Americans hold dear to their image of rough and tough individualists, ready to meet any challenge at a pin’s drop: unless you are Democratic strategists and their ilk. Don’t be angry, stay above the fray and don’t act like Republicans they wail. They pack together like lemmings ready to pitch them off the Republican fabricated cliff.
Republicans can be an ugly bunch indeed. Brandishing a walrus penis bone, Congressman Don Young embarrassed the late Mollie Beatty (Fish &Wildlife Service Director) during a committee meeting on environmental concerns. Tom Delay, Congressman from Texas fond of D.D.T. and biocides, repeatedly has called the Environmental Protection Agency, “Jack-booted thugs.” When questioned about environmental protection, Former Secretary of the Interior James Watt replied, “If the trouble from environmentalists cannot be solved in the jury box or the ballot box, perhaps the cartridge box should be used.” Attorney General Ashcroft routinely reminds us good Americans, “you are either with us or against us.” Radio pundits like Rush Limbaugh have compared the torture at American run prison camps in Iraq to college guys letting off some steam. Disgusting? Yes. Immoral and vile you ask? Again, yes. But a quick check on the present will indicate that they hold the presidency, hold both houses of Congress and are undermining the democracy we so cherish.
Do we emulate Republicans to retake America? Not for a moment. But, if Democratic apologists, who routinely clamor for holding themselves to a higher ivory tower don’t get into the mix, we all stand to lose more than the 2004 election.
President Bill Clinton was and is a brilliant man. Yet as a president, he vacillated as often as the wind blew, relying on “trial balloons” and polls to define and sadly, redefine his positions. President George Bush is an inarticulate and sputtering buffoon yet many Americans see him as consistent about his positions, see him as tough and willing to go down to the wire on his positions. That inspires, that hides his horrible policies, because the average American is not a policy wonk, they let the media frame their beliefs. How else could a president who has engaged in an illegal war, drained our surplus to coddle the super rich and has tarnished American ideals worldwide still be in office? Image often betrays reality. Americans want to be led, even by an imperfect leader. Introduce fear into this equation and sheep-like Democrats who refuse to challenge the president nose to nose: and Americans will choose the perceived lesser of two evils.
The move to the “center” has neutered the Democratic Party. Their penchant for pragmatism and compromise emboldens Republicans to be even more strident. They let the Republicans control national semantics and often use “Republican speak.” I live in a part of the country where native forests have been butchered and salmon runs have been hammered, yet Republican speak is evident everywhere: from the lips of the Democrats who claim to be ardent stewards of nature. They speak of balance? When 96% of the native forests in this nation are gone, what balance can be struck over the meager 4% remaining? Yet the public buys into this “doubletalk” orchestrated by Republicans.
Fifty years of Madison Avenue Republican speak has created a numbness, a haze that clouds the common sense of even the most leveled headed folks. Will Democrats lead them out of this minefield or sustain this propaganda by avoiding confrontation?
Remember when Clinton in a state of the union speech claimed, “the era of big government is over?” Why didn’t he state that the corporate welfare state was going to end? Why didn’t he assail Gingrich’s “Contract with America” for what it was: perpetuation of environmental destruction, corporate malfeasance and business policies that are actually an economic model of death? Why? Because ideologues or should I say professional lemmings, urged him not to be bold, rather they pleaded with him to be politic. Because of risk, they cast righteousness in the wind and once again betrayed grassroots Democrats. And ten years later, our democracy is under siege, aided and abetted by those same Democrats.
Make no mistake, President Bush and his cronies are meteorites on a collision course with the sustainability of our environment and the continued well being of this planet: socially and economically. No amount of political correctness is going to shield our children from this impending disaster. With a debt of nearly $7 trillion dollars, dozens of species vanishing a day, a climate loaded with carbon dioxide, a loss of rational and pertinent discussion in the media and a democracy slowly (or not so slowly) morphing into a fascist state, Democrats ought to toss pragmatism into the compost pile.
If John Kerry wants my vote, he better stand eye to eye with Bush and say, “no more.” If the Democratic Party wants to energize the blue- collar folks in this country they better speak plainly, consistently and passionately. Democrats must not act like quislings and I guarantee that Americans will respond with vigor. Challenge the media to tell us the whole truth and nothing but the truth. When even NPR states that a position on the radio is “left of center” I cringe. When the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Dick Cheney lie, let them feel the wrath of an informed and unrelenting citizenry. Lie, cheat and intimidate like Republicans? No. But, now is the time to stand firm and inform those who rape and pillage that their days are numbered. If your opponent knows that you are a person of integrity and uncompromising ethics, they relent and abandon their assault: because they stand to lose!
Look at your children tonight, be it that slumbering infant or that teenager ready to take on the world. Would you let someone enter their bedroom and wring their neck? The answer is a deafening no! The meteorites are now in plain sight and the only solution is to meet them dead on: shattering their Trojan horses while re-energizing and reclaiming the American dream.
John F. Borowski, teacher of environmental and marine science of two decades can be reached at: email@example.com.