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December, 2002

What Are You Willing To Do To Save The Constitution?
By Jeanette Pontacq

How are you feeling today? Are you wringing your hands and mumbling to yourself about everything from loss of constitutional freedoms to the move to take Iraq's oil? Or are you jazzed that our country gets to kick ass and grab most of the earth's goodies? No matter how you see the world around you, the world around you sees you as a problem.

Why? The rest of the world is watching us with sorrow, astonishment and fear as we, the people of America, continue to be lulled into complicity and complacency while our government becomes more and more dangerously dysfunctional.

The recent election that put neo-conservative Republicans in charge of America says something about how the people who vote in American see what is going on. In other words, they don't see it at all, getting their news from main media sound bites, talk radio and "newspeople" who simply repeat what the government tells them and ignoring reporters who try to actually report. I would guess that Average Americans (voters and non-voters) do not even know what constitutional freedoms they have lost and are too busy, fearful or intellectually incapable of seriously questioning anything that is going on.

The right wing has done an efficient job of getting their voters out and of obfuscating the reality of what they are doing behind a facade of conservatism and moderation. If there is an Oscar-type award for acting, the neo-conservatives embodied by the present administration should win it.

Meanwhile, back at the left, there is much angst and anxiety, but little organized, efficient or creative opposition. The Democratic party has shown itself to be gutless and without a consistent message, as well as fearful of the left itself. Oddly enough, multiple polls have shown that a true majority of people throughout the country have more in common with basic liberal ideals than with neo-conservatives. The problem comes in communicating our message to our fellow citizens. So far, it seems the left prefers to speak only to itself.

The situation is dire: the Bush administration is attacking the Constitution on multiple levels, both via edict and via bureaucratic slight-of-hand. Along with the high-profile war stance, there are literally hundreds of low-profile attacks rarely reported. One example is that Bush's appointment to head the Office of Management and Budget is in the process of taking the responsibility for information management away from the non-partisan Government Printing Office and giving it to the individual Cabinet agencies under Presidential control. The end result will be that the administration will be able to "spin" (read: delete) raw data and thus destroy the means by which the public ever finds out what the government is actually doing. Unless we get organized and act efficiently, we will end up living in an America without the protections of the Constitution, with the governing elite all-powerful. This is the most important attack on America since 1776. Get over feeling powerless, restrain yourself from repetitive ranting and really think about what you can reasonably contribute to the cause of getting rid of the present administration and fighting back their attempt to be all-powerful. What are you willing to do to save the Constitution?

PS: As a basic start, vow to vote and get at least 10 others to do the same. Note that UNPRECEDENTED: THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, the award-winning documentary showing The Real Story of what happened in Florida 2000, will be shown at the Dance Palace in Point Reyes Station at 7 PM on December 10 and at the San Geronimo Valley Cultural Center on January 8. Bring a friend.

 

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