Thursday, January 01, 2004

A Resolution for 2004

This is the year that I will be standing tall for the convictions of my beliefs. I will not hesitate to speak out for that which I believe in. It’s time to make a difference in the country that I love.

Up until March 2003, I had never took a stand for any political candidate to the point where I actually felt like volunteering my time to get that candidate elected. Politicians, are by their very nature, manipulators of the truth to get what they desire. They promise things, they practice the art of skillful deception, and their typical goal is more personal power. As a group, they are not to be trusted. I’ve always been a devout believer of the old Bob Dylan saying “Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters.” That’s always made perfect sense to me, and I still see little reason to doubt that it’s still some of the best advice ever handed down by any philosopher-writer of any era I’ve ever studied.

Ever since the events of 2001, the world has gone through a major overhaul. It was nothing at all like the imaginary scenario that Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick presented in 70mm Cinemascope back in 1968. What we Americans got thrown at us was an unexpected nightmare of epic proportions that shocked us to the core of our existence. The World Trade Center, a symbol of international free trade, was wiped out not by a nuclear bomb, but a group of well-organized terrorists armed with simple box cutters and a strategy unlike any plan we’ve ever seen. It caught us off-guard, and we’re still dealing with the aftermath of this terrible tragedy.

In the light of the circumstances, the American government was hijacked by power-hungry industrialists in the name of misguided patriotism. Appealing to the emotional heartstrings of Americans, these manipulative people changed the focus of the American government to disable the Bill of Rights, engage in an unjustified war against another country, and transform whatever international solidarity we had into widespread animosity.

Peace activists and journalists are routinely denied access at US airports. Suspected terrorists are thrown in jail without the benefit of a fair trial, legal representation, or communication with their families. Despite the claims of lower taxes, the American people have been handed a massive financial burden that will restrict their opportunities to rise out of their economic slump.

When George W. Bush entered office, he inherited a record government surplus of $230 billion. Going against the antiquated Republican stereotype of a “small government,” the Bush administration has in fact, squandered whatever savings was gained, creating the largest bureaucracy in the history of America. Fiscal conservatism is a thing of the past with the Bush administration. Now we’ve got a deficit of $3.8 trillion. (That’s $3,800,000,000.00 for those of you that don’t know how many zeros are in a trillion) The average burden of this comes out to approximately $9,456.00 per person or $37.826.00 per family of four.

Just what are we getting for our money? Certainly not guaranteed health care, like the rest of the industrialized world. Certainly not consistent employment for all, as unemployment figures are the highest they’ve ever been in 10 years, according to the Department of Labor. Even support for the military has been compromised, as health care benefits for the troops have been severely cut for active duty and veterans alike. Environment health standards have been gutted as corporate polluters now run the governing agencies that were supposed to enforce the rules. The government is costing us more, but we’re getting far less in return.

A man was held in American prison for 19 months without ever having the opportunity to consult with legal counsel or his family. The days of “innocent until proven guilty” are gone. The Bill of Rights no longer applies when it comes to government-defined terrorists. If you look like a “terrorist,” and the Bush administration labels you as a “terrorist,” then you can kiss your ass goodbye as the government changes the rules to suit it’s own agenda.

America entered a war that was clearly unjustified. Weapons of mass destruction were never found. The link between Saddam Hussein and Osama BinLaden remains to be discovered. Millions of people around world protested against these actions in an effort to stop the war, but the Bush administration paid no attention to the active voices trivialized as mere “focus groups.” Declaring Saddam a threat against humanity, America has looked the other way as heinous activities continue in Uzbekistan, Bhutan, Saudi Arabia, Congo, Colombia, and other countries considered “friendly allies.” It’s estimated that 9,000 Iraqi citizens and over 500 American soldiers died in this war initiated by President G.W. Bush. While there may not have been any Al Queyada terrorist troops in Iraq when the war began, there are certainly more members of that organization in place today as Iraqis fight against outside occupation in their homeland. In spite of the capture of Sadam Hussein, attacks continue against the American occupation. It’s a quagmire, and an ugly one at that.

America, once considered the pinnacle of freedom, fairness, and a higher standard of living, has been transformed into something else entirely.

If George W. Bush is re-elected in 2004, the terrorists will have won their war against the freedoms we hold dear. The Bill of Rights will become a historic footote, the draft will be reinstated, Americans will be involved with a series of never-ending wars, and the country will go bankrupt, pure and simple.

This year, I will do everything in my power to get a better president elected for America. We need accountability in this country, and we need it now!

In March 2003, I found a candidate for president that’s not afraid of standing up to the blatant Bush-it that’s been handed to the American people. Unlike the current president, this candidate is well-read, and can deliver a coherent government policy that stand the test of rational thinking. As a governor of a small rural state, he transformed an inherited deficit into a surplus, found a way to get affordable health care for over 90% of his constituents, repealed sale taxes on clothing while cutting state income taxes, and even chaired the bi-partisan National Governors' Association for a few years. He’s got a solid record that holds up to close scrutiny. He was also one of the few candidates that consistently opposed the Bush unilateral war against Iraq, and he never wavered his opinion in deference to public opinion polls.

In 2004, I am going to do my part to make sure that every potential American voter knows the truth about Howard Dean. He’s not perfect, but who is? He’s the only politician I’ve ever volunteered for, and I’m proud of my activism for his campaign. I’ve talked to him in person a few times, and he seems to be quite geniune in his convictions. I believe that this man has a better handle on international diplomacy and domestic security than the current president will ever have. America deserves a more accountable government, and Howard Dean is the best hope we have to reclaim the essence of the ideals that were formulated in 1776.

The race is on, and I will do what I can to provide fuel to keep this campaign running at maximum strength. If you want more information about this man, I’ll be happy to share it with you.


Eric Predoehl

Dean For America

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E.P. Thursday, January 01, 2004