The Surprise Party
It is time for the Republican Party to change its name. I nominate "Surprise Party" as
the new moniker. Americans walked over the bridge to the twenty-first century to a great
big surprise. Peace and prosperity are lost. In their place are insecurity, economic
recession, and eroding civil liberties, health, education, welfare, and environment. Is this
what a minority of Americans voted for last November?
If my memory serves me correct, the Bush-Cheney campaign slogan was not "No
Pain, No Gain." Bush-Cheney told us that they were more experienced, that Gore was a
liar, and that Clinton was a fraud. Bush-Cheney promised to run the country like a
corporation. Instead, they are running the country like a Texas high school football
program. It is our team against the bad guys. Rhetoric reigns supreme. Loyalty is our
duty. America is draped in symbols. The coach is omnipresent on television, while he
keeps one eye on the polls. The president should pay attention to the real score.
- Terrorist Attacks: The Bush Administration has shown itself ill
prepared to prevent, respond to, and communicate openly the attacks our nation
- Airport Security: The Republican Party and the administration have put
politics ahead of security in supporting failed privatization over federalization.
- International Treaties: The administration cavalierly announced it
would renege on or not sign anti-ballistic, germ warfare, and environmental treaties
aimed at safeguarding the world population.
Americans are less secure than they were one year ago.
- Recession: Our national economy has gone from high levels of growth
to a recession. For the first time in most Americans' lives, the United States faces
- Unemployment: In October, joblessness increased by its largest margin
in 21 years.
- Consumer/Investor Confidence: Consumers are not spending and
investors are not investing in anywhere near the levels they did during the previous eight
- Budget: Budget surpluses have been turned into budget deficits.
Americans are less secure in their economic position than they were one year
Health, Education, Welfare, and the Environment
- Social Spending: Rising security costs combined with economic
contraction will decrease the resources available to provide for the health, education, and
welfare of Americans and to protect the environment in which we live. Pressure will
increase to relax existing environmental regulation.
- Anti-Trust and Corporate Crime: Landmark victories against
corporations, including those against the tobacco companies and Microsoft, will be gutted
by insider deals.
Americans are less secure about their healthcare, the education and welfare of their
children and the quality of their environment than they were one year ago.
Freedom and Civil Liberty
- Censorship: The Bush administration has openly called on the media to
censor themselves and the media have complied. The head of CNN has told his reporters
that they should include in their war reporting that America's response is justified by the
events of 11 September.
- Civil Liberties: Civil liberties are being eroded. These losses are
sanitized with terminology like the "USA Patriot Act." Racial profiling is now deemed
an acceptable police practice. Our leaders are contemplating employing torture as part of
Americans have less freedom and less liberty than they did one year ago.
Like his father, this president Bush is in for his own surprise. Coaches are held
responsible for the record of their teams. Polls go up and polls go down. In politics, like
football, we keep score.
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