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Justin, Pat, Chris, #2
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deMOCKcracy George W. is a Gangsta

When we were asked to write a few paragraphs about the evils of George W. Bush and the importance of political activism by PunkVoter.com, I remembered something that I heard while watching a speech on TV by Aaron McGruder, the creator of the comic strip "The Boondocks". McGruder's speech was called "Free Speech in a Time of War", and he made the observation that whenever George W. or any of his cronies are asked legitimate questions that they don't want to answer they pull the gangster routine and tell us all: "Mind your business." Did candidate George W. use cocaine and then happily send thousands who did likewise to prison while he was the Tough On Drugs Governor of Texas? His answer: "Mind your business." What got discussed during Dick Cheney's Energy Commission meetings, and can Congress see the notes? Dick's answer: "Mind your business." Is the United States applying the Geneva Convention's rules regarding the treatment of POW's to alleged Al Queda fighters held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba? Rumsfeld's answer: "Mind your business."

When a street gangster tells you to mind your business, I imagine that you duck your head down pretty damn instantaneously, hoping all the while that you don't get shot for your impertinence. I've never actually had a street gangster tell me to mind my business, but I have a pretty good imagination and I've seen enough Mafia movies to know how the system works. McGruder then went on to make the best point I've heard in quite a while. The Bush Regime has already pulled off the ultimate scam: they stole the election. Not only did they steal the election, the actual winner (and can you find a sorrier excuse for Democrat than Al Gore?) rolled over and played dead, and so did the Democratic Party! So now, the Bush Regime is emboldened. They know that there is no one, at least in the mainstream, who dares oppose them. They are on the ultimate power trip. They know that all they have to do is tell us all to mind our business, and most people will do just that.

We have, quite simply, a gangster in the White House. We have gangsters running the entire Executive Branch of our government, except that it isn't a government that is in any way, shape or form responsive to We The People. As the Bush Regime has so amply demonstrated in two and a half short years, they don't give a shit about us. They don't care what we think, what we want, who we are, or what we care about. If they did, they wouldn't be where they are right now. They wouldn't be ready to send troops into Iraq and kill even more innocent people than U.N. Sanctions and bombings already have. They wouldn't have exploited the genuine tragedy of the World Trade Center bombing to undermine our Civil Liberties and warmonger in the most detestable fashion. They wouldn't be chomping at the bit to take military action that will further destabilize the Middle East, a region that is notoriously unstable even in the best of times. Israel, Pakistan, and India, all allies of the United States in the Middle East, have nukes. It's not such a stretch to foresee a scenario where the region gets even more destabilized because of the Bush Regime's military action. What if someone in one of those countries is crazy enough to actually use those nukes? Where the hell are we going to be then?

This is why it is more important than ever that anyone who has even the slightest inkling that there is something rotten in the state of Denmark MUST take a stand. We MUST make our voices heard! We MUST organize! We MUST demonstrate! We MUST support one another! We MUST focus on the similarities we share with other activists to achieve the larger goal of making this world a peaceful place, rather than get bogged down and defeated by infighting over whose agenda is more important or who is more punk. When you choose the lesser of two evils, you are still choosing evil. Don't get us wrong - the Republicans must be voted out of office on November 5th! But we want to encourage you to look beyond the two dominant parties when you vote, and think about who will really represent and fight for what you believe in.

After spending over an hour in a pre-9/11 interview picking apart the many propaganda tools and brainwashing methods that are used upon the American people to keep us in the dark and feeling powerless, Noam Chomsky was asked if he was optimistic about the ability of regular Americans to influence the course of domestic and foreign policy. To my surprise, he said he was. Chomsky based his optimism, funnily enough, on the Vietnam War. American involvement in the Vietnam War ended, Chomsky explained, not because President Nixon had a change of heart, or because the military decided to throw in the towel, but because enough of the American people, despite overwhelming amounts of propaganda to the contrary, made it politically unfeasible for the government to continue fighting it. It didn't happen overnight, and it didn't happen without sacrifice, but ultimately the American people prevailed and the war ended. That war ended because enough of the American people had the courage of their convictions to be activists, to demonstrate, to do something instead of waiting for someone else to do it. Now we need to do the same. It won't be any easier, or any less daunting than their task was. In some ways it might even be more difficult. But it won't get done unless we get off our asses and make it happen. So what are we waiting for? Let's get off our asses.

Aaron McGruder's speech is available for purchase at the C-Span website, www.cspan.com

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