Columns 2008

My choices in 08… and why

One of my parents’ cardinal rules was that the secrecy of the ballot box was sacred. It was what made America stand out. Politicians could not punish us for the way we voted because they had no right to know how we voted.

Since our current Occupier and his administration have made a mockery of that notion by politicizing everything they’ve touched, I’ve decided, after twenty years of writing a newspaper column, it’s time for me to break the silence of my vote.

I look around at the debris and detritus that was once our great nation and its constitution, the legacy of an administration whose leader has not the slightest clue as to what made this nation so great for two centuries, and feel the need to stand up for my country. And I do mean MY country. Because contrary to statements made by our governor, I don’t believe that America has parts of the country that love America and are pro-American and parts that aren’t. I believe we have an immense, far flung nation filled with richness of diversity in thought, culture and religion, and all are real Americans. This country was founded by a group of people who wanted nothing more nor less than their god given right to believe and worship and work and play without being told they had to conform to one style of thought or belief.

For those of you who claim total faith in our Founding Fathers’ words without bothering to ever read them, let’s not forget this part of the Declaration of Independence:

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

And so today I am declaring my freedom from the party that produced Dick Cheney and his frightening interpretation of the vice presidency as a job that exists in a shadow world, neither part of the legislative nor the executive branch of our government, one that operates secret torture camps in our names with impunity. Our Founding Fathers would weep at what he has done to their carefully crafted balance of government powers.

And I declare myself free from the petty, nasty politics that insinuates that you can’t be a Muslim and a good family man at the same time. Or that if you live in a city, you have no morals or values and are somehow suspect as Americans. If that’s the case, then Bin Laden sure hit the wrong target. Because in destroying the World Trade Centers in the biggest city in our nation, he thought he was striking at the heart of America. But I guess all those firemen and policemen and brokers and husbands, fathers, sons, mothers and daughters who died were not real Americans because they didn’t live in small town USA.

Here’s what else I’m declaring freedom from. I am declaring myself free from any obligation to any politicians just because he’s been in office forever. I don’t owe any of them a darn thing. They got paid and paid well for their efforts. In some case, they even got the added benefit of a personal servant my taxes paid for.  If they want to keep their job, then they should be giving me their vision for the future, not a guilt trip about how I owe them for their past. If I want guilt, I’ll call my family. They do guilt much better.

So here’s my vote. Obama, Begich and Berkowitz.  Because they represent a new direction and a chance to right this ship of state before it sinks under the weight of socialism for the rich, pre-emptive wars and divisive hate mongering that sets neighbor against neighbor and destroys that which has made our country great – the belief that everyone has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.