Friday, November 03, 2006

American Values

Every time election season rolls around, the political hype begins and we hear the same old, “This is the most important election in our lifetime,” line. Now usually, while I believe every election is important, I roll my eyes at this kind of over dramatization. This time is different though and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s the most important election of our lifetimes, I would say it’s right up there in the top five and I’ll tell you why.

We’ve heard a lot about American values in the last seven years or so. In fact we’ve been inundated with “values” jargon. What exactly are, “American values”? Well according to the right wing of this country they consist of, keeping gays from marrying, making abortion illegal, prayer in schools and the Ten Commandments on our courthouse steps. Obviously these things are important to some Americans, perhaps even to you, but are they the values that have made this country truly great and unique in the annals of history? Are they the values that all Americans have held dear and many have fought and died for? No, they’re not. The true American values, the ones this country was built upon are liberty, freedom, equality and democracy. Without these values what would America be? I believe this election is very important because these true “American Values” are in grave danger, not from an outside enemy, but from within our own government and without, “American values” we won’t need to worry about some terrorist blowing the country up, because it will already be as good as dead.

Perhaps you think I’m guilty of over dramatization, histrionics even. If so take a good hard look around you at what’s happening to our “values” and our bill of rights. First, the President decided to ignore the fourth amendment that protects us from unlawful search and seizure, by secretly green lighting the NSA to wire tap any Americans phone without having to go to the trouble of asking a court for a warrant. This action was completely illegal, but don’t worry not for long because since then the Congress instead of stopping the President from illegal activity has proposed legislation to legalize it thereby completely gutting the amendment for good. If that’s not enough to worry you, don’t fret there’s plenty more. While the nation was busy foaming at the mouth over the Mark Foley scandal, Bush urged Congress to hurry up and pass the Military Commissions Act, which they did late the night of Sept. 28. They we’re in such a rush that many congressmen didn’t bother to even read the bill, which had a small section in it’s midst which suspended Habeas Corpus. For anyone who doesn’t know, Habeas corpus (ad subjiciendum) is Latin for “you may have the body” (subject to examination). It is a writ which requires a person detained by the authorities be brought before a court of law so that the legality of the detention may be examined. Pres. Bush lost no time in signing this bill and so now if he decides he doesn’t like what you or I or a reporter or any American says he can have us picked up and detain us indefinitely without benefit of a lawyer or Ever seeing a judge.

Wake up America; this is some scary shit (excuse the language)! I know that there are a lot of Americans out there who put great trust and faith in our government and President, but there is a reason we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights to protect us, and without them we will be no better off than a citizen of China, where they have to rely on luck and keeping their mouths shut to avoid government suspicion and punishment. If these reasons alone are not enough to convince every American that this election is extremely important and that they must vote, then I think that there are too few citizens that truly love America and we will all suffer the grim consequences.


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