There's a scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy is in a castle on the Austrian/German border. He looks over the edge of a balcony, down upon a secret German command center. Sighing, he pulls his head back and says to his companion, "Nazis! I really hate these guys."
President Bush, demanding "flexibility" in the pursuit of suspected terrorists, insisted Wednesday he would not sign a new domestic spying bill if it unduly limits the administration's authority to eavesdrop without warrants. (emphasis mine)
Sigh. George W. Bush and his cronies! I really hate these guys.
As an American, and as an American who has spent his life (and nearly lost it more than once) defending this nation, I am outraged. This is not hyperbole, I am truly filled with rage at this statement. I will NOT tolerate this kind of behavior from the elected leader of the United States. Every American should be outraged. If you do not immediately see why this is statement is unconstitutional, if you can not immediately see why this statement is the very epitome of tyranny, then you need to educate yourself. Stop reading this blog now, right now, and go read the United States Constitution. Read Every Word. Read it again and again until you understand it in your bones. Read the Declaration of Independence. Read the Federalist Papers. Read them out loud, you can hear the power, the sheer raw power, of the words. Read these documents until you understand that they are not just words, but ideals. Read these documents until you understand that those ideals are the single greatest achievement of the human race. Read them until you understand that these ideals are a sacred trust of every single American. Go do it, I'll wait.
As I may have mentioned elsewhere, I believe in the Constitution. I believe in the principles that this country was founded on. I believe in it so much, that I was willing to give most of my adult life in defense of those ideals. And to be perfectly blunt about it, I have come to the reluctant conclusion that the current administration is more, far more, of a threat to those principles than King George III, the Confederacy, Hitler, Hirohito, Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy, or that bearded pissant Osama Bin Laden ever was.
The wise and brilliant men who founded this country, those men who fought a bloody war against tyranny and oppression, those men who agonized over the drafting of the Constitution, had one burning concern above all others - that no one man, would ever again have unlimited power over his fellows. They rightly feared the power of government, even as they struggled to build a new government of their own, the likes of which had never been seen before in the history of mankind - a nation founded on the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all of it's citizens, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people - Not a government TO the people like some blood spattered jackboot on the throat of it's citizens. A nation founded on ideals so powerful, so true, so pure, that over time they would change the very fabric of that nation and her people, all of her people, and indeed the whole world itself. Those words are powerful. The sheer force and beauty of those words have rung like a bell throughout the last two hundred and thirty one years of human history. For over two centuries, those words have flared like a brilliant unwavering beacon and inspired literally billions of people worldwide to risk their very lives and all they hold dear in pursuit of the ideals those words embody. There was a time, not so long ago, when millions came to shores of America, the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of distant teeming shores. They came because they believed in those words, because they saw the beacon of liberty and freedom burning in the wine dark sky, because they knew in their heart of hearts that America was the land of a free and brave people. They knew that America was a land where no one man would ever hold capricious and arbitrary power over their children again. That is why they came. There was a time, not so long ago, when other nations yearned to be like America, there were revolutions in Europe, in France especially, inspired by the 'noble experiment' that was America. There was a time, not so long ago, where America rode into the valley of death and sacrificed her children to free the peoples of Cuba, Europe, and Asia from injustice and tyranny and holocaust and they were welcomed with tears of joy. There was a time, not so long ago, when the name, America, inspired awe and hope among the oppressed peoples of the world, and struck utter abject fear in the hearts of tyrants, kings, despots, and dictators. There was a time, not so long ago, when Americans could be proud of their nation, their government, themselves.
I believe, believe more strongly than anything I have ever believed in, that our great republic is truly in peril. More so now, under this simpering, lying, paranoid, smirking, childish, power mad, insane tyrant of a president, that America the Ideal is in great jeopardy. When a people become ashamed of their own nation, that nation is most surely in imminent peril. I truly believe that we, America, stand upon a precipice, and that we are sliding faster and faster into the dark festering depths of tyranny - the very thing that our founders feared above all else. The very thing that they warned us, their descendants, of over and over again. This is how it always ends, this is how all the great republics of history have died.
But it does not have to be this way.
A great man, a brilliant and wise man, Edmund Burke, once said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing," or words to that effect.
Congress, you are the elected representatives of America. You, you, represent all Americans, every single one - not just those who voted for you, not just those who gave you money and favors, not just those of your political party or your church or your country club - but every single man, women, and child in the United States. You carry on your shoulders the weight of history, past and future, you are the guardians of Democracy, Liberty, Freedom, Duty, Country, and the hopes and dreams of all those multitudes who gave their own lives for the last two hundred and thirty one years because they believed in the ideal that is America. It is your sworn and sacred duty to preserve this nation, to defend with your lives if necessary the principles of the Constitution. And you have been betrayed, all of you, all of us. This is a moment in history that will always be remembered, just as Julius Caesar's betrayal of the Roman Republic is remembered. You must stand together, you must hold, you must not waver, you must prevail - or this nation will indeed perish from the Earth. Republicans, Democrats, Independents it does not matter, party be dammed we have all been betrayed, you represent all of us - you, all of you, are the check that holds tyranny at bay. I implore you, don't give in to this evil, this President who has no intention of sharing power with you. This president who has made Americans afraid in their own country, who has made Americans ashamed of their own nation and identity. He casts aside those who displease him, those who don't knuckle under to his insane Orwellian vision of America. Only you can stand against him. Now is the time, right now, for good or ill history will remember what you do in this moment. Use the power of the Constitution, stand together as Americans and fight, Goddammit!
From the Declaration of Independence: "...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..." Hear me, Congress, I do not consent. I DO NOT CONSENT. I. DO. NOT. CONSENT! I refuse to give up my rights. I refuse to go quietly into darkness and tyranny. I refuse to see the Republic perish because good men did nothing. I DO NOT CONSENT!
The president is not a king, he is not Caesar, unless you, good men and women, do nothing.