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government | imperialism & war selection 2004

Kerry - from the sublime to the ridiculous

Just thinking out loud here, but it seems that every day presumptive candidate John Kerry comes out with some new clanger that bodes no good for the future. I'm increasingly doubtful that his election will make a significant difference in America's failed course.
Sure, Bush and his cabal of Neo-cons will be history, but what will really change? Only yesterday Kerry gave a speach in which he raised the specter of "terrorists" using a nuclear weapon against the U.S. and called for heightened countermeasures and increased levels of "security" to deal with the threat. If he's already ratcheting up the politics of fear before he's even been nominated, he might just as well announce his choice of "Mushroom Cloud" Condoleeza Rice for Secretary of Defense. It becomes increasingly clear that a Kerry administration will do little to reverse the anti-Constitutional usurpations of the Patriot Act and the family of other laws that work in tandem to make America less free, and his statements favoring a "muscular" foreign policy including the doctrine of "preemption" are troublesome indeed.

As the situation now stands, there is pretty much a national consensus - although slim - against the policies and actions of the Bush administration. If Kerry takes office, I expect that he'll take the initiative in tempering some of the more egregious abuses and rewriting some of Ashcroft's laws to eliminate the patently Hitlerian stuff. However, I don't see him doing the right thing and throwing it out lock stock and barrel for the simple reason that he's already committed himself to the "necessity" of such measures.

If Hitler had been removed from office in, let's say 1938, would Germany have learned its lesson and foresworn the Nazi path, or would a nation already drunk on the philosophy of manifest destiny and Aryan superiority have simply carried on? Certainly there were many Germans - perhaps even a majority - who were privately opposed to Hitler, but it took a decisive allied victory, public exposure of the death camps, war-crimes tribunals and an active de-nazification program to reverse the national philosophy. If Bush is retired from the White House by someone who makes only cosmetic adjustments to the worst Bush policies while leaving in place and legitimizing all the rest while actually adding to it, wouldn't this be comparable to a Hitler-less Nazi Germany? As awful as it is to contemplate, I'm beginning to think maybe America NEEDS another four years of Bushitler to become so thoroughly sick of this dark chapter that it will think long and hard before repeating it - a sort of political aversion therapy.

For anyone wondering, no, I'm not a Karl Rove operative peddling a double reverse psychological argument for Bush's reelection, I'm just genuinely concerned with America's future under a leadership that doesn't take immediate steps to completely undo and reverse all the evil wrought by the Bush administration. It's clear to me that Kerry isn't going to do this, so now what? What's the solution? Is a hopeless protest vote for Nader or Kucinich the only option? (This isn't intended to belittle either Ralph OR Dennis, both of whom would make fine presidents IMO.)

More and more I identify with the little old lady who said "I don't vote, it only encourages them," or "If God wanted us to vote he would have given us candidates."

Comments welcome.