lying and criminal regime-- would certainly loosen the grip of the evil forces over our country, but even that is not sufficient to meet the challenge of this dangerous moment. What has been manifested through this presidency is much bigger than this group of people, even bigger than any particular set of individuals.

The soul of America will not be safe unless and until the American people see beyond those personalities to the forces in our country that have used this presidency as a means to advance their agendas. It is not only these individuals, but also these forces that have done so much to damage what has made this country great.

That is the essential nature of the struggle going on in America today: we are fighting to save the soul of our country.

Will we Americans recognize that the dark times brought on by this Bushite regime are the consequence of the evil forces these leaders represent?


** Will we as a people condemn those corporate powers that have been willing to corrupt our democracy in order to enact unjust laws to make the very rich and powerful still richer and more powerful? Will we discredit that greedy and unscrupulous force that has arisen from American corporate capitalism and has allied itself with these lying, law-breaking Bushites?

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** Will we discredit that form of religiosity that has given evidence of its true nature by its tight embrace with this lying, criminal regime? Will we recognize that the drive to create conflict and to impose religious doctrine is not a godly one, that punishment of those who are different is not spiritual wisdom but rather part of how evil works in the world?

** Will we as a people recognize that American imperialism is a temptation we should resist certainly because of our values, but also because of what our experience in Vietnam and in Iraq reveals about what such ventures bring us? Will we embrace the truth that, as much as possible, our role in the world should be to lead and not to dominate with force? And will we repudiate the approach to our nations practiced by this regime, an approach which has turned us into a nation with which other countries must cope, but not one to whom they look for leadership in seeking good for the world?

** Will we recognize that it is an unacceptable abuse of our marketplace of ideas to use the public forum as a means to lie and distort, to pander to people's prejudices and to compound their ignorance? Will we cast into disgrace those voices that have so willingly acted as a mere propaganda arm for this lying regime?

These are the essential aspects of this struggle. These are the questions on which depends the soul of America-- whether it will express what Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature," or whether it will remain under the thrall of these dark forces.

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
 

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