The present danger

Not directly on-topic here, but Al Gore's speech yesterday is definitely worth viewing, whether one is an American hoping to save our democracy regardless of party, or a Hawaiian seeking to be free of American imperialism. Crooks & Liars has the links to the video (watch the video for the full effect, but there's the transcript as well.) Speaking of Eisenhower, here's an excerpt from near the end:
President Eisenhower said this: "Any who act as if freedom's defenses are to be found in suppression and suspicion and fear confess a doctrine that is alien to America."

Fear drives out reason. Fear suppresses the politics of discourse and opens the door to the politics of destruction. Justice Brandeis once wrote, "Men feared witches and burnt women."

The founders of our country faced dire threats. If they failed in their endeavors, they would have been hung as traitors. The very existence of our country was at risk. Yet in the teeth of those dangers, they insisted on establishing the full Bill of Rights.

Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol?

Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of nuclear missiles ready to be launched on a moment's notice to completely annihilate the country?

Is America really in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march, when the last generation had to fight and win two world wars simultaneously?

It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they did.

And yet they faithfully protected our freedom and now it's up to us to do the very same thing.

We have a duty as Americans to defend out citizens' rights not only to life but also to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It is therefore vital in our current circumstances that immediate steps be taken to safeguard our Constitution against the present danger posed by the intrusive overreaching on the part of the executive branch and the president's apparent belief that he need not live under the rule of law.

I love my country, and even more I love the values that I grew up believing it represented.

So now, I wonder...

With an imperial presidency in which the president believes he is above the law without checks and balances in the endless Orwellian "War on Terror";

With the administration increasingly smearing with the language of treason anyone who expresses dissent over its disastrous policies and incompetence in Iraq;

With the government illegally spying on American citizens on a large scale without warrants or judicial oversight;

With Washington D.C. exposed as a corrupt cesspool of bribes, kickbacks and big-money influence peddling;

With the U.S. being seen by an ever-growing number of nations as an international pariah, and foreign leaders winning elections based on anti-American rhetoric;

With a national debt being passed to future generations now over $27,000 per person and rising;

With tax cuts for the wealthiest and ever-expanded gap between the super-haves and the have-nots, and a disappearing middle class;

With increasingly successful efforts to roll back progressive policies and cut programs that benefit the poorest and most disadvantaged among us;

I wonder, will these factors contribute to Hawaii's independence and Hawaiian nationality becoming more and more attractive for the many residents for whom Hawaii is now home?

Posted: Tue - January 17, 2006 at 02:41 PM    
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Published On: Jan 17, 2006 06:17 PM
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