What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: CrackerTed
Roy Purkiss, stationed at the Hill Air Force Base, sent me the following email this morning:
Your web site content is scarry. Is it that you are so totally confused, missled, decieved, or just want to irritate? If you are basing your assessment of our commander in chief upon the pablum, missrepresentation, and propaganda of the media, then you are not using the brain God gave you. Most of America will never know how much President Bush protected them from destruction. We owe him our aliegance, not our disdain.
Roy (and others),
I am not basing my assessment of our commander in chief on any propaganda. Moreover, the propaganda most often works in his favor, allowing him to accumulate power in the executive branch while people are “convinced” that it is necessary for our security. The Constitution (which you, Roy, and others have sworn to defend and uphold) served (and serves) to pull down power from a central figure, thus preventing a dictatorship.
Sadly, it hasn’t worked that well.
With the PATRIOT Act, Military Commissions Act, John Warner Defense Act, and others (including a record setting number of signing statements and executive orders) handed down by the Bush administration, we have seen our Republic degrade into a dictatorial empire at an alarming rate.
Lee Iacocca summed it up well:
The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don’t need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we’re fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That’s not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I’ve had enough. How about you? (Lee Iacocca, via Quoty)
Roy, you took an oath the defend the Constitution, not the President. Might I point you to the words of a former President, Theodore Roosevelt:
Every man who parrots the cry of ‘stand by the President’ without adding the proviso ‘so far as he serves the Republic’ takes an attitude as essentially unmanly as that of any Stuart royalist who championed the doctrine that the King could do no wrong. No self-respecting and intelligent free man could take such an attitude. (Theodore Roosevelt, via Quoty)
Roy (and others): please do your homework. Resist the urge to title as “propaganda” anything that uses fact and historical precedent to show how our current President has abused the powers of his office and subverted the Constitution. Shake off the dust of blind loyalty to a single man, and honor the oath you took to defend and uphold the Constitution of this land. Only then will our country stand a chance of surviving intact.