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Jim Lindberg
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deMOCKcracy It is a Dismal Time to be a Liberal American

If you are someone who is at all concerned with peace for our country, the destruction of the environment or the civil liberties we are supposedly guaranteed by the constitution, your sensibilities are being attacked from all sides. In the flag-waving, red, white, and blue tidal wave of patriotic fervor that has grown in the wake of 9/11, anyone who dares question the motives of the right-wing conservative agenda will be ridiculed with the same vicious persecution this country suffered through during the McCarthy era. If you tune in to any of the top-rated Fox TV news shows such as Hannity and Colmes or The O'Reilly Factor, you will undoubtedly witness an array venomous tirades of conservative propaganda that will make you wonder if you aren't actually watching a rerun of a bad Saturday Night Live episode. Any person appearing on one of these shows urging restraint against American aggressions overseas or warning of the backlash that will undoubtedly occur will be labeled traitors and communists, if they are allowed to speak at all against the bullying arrogance of the nouveau patriotic for Nielsen ratings.

The president and his staff have now been given carte blanche to carry out dangerous, short-sighted policies that threaten catastrophe for peace and political stability in the world. Don't believe me? North Korea issued a statement that they were actively restarting their nuclear program. What the networks didn't tell you was that in their official statement the North Korean government blamed the U.S designation of the DPRK (North Korea) as the "axis of evil" as one of the main causes for their actions. This is a concrete example where the president's own lack of diplomatic skill in foreign affairs has directly resulted in the escalation of the nuclear arms race. Former President Jimmy Carter said that the damage from that statement alone could take decades to reverse.

Throughout history whenever there has been a dominant world power there has always been shadowy forces conspiring to topple it, and they have invariably succeeded. We are the latest on top of the totem pole and there are more and more people around the world aiming to knock us off. The current political regime in this country chooses to confront conflicts with aggression rather than diplomacy, and attack the results instead of the causes. When you then factor in the increasingly negative economic news, and the reports from leading scientists that the damage we are doing to the environment is ten times worse than even they imagined, the outlook for our country with warmongering oil executives in office is, without exaggeration, extremely dim.

The important thing to remember is that white house officials and policy makers are concerned with two things that are crucial to their survival and the implementation of their policies; the American voters and what they call, "the street", or in other words, the potential adverse response from pissed off people who might suddenly decide they'd heard enough and either (a) vote them out of office, or (b) coalesce into a group with numbers large enough to stage effective protests, boycotts, and demonstrations. They can do whatever they want if we remain mildly content and apathetic.

In the 60's this idea was brought to the forefront when our country grew tired of seeing their sons being brought home in body bags on T.V., and took to the streets and capitals and voiced their anger and resentment at white house policy that was playing political power games with human lives. Decades later, the principal architects of the Vietnam war readily admit that they made grave mistakes in their decisions to keep the war going. The negative response of the American people to the conflict definitely figured into their decision to finally put an end to it. Unfortunately, with the "me generation" of the 70's, the hedonistic 80's and the apathetic 90's, we have been lulled into a false sense of security and powerlessness that now threatens our very survival. In other words, there has never been a better or more crucial time for you to put some action behind your words and use your voting power.

In the last election I heard a lot of people saying they felt their vote didn't count. When you see how unbelievably close the election was, that position is absolutely ludicrous. It's my opinion that if all the whining, apathetic people who were too lazy to go to the polls would have voted, we would not be in the position we find ourselves in today. Not voting is an unforgivable insult to the millions of people who have no voice at all in the fate of their country.

Conservative right wing republicans vote religiously and now enjoy an undue influence over the laws, policy, and politics in our country. Clarence Darrow said, "Sympathy is the child of Imagination". In other words, people who are artistic and imaginative, like most people in the punk rock scene I hope, usually are more concerned with peace and progress for our planet. When our people realize the power they have to really effect change in this country, and therefore, the rest of the world, and exercise their American right to vote and dissent, the warmongers will be out of office sooner rather than later.

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