From our 1776 Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these Truths to be self-evident,
that all Men are created equal, that they
are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That
to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted
among Men, deriving their just Powers from
the Consent of the Governed, that whenever
any Form of Government becomes destructive
of these Ends, it is the Right of the People
to alter or to abolish it, and to institute
new Government ..."
And, also from the Declaration of Independence:
"... when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations,
pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces
a Design to reduce [the people] under absolute
Despotism, it is their Right, it is their
Duty, to throw off such Government, and to
provide new Guards for their future Security."
History of the present King of Great Britain
is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations,
all having in direct Object the Establishment
of an absolute Tyranny over these States."
out "King of Great Britain" in the last paragraph
above and substitute "President George W.
Bush," and you have a perfect beginning for
a modern American Declaration of Independence.
Bush has gone too far, too many times. He
is a one-man wrecking crew, destroying, bit
by bit, what decent men and women have created
and improved upon for 227 years.
We have to stop him. We have to do it soon.
If we don't, we won't have an America to protect.
some of you can't see the forest for the trees.
Perhaps you're too close to the picture to
see it clearly. But, I assure you, the rest
of the world knows what's going on in America.
The rest of the world is aghast. "What is
happening to America?" they ask. "Why don't
the Americans do something about Bush?"
Last week I got an unbelievably heavy surge
of e-mail from readers. And roughly 80 percent
had the same question: "What can I do?"
can I do? What can anybody do? Does it help
to write to members of Congress? Should I
write letters to the editor? Please, please,
tell me, what can I do?
My answer last week was, "I don't know." But
I've been thinking about it, and I've come
up with a few ideas that might actually work,
if we're lucky.
And if we're good.
First, let me tell you what won't work: violence.
Any violent attempts to correct our national
problems will do nothing but make them worse.
A new American revolution at this point would
be counterproductive. It would just divide
us and lead us into civil war. And any thought
of assassination is idiotic.
We need nonviolent solutions.
Our first step, I believe, is to hold public
rallies and protest demonstrations. I know,
I know, I opposed the recent anti-war demonstrators,
but there's a difference. The anti-war demonstrators
had no chance of succeeding.
Anti-fascist demonstrators might have better
is an incendiary term when applied to America,
but consider its dictionary definition: "A
political ... regime ... that exalts nation
... above the individual and that stands for
a central, autocratic government headed by
a dictatorial leader, severe economic and
social regimentation and forcible suppression
With the exception of economic regimentation,
the Bush administration seems to fit the "fascist"
definition rather neatly.
Bush is not a dictator, but is he "dictatorial"?
I'd say he is. My dictionary says "dictatorial"
"stresses autocratic, high-handed methods
and a domineering manner." That fits George
W. Bush's style to a T. In fact, he even once
said, on his first trip to Washington after
being elected, that his job would be easier
if he were a dictator.
any event, it's time to start demonstrating
against this man and what he represents. It's
time to declare our independence from this
man. We need to create a small army of modern
Bush's war against Iraq has become the disaster
many of us feared it would become. Our troops
are being killed on a daily basis. So are
Iraqi citizens. We've virtually destroyed
Iraq's major cities.
accomplished our stated goals -- getting rid
of Saddam Hussein and his ethereal weapons
of mass destruction -- so what are we doing
there? It's time to pull out and leave the
Iraqi oil behind.
There is no shortage of administration sins
upon which to focus and demonstrate against.
We could have massive demonstrations in every
American city every day of every week.
the FCC decision of a fortnight ago. The only
people who favored it were the three commissioners
who voted for it, the Bushies who led them
and the communication companies that stand
to increase their fortunes from it. The remainder
of America was against it, yet it slithered
its way into law.
We should be protesting anti-American stuff
like that. We should make our voices heard.
last week the Bushies edited out data about
climate change in an Environmental Protection
Agency report. Bush made it clear early in
his administration that he has no interest
in environmental protections that might cost
industry money, so he and his cronies are
pretending global warming can't possibly exist.
should be protesting stuff like that. The
air we breathe and the water we drink are
far more important than any company's profits.
