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One Last Plea For Change

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On the eve of this mid-term election, I'm getting on my knees and begging all my readers (and then some) to go to the polls tomorrow and vote to change the direction of this country. Yes, that's what it ultimately comes down to - either your support the direction and policies of the Bush Administration, or you don't. If you don't, you MUST cast your vote for the Democrat on your ballot. Just in case you're ambivalent about the direction the Bush Administration has taken our country, let's have with a short review, shall we... Iraq Clearly, this is one of the Bush Administrations biggest failures, in every sense of the word. From the very beginning, well before the initial attack in March of 2003, right up until present day, this venture/project/conquest/invasion/debacle/quagmire has been screwed up in every way imaginable. Volumes have been written on just this subject alone, so I won't even attempt to speak from authority or experience. However, those who do have the knowledge and experience have clearly spoken their minds with clarity and consistency. Worse than the way the post-invasion was handled, in my opinion, was the justification for going to war in the first place. The Bush minions sold us on the danger of Sadaam Hussein & his infamous Weapons of Mass Destruction, and scared us into believing that "... the smoking gun [might be a] mushroom cloud...". The operative question in this is whether the Bush Administration was provided faulty intelligence or they fabricated the faulty intelligence. Those of us who've been paying attention know that the myriad of evidence turned up since the post-invasion period, have pointed to the very real fact, that the Bush Administration deliberately fabricated the intelligence to draw us into this disaster of disasters. Hurricane Katrina What started out as a natural disaster turned into a very unnatural catastrophe as Bush and his government's response to this disaster was utterly catastrophic. In the process much was learned by the ignorant among us. Those of us paying attention over the last 6 years have been keen to the loyalty-based, conflict-of-interest, under-qualified appoints Bush made to positions of responsibility in his administration (though Brownie did a heckuva job). We've been keen to Bush's disdain for the middle class and working class Americans in this country. We've been keen to Bush's leadership style of do-nothing, ignore, deny and avert accepting responsibility. And, we've been keen to George W. Bush's hypocrisy, lying, arrogance, and lack of sound judgment. Bush's reaction to this difficult period in American history was a classic revelation of his character. But like I said - those of us who HAVE been paying attention were not surprised. The United States Constitution & Bill of Rights This was the last straw for me. It was bad enough that Bush was deregulating every industry and letting big business write its own legislation. It was bad enough that Bush pulled the US out of every significant treaty and pissed off so many international leaders so as to single-handedly escalate the nuclear arms race. It was bad enough that Bush gave outrageous tax breaks to rich people and unruly corporations so as to balloon the deficit and national debt and literally bankrupt our treasury. But, when he started f**king with the Constitution and knowingly breaking the law, I just lost it. Between the torturing of detainees, the warrant-less wiretapping of phone calls & electronic communication, the decimation of Habeas Corpus, the No-fly list, the USA Patriot Act, and the theft of both the 2000 & 2004 elections, we truly live in fear in this country. However, the ones we fear are not the terrorists. It's not Osama or al Qaeda. No. We fear our own government. We fear for our children's future in a country which will be forever re-paying for the greed of this administration. We fear about paying for our children's education, filling our gas tanks, trying to make ends meet, and honoring our obligations. We fear about breathing clean air, climate change, and the future of our planet. We fear about our jobs, our careers, and staying gainfully employed in the wake of the devastating recession of 2001/2. We fear about traveling abroad knowing that so many people in so many countries despise us. We fear that our sons & daughters in the military may not come home to us because our government carelessly put them into harm's way out of greed & arrogance, and without sufficient equipment, training, preparation, planning, & justification. The United States Constitution is THE most important thing in our country. It's more important then any of the people or artifacts. It's more important then any of the buildings or monuments. It's more important then any of the religious icons. Simply put, the Constitution is absolutely paramount because it defines our way of life. It's what our ancestors and predecessors have been fighting and dying for for hundreds of years. It's the reason that we SHOULDN'T live in fear, because it provides us rights & protections from our government. I certainly don't mean to belittle the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Without a doubt the loss of nearly 3000 people and the subsequent damage to the property and health of those involved in the aftermath is not to be taken lightly. Furthermore, it is certainly important that we as a country act on this vicious attack and punish those responsible. And, it's important that we protect ourselves from future & further attacks by those who would want to harm us. However, none of that is as important as our Constitution. No action should be taken (or should have been taken), in the wake or aftermath of September 11, 2001, to undermine or roll back any rights or protections afforded to our citizens by the Constitution of the United States. Too many people have died for it, and we've worked too hard to evolve it to where it is now, or at least where it was before the Bush regime declared war on it. In conclusion As my mother-in-law always used to say - "So there you have it". There you have your choice. Either we stay the course, not just in Iraq, but in the way this country has been run (into the gutter), OR we send the message that we want a different direction for our country. Either we're happy with the decisions this decider has been making, OR we put checks-&-balances back into the Federal government. Either we continue to give Bush and his cabal of neo-conservative extremists a blank check to rape our country (and several others), or we pull in the reigns of oversight.
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Scott Shuster is a progressive columnist, publishing since May of 2005. His liberal ideology is a refreshing diversion from 'politics as usual' in Washington.
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