August 5, 2004
Where are you, good Republicans? Where's your pride?
BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
Writer Joan Collins says, "Bush rally was sad day for democracy."
Ms. Collins, every Bush/Cheney rally is a sad day for democracy, and America.
It is a sad