By Donna Perdue –
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he’s doing this. I mean, after all, the Bush presidency, for the past 8 years, has been full of “create-it-as-we-go” government antics. This presidency has foolishly deceived the American people in ways I once thought only capable of the corrupt governments in the emerging Third World nations! I think I’d be more surprised if Former White House Advisor Karl Rove HAD shown up this morning! Talk about audacity!
As a nation, we have begun to make headway to reach across partisan lines and build something for which we can be proud. Unfortunately, there are these little people like Rove with whom we must contend. Just what should WE do with them? Should we gamble and let the cards fall as they may?
It’s amusing; one must laugh to avoid the anger, that the case may not be resolved before Bush’s term ends in January. How convenient! Executive privilege, my butt! Frankly, I’m quite tired of government saying/arguing that internal administration communications are confidential and that Congress cannot compel officials to testify. Says who? This is OUR government! We are the PEOPLE! WE pay the TAXES! We vote the laws! WE run this ship!
We have got to take the helm from those who would otherwise turn us into a form of totalitarian government. We may have invaded Iraq to bring in democracy and bring down a totalitarian regime, but in the process our own system may be moving closer to the latter and further weakening the former. We are often referred to as a “superpower” which accurately symbolizes the projection of American power abroad, but it obscures internal consequences.
Just imagine how odd it would be if we were to refer to the “Constitution of the American Democracy superpower.” We know that “constitution” refers to the limitations of power, while “democracy” addresses the active involvement of citizens in government and how the government responds to its people. To even consider ourselves a “superpower,” we’d be recognizing the surpassing of constitutional limitations and actual dwarfing of our citizenry. Is that what we’ve allowed Bush’s presidency to do to our nation?
Consider this…The increasing power of the state and the declining power of institutions intended to control it has been in the making for some time. The party system is a notorious example. The Republicans have emerged as a unique phenomenon in American history of a fervently doctrinal party, zealous, ruthless, antidemocratic, and boasting a near majority. As Republicans have become more ideologically intolerant, the Democrats have shrugged off the liberal label and their critical reform-minded constituencies to embrace centrism and footnote the end of ideology.
In ceasing to be a genuine opposition party the Democrats have smoothed the road to power of a party more than eager to use it to promote empire abroad and corporate power at home. Bear in mind that a ruthless, ideologically driven party with a mass base was a crucial element in all of the twentieth-century regimes seeking total power.
Representative institutions no longer represent voters. Instead, they have been short-circuited, steadily corrupted by an institutionalized system of bribery that renders them responsive to powerful interest groups whose constituencies are the major corporations and wealthiest Americans. The courts, in turn, when they are not increasingly handmaidens of corporate power, are consistently deferential to the claims of national security. Elections have become heavily subsidized non-events that typically attract at best merely half of an electorate whose information about foreign and domestic politics is filtered through corporate-dominated media.
Citizens are manipulated into a nervous state by the media’s reports of rampant crime and terrorist networks, by thinly veiled threats of the Attorney General and by their own fears about unemployment. What is crucially important here is not only the expansion of governmental power but the inevitable discrediting of constitutional limitations and institutional processes that discourages the citizenry and leaves them politically apathetic.
In the United States it is with the people where democracy is most alive — while the real danger lies with an increasingly unbridled government. The basic elements are in place: a weak legislative body, a legal system that is both compliant and repressive, a party system in which one party, whether in opposition or in the majority, is bent upon reconstituting the existing system so as to permanently favor a ruling class of the wealthy, the well-connected and the corporate, while leaving the poorer citizens with a sense of helplessness and political despair, and, at the same time, keeping the middle classes dangling between fear of unemployment and expectations of fantastic rewards once the new economy recovers.
What’s more, the whole scheme is fueled by an increasingly concentrated media and a well-funded, conservative propaganda machine. If we’re not careful, our current tolerably free society will transform to something reminiscent of the extreme regimes of the past century.
Are we ready for that? Are we going to hold Karl Rove’s feet to the fire? Bush’s? Our own? Are we going to take our government back? Or, are we simply going to fold our cards and cash in our chips already!
by Donna Perdue
After 22 years of service as a print journalist, photographer, and international media coordinator in the US Marine Corps, Donna is now a business owner in Akron, Ohio, where she resides with her husband and son. A Democrat turned Republican and recently converted back to Democrat, Donna is anxious for the USA to leave Iraq. She is especially proud of her military service while in the Horn of Africa 2005-2006. Working with the US Embassies and host nation governments of 11 East African nations, she coordinated all aspects of media access for domestic and international audiences. Seeing much disparity while growing up in inner-city Baltimore, Donna has dedicated a good portion of her personal time to advocating for the underprivileged. While realizing she’s lost much of her former street credibility, during the past five years she’s volunteered at an Ohio Maximum Security Detention facility for boys teaching a Junior Achievement economics package to 17-22 year-old men preparing to re-enter society. Donna’s most notable achievements include: becoming a mom, being a Marine, earning her gray belt in Marine Corps Martial Arts, driving a forklift, firing expert eight times with an M16, running eight marathons, and marrying the greatest guy in the world!
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