[sociate] An open letter to the Democratic presidential candidates

  • From: "Jerry Michalski" <jerry@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Sociate News" <sociate@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 18:03:46 -0400

(who often act as if there aren?t enough meaty issues for the 2004 campaign)

Apologize.

Apologize for how the Bush Administration immediately pulled out of every
treaty and international governing body it could. Apologize for turning our
backs on people in trouble around the world, until the various pots boil
over, and for turning over stewardship of the environment to those who seek
to plunder it.

Apologize that Bush exploited the September 11 attacks to manipulate
Americans. Apologize that he not only squandered the empathy the world
offered the US at that time, he actively destroyed it by shoving an
unnecessary war on Iraq down everyone?s throats. Apologize that Bush, Powell
and Rumsfeld rolled over the UN Security Council, just as it was doing well
what it was designed to do. Apologize to the Germans, the French, the
Russians, the Chinese. Apologize to Bill Maher, the Dixie Chicks and others
who were speaking their consciences about matters of global urgency. (You
may need a special apology to make up for Anne Coulter. Treason? Really,
now.) Let us know that speaking one?s conscience should never be a dangerous
thing.

Apologize for John Ashcroft and other Bush appointees unnecessarily denying
civil liberties to our own citizens and to many welcome guests. Apologize
for the way public discourse has been weakened by the forces of
ultra-conservatism, so that now the loyal opposition is a shambles.
Apologize that principled individuals who speak up now expect to have their
characters impugned and their livelihoods threatened or destroyed. Apologize
for how elections have become little more than consumer mass-marketing
exercises -- even for Democrats. Apologize for weakening the very
foundations of our democracy, even as Bush speaks the sweet words that
attract us to it.

More importantly, apologize that Bush instituted a stunning, unprecedented
US policy of preemptive strikes -- the ?Bush Doctrine? -- by fiat. Apologize
that whom these strikes hit seems to stand at the political whim of this
country?s self-appointed leader, because all the ?evidence? used to support
the strikes have fallen apart. Apologize that Bush?s policy of preemptive
strikes legitimizes it for others, even though he probably thinks it?s
reserved just for him. Apologize that the world?s remaining Superpower feels
the need to run roughshod over the world, heeding no higher authority, and
in fact acting as the higher authority.

Apologize that George W. Bush Jr. and his team appear genuinely to believe
that these are their only alternatives -- that they have no other path but
to act like the thugs they claim to be pursuing.

Apologize that Bush could speak of the need for ?humility? in foreign policy
during the election, then do all these things. Apologize for the US
Government?s longstanding hypocrisy and double standards, which the rest of
the world understands and we cannot see, blinded as we are by national pride
and Government propaganda. Pledge to correct these injustices.

Apologize that Bush?s economic minds seem to think that giving the rich more
money will somehow trickle down to everyone else, even as jobs are being
de-skilled and workers laid off. Apologize to the grandchildren and
great-grandchildren of America?s citizens that a Federal budget surplus
estimated at $236 billion when Bush took office has already turned into
projected record deficits of $455 billion this year, a swing of $691
billion -- two-thirds of a trillion dollars -- in the two and a half years
of his Administration. This is not a lag effect from bad management by the
Clinton Administration, or even a hangover from an economic downturn: this
is mismanagement, plain and simple. And maybe fraud. Oh, and apologize also
for the veil of secrecy that Bush and his proponents have thrown over this
land, keeping us from knowing what our elected representatives are really
doing, keeping us from seeing the frauds perpetrated.

Apologize for Bush because he never will. Apologize for Americans because
history will regard us very poorly if these actions are not at least
acknowledged, and hopefully reversed. Apologize because these actions mean
Bush apparently doesn?t trust us. Not his own citizens. Not foreigners. Not
for a second. He trusts only the vocal and furious minority with the power
and money to keep him where he is. They must be furious and desperate, or
they wouldn?t be pursuing the scorched-earth strategies they have adopted.

Finally, apologize because we really are on the cusp of a prosperous,
peaceful world, and all these actions are keeping us from it. In fact, the
magnitude of turmoil in the air today is evidence of the massive tectonic
pressure that has built up between the Bush world view and a new, emerging
world view. Perhaps you should apologize also that the Democratic party is
so bought into the process and the pressures that it is part of the problem.

Apologize for each and describe how you will change each.

It takes a strong, confident person to apologize. These apologies are also a
form of pre-election foreign policy in action. Bush will have to respond,
and he can?t blame Osama bin Laden for all this. (Where is that Osama,
anyway?) No, this is a much larger problem, and we can solve it. Let?s start
by making amends.

posted by Jerry Michalski at 6:01 PM

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