This May Sound Melodramatic but ...

RECEIVED Wed., Nov. 17, 2004

Dear Editor,
    While our heads are in our video games and elsewhere, our country is moving steadily toward a police state. This sounds melodramatic but it’s a logical extension of what we see happening around us. The forces that be – global corporations and religious fundamentalists – are systematically assembling their Reich before our eyes. These forces have commandeered the Republican Party, which used to be a serious and responsible body, and are well on their way to controlling the Democratic Party. By vilifying their political opposition, a tactic that wins elections, these forces are casting us as bad guys in the minds of those who blindly follow the leader. As their legislative majorities, judicial appointments, and executive presumptions grow, our civil rights shrivel. The climate of fear in which we now live is more than a seasonal storm.
    Americans I encounter are decent and honest, regardless of the political affiliation they profess. We want jobs, health care, education, comfort for our aged, and the respect of the world community. But we have been divided – not united – turned against each other by the politics of fear. Emboldened by the "mandates" Republicans received in the election, they can now endeavor to frighten you further so you will sit down, shut up, pay taxes, and consume. The U.S. government will continue to "save the world from the heathen Arab hordes" while big corporations (at least the CEOs) enjoy obscene profits from the business of war. George Bush may not be the Antichrist, but he is acting just as I would expect the Antichrist to act. Killing innocent people is wrong, whether it is done by terrorists or the U.S. As a bumper sticker declares, "I love my country but I fear its government."
    It’s not over. There will be other elections, unless martial law is declared to control "domestic terrorists." (OK, maybe that is paranoia, but you’re thinking that it’s possible, aren’t you.) Meanwhile, if we the people have the guts to lean on our elected representatives, George Bush can be impeached and convicted. There is ample justification based on his conduct of the Iraqi war, with charges far more serious that any made against previous presidents. We can do better, and we will.
Phil Eagleton
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