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A Famine Where Abundance Lies

September 14th, 2004

Some days it’s just hard to write. You see clearly what is going on, but stand in almost despair as others look the other way. You see a man who had everything paid for and handed to him, everything taken care of for him all his life, who drank, almost certainly used drugs; a man who broke the law many times, though arrested only three times that we know of; a man who has spoken outright lies too many to count; who evaded service while admonishing his peers not to do the same–engaging in hypocrisy, cowardice, and then lying about it. A man who displayed cruelty to many people, including a woman about to be put to death on his own watch.

And yet, despite all of these facts, millions of people who see character, dignity, and honor as critical somehow are able to see this man as strong in character. You wonder in disbelief how they can possibly think that.

You see a man who started a war that didn’t need to be fought, sent a thousand young men and women to die and Lord knows how many thousands more to be maimed and cut up, all based on lies about how dangerous the other country was, lies proven wrong beyond any doubt whatsoever; a man who still forwards many of these same bald-faced lies. A man who hides behind the honor of fallen soldiers. A man who did all of this at the cost of fighting an effective war on terror, when from the very start he began to draw resources away from the hunt for those who had actually attacked our people. A man who has allowed and even caused by his words and actions the enemy numbers to swell, while still refusing to adequately fund real defense at home.

And yet, to so many patriotic Americans who see their children’s lives as sacred and the security of our nation as paramount, this same man is somehow seen as a strong, decisive leader who is our only chance for peace and safety.

You see a man who has treated the people with disdain, stealing away their rights in the dead of night, and yet to many who cherish our freedoms and liberties, this man is somehow a protector.

You see a man who has taken a massive surplus and turned it into an unheard-of deficit, a man whose spending has gone far beyond control, and yet among people to whom small government and financial responsibility is essential, somehow this man is seen as a trustworthy manager of the treasury.

You see a man who has presided of massive job losses, over the lowering of uncounted jobs to minimal pay, who has done nothing for education or health care, and yet so many people seem to think he is the best man to accomplish these things and raise our standards of living, tasks which he has proven he cannot accomplish.

And then we turn and see the other man. A man also born to wealth and privilege, and yet he chose to serve, and did serve in combat, with such stature and bravery that a band of his comrades have given up a year of their lives to follow him and declare to anyone who will listen that they owe their lives to him, that he is a man who will lead with honor and dignity. And yet many people who respect military service and honor bravery would sooner listen to political hacks funded by wealthy partisan donors who attack this man with easily punctured lies and thinly veiled hypocrisy–and yet believe them instead. You see the first man attack not just the second, but many others (think of McCain and Cleland) who served and sacrificed with honor, attacking them with bitter lies and calling these patriots traitors, and somehow many people believe the coward who never fought, and disbelieve the men who offered their lives for their country.

You see the other man come forward with workable, sensible and fair plans where the first man has nothing but failures. You see the other man spell out his plans for education in detail, for health care that benefits the people and not the pharmaceutical corporations, a man who would tax fairly, use taxes fairly, and who would reduce the deficit, build better jobs and turn us around from four years of economic failure. But you see that nobody hears of any of this because though the man is speaking of these plans often, the cameras and the journalists do not pass them on as they are supposed to; they instead focus on what the first man is saying without questioning his veracity, and then only how the other man responds to that, and little else. You see the other man trying to tell a country how he can help, how he wishes to serve, but you only read stories and see reports buried low on the page and far into the broadcast, and even then more often than not focusing on how he’s being berated or not being angry enough.

Just today, two of the top half dozen major media sites don’t even mention Kerry’s name on their main pages, though they all name Bush; two more of that number do not mention him until near the bottom of the page. And yet we are less than two months away from an election.

You may or may not share my views or judgments, and I am far from being without bias. There are other things to be said that oppose what I have written above, to be certain. But even taking all that into account, I still cannot fathom how so many can dismiss so much which is vital in a leader and accept a man such as Bush; I cannot believe how a man like Kerry, who, for all his faults, fought for his nation and fights for it still, a man of ambition and yet still of conscience, can be so beaten in the media and disbelieved and unheard by so many who value the things that he has accomplished and promises to do.

You look at the papers and read the news and listen to the broadcasts, and sometimes it hurts to see how the truth is being played with by veterans of spin, how you know what is right and yet also see how millions will see it as wrong, or wrong as right.

This does not mean that I am giving up, however. It does not mean I have abandoned hope, far from it. My hope is that those who fear what will come from another four years, and those who hope for what a new administration could bring, will be galvanized by the blind eye of much of the country and the jaded eye of the media. My hope still remains in my mantra now quite long in speaking: turnout, turnout, turnout.

I fear for my country, but above all I hope for it.

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  1. Justin Faulkner
    September 15th, 2004 at 07:16 | #1

    I know exactly what you mean….I feel like I’m in some kind of real-life version of Plato’s Cave allegory! I think, however, that it might take a trip to rock-bottom to reawaken progressives in America.

  2. Dave M
    September 16th, 2004 at 03:27 | #2

    Wow! What an incredibly insightful post, at least into my mind. Keep up the good work, and keep up hope, though it is becoming more difficult with each day of biased news reports. I cannot for the life of me understand why this presidential race is even close. I can’t comprehend why Americans don’t assign any responsibility for ALL of the failed policies and actions taken by this administration. Where has the conscience of America gone?

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