Monday, July 26, 2004

Rallying the troops

The party faithful are throwing their version of a 'D' party in my beloved Beantown and they brought out the big guns on the first night -- Al Gore, President Carter, Senator Clinton and President Clinton. I missed Vice-President Gore and President Carter because I was at class, but I caught the tail-end of Hilary Clinton's speech, and then came Bill himself -- nothing short of masterful. As the line goes, he had me at "Good evening."

The key line of Clinton's speech that got me was when he said "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values." I had said I wasn't going to watch the Democrats go through the motion, but for 20 minutes, I was standing in the middle of my living room -- not sitting, mind you, but standing -- and nodding so hard at the television that you could have mistaken me for a bobble head doll. Tonight, I was a member of the choir, I was seated right in the center of the 'amen' corner and I'm not ashamed.

The truth is though, none of this theatrics and party is for me. I already believe and fall in line behind the party's propaganda. I always have. Line, hook and sinker, they've got me. This is for those who don't know which way to vote, who they prefer. As Bill Clinton put it, there are two strong men who both love their country, contending for the highest honor the United States can possibly bestow on an individual and we have to decide whose love and respect is greater and stronger. Most of us would prefer that our patriotism not be a contest, but that's exactly what it is today and you have to ask yourself if a Vietnam vet who understands what it means to go to war versus someone who did his level best to stay out of war takes home the presidency come November.

And in November, the quesiton we have to answer is: do we want to keep the status quo -- which means further unilateral action, increased deficits, erosion of the right to make personal decisions without government interference, escalating health costs, decreased environmental protection and continued concentration of wealth in the hands of the few -- or do we say, "We've tried your way and look where it's gotten us. This isn't the Wild West, this isn't the time or place for the cowboy mentality." If you're like me, you'll say "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." It's time for W to saddle up and return home to Crawford.

We've given the Republicans four years to do something we could be proud of. We didn't tell them to piss off the world. We asked them to protect us, but we didn't give them permission to unilaterally invade another country without provocation, risking the lives of our soldiers and costing countless lives of Iraqis. Until this war, not a single American had died at the hands of an Iraqi; as such, what did nearly a thousand of our troops die for? What did over ten thousand Iraqis die for? If this fact -- separate from the deficit/health care issues/job training/tax cut etc., issues -- alone does not make voters angry, I don't know what will. And if this administration continues to be unapologetic of the why and will not give us the straight answers that we deserve, then they should not be in the White House. It's that simple.

No comments: