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Gods Among Ordinary Men

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Message Charles Sullivan
When a man abuses the power that was entrusted to him by the people there is clearly a void between what the people want and what they receive. Such abuse stems not only from immense hubris, but from contempt for the people and for civil law. The president, we will recall, is a man who referred to the Constitution to one of his Whitehouse aides as "...just a god-damned piece of paper." Bush and his cacophony of neo-conservative fascists clearly hold the most sacred institutions of this nation in contempt, including the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The Bush regime's contempt for human rights and their disdain for the earth are systemic. They have resulted in a litany of abuses that would rival those of Hitler and Mussolini combined. Most of the key players cut their teeth in the Reagan regime where they perfected the dark arts. These abuses occur equally at home and abroad. Characterized by hypocrisy without bounds, they are reflected in a foreign policy that is putting the world in peril as never before. Those policies have resulted in imprisoning people indefinitely without criminal charges and without access to legal council, widespread torture, extraordinary rendition, unprovoked attacks upon sovereign nations, occupation, and unprecedented secrecy and domestic spying on law abiding citizens on a broad scale.

The Bush regime operates in unprecedented secrecy under the pretense of fighting a war on terror. They are, in fact, waging a war of terror and they and their corporate pay masters are the terrorists, not Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Their success depends upon keeping the people and thus democracy out of the equation.

Democracy, as opposed to the Plutocracy we have in America, operates in the open under the supervision of the citizenry. Democratic government is transparent, not secretive. In a democracy the people know what the government is doing and are active participants in the decision making process. Clearly that is not the kind government we have.

Mr. Bush's extraordinary contempt for the law is in part the result of his Plutocratic upbringing. It is reflected in his unprecedented use of presidential signing statements which, in effect, allow him to circumvent the law and do as he pleases. Don't like a law that keeps a corporation from spewing toxic waste into a river? Just issue a signing statement and ignore it. Bush has used presidential signing statements more than 750 times since his inauguration-more than all of the other presidents combined during the 230 year history of our nation. He has yet to veto any legislation that the corporate lobbyists have put before him.

Civil law is essentially a social contract that is supposed to guarantee justice to all of the people, regardless of their social position or economic status. What does it say about a president who flagrantly thumbs his nose at the law and routinely violates that social contract?

If the government does not respect the law why should any citizen? Why should the government operate outside of the law while the citizens remain subject to it?
If one group of people is forced to adhere to a specific code of conduct and another group is not, what will be the result? We have only to look around us for the answer.

The ruling elite believe they should enact the laws which the rest of us have to obey, which gives them dominion over us. It is imperative that the citizens see to it that the government, especially the president, obeys the law; or impeach him. Perhaps that is the very definition of patriotism. If the law does not apply to everyone equally and at all times, it should not be applied to anyone at any time. If that is the case, then let us have anarchy.

Bush and his cadre of neo-conservatives may think that they are above the law and that they can act with impunity and without consequences. They may think of themselves as Gods who operate above the strata of ordinary mortals, as the result of their socioeconomic privilege. That is because other people have always born the cost of their wrong doing.

When a president behaves as if the law does not apply to him in essence he is expressing his contempt for the people and the rules that govern civil behavior. That is why we have the enormous gulf between rich and poor, tax cuts for the wealthy, Iraq and the whole Middle East debacle.

George Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and the entire supporting Plutocratic cast, truly believe that they are better than the rest of us. Like the spoiled brats they are, each of them became who they are because no one ever held them accountable for their actions. We are not holding them accountable now and innocent people are paying the cost.

Not only should these Cretins be impeached, they should be permanently warehoused in an asylum for the criminally insane. Their visions of grandeur are getting a lot of innocent people in trouble, or killed. Other people should not be forced to incur the cost of crimes committed by their so called leaders. Make the criminals pay for their own misdeeds. Force them to take ownership of the reality they are forging.

Government that is not accountable to the people is a monstrosity. Some refer to it by its more common names: dictatorship and totalitarianism. That is what we will soon have if we are not careful.
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Charles Sullivan is a photographer, social activist and free lance writer residing in the hinterland of West Virgina.
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