But we must not divert our energies. To be
successful, we must focus. Our job is to protect
ourselves from Bush. We should let other social
ills pass for the moment. Saving our nation
is more important than saving the whales.
To be successful, our movement can't be limited
only to Bush's political opponents -- Democrats,
liberals and professional rabble-rousers.
We need good conservatives who are tired of
playing follow the leader as they watch our
liberties go down the drain.
The salvation of our nation is not a partisan
In Congress, we need more John McCains --
senators and representatives who think for
themselves and refuse to slavishly follow
the party line. We need conservative citizens
who will do the same. We need brave Democrats
in office (if they exist!) and even braver
Republicans, like Jim Jeffords of Vermont,
who risked all to save his nation.
need the help of rich people who love their
country, people like George Soros or Bill
Gates Sr. or Bill Gates Jr.
We need to get out of Afghanistan as well
as Iraq. For all our bluster over there, we
control perhaps one neighborhood of Kabul.
The rest of the country is controlled by warlords
and drug lords. The opium-poppy crop is leaving
Afghanistan by the ton -- so where is our
sanctimonious "war on drugs"?
Folks, Bush and his gang have angered our
enemies and inspired them to try harder. Thus,
our foes are doing exactly what we would be
doing if we were in their shoes: planning
bigger and better attacks. We treat them as
if they are one criminal organization run
by Osama bin Laden, but in fact they're a
hydra-headed monster that can't be defeated.
Chop off one head and another appears. Our
only hope is to learn to get along with them,
and the Bush people are doing just the opposite.
should be protesting such a stupid foreign
policy, not just in the streets but in letters
to the editors, calls to talk shows and discussions
with our friends and neighbors.
We need courageous foreign-service officers
who will tell it like it is. We need civil
servants who will risk their jobs to serve
their country. We need rival political parties,
like the Greens and Libertarians, to back
off their dreams -- for now -- and join the
fight to save our nation.
We need corporate CEOs to draw the line and
quit paying the bribes demanded by both parties.
"But, Harley," the CEOs will argue, "if we
don't pay, we lose out, our profits drop and
we lose our jobs." That may be true, but the
health of our nation is more important than
any company's profits, any man's job. If we
lose this good thing we have going here, this
wonderful United States of America, we may
never get it back.
And we need character in our press. The much-chronicled
sins of one cheating New York Times reporter
pale compared with the propaganda that comes
out of Fox News or MSNBC on a daily basis.
know that sucking up to the lowest common
denominator builds ratings, and high ratings
translate into bigger paychecks, but our nation
is at stake and it's time to stop pandering.
We need a responsible press. You and I should
demand a responsible press.
So, organize. Do what you can as an individual.
We have to fight back. I've made a few suggestions,
but I know from experience that people who
read this column can come up with a thousand
better ones. Do that. And spread the word.
Will all our efforts drive Bush from office?
No. But we can distract him, and slow down
his attempts to rebuild America in his own
image. In 17 months we can vote him out of
office. If our movement is powerful enough,
we'll have a choice then between a good Democrat
and a good Republican not named Bush.
"...Whenever any Form of Government becomes
destructive of these Ends, it is the Right
of the People to alter or to abolish it, and
to institute new Government..."
(Late-breaking news: I just heard VoterMarch
is sponsoring a permitted protest from 5 pm
to 7 pm today in Manhattan, where Bush will
be staging a $2,000-a-plate reelection-campaign
fund-raiser at the Sheraton New York Hotel.
I've also heard a rumor that an anti-Bush
march is planned for July 4 in Philadelphia.
So the movement is already under way!)
Sorensen is a longtime journalist and liberal
iconoclast. His column appears Mondays. E-mail
him at email@example.com.
©2003 SF Gate
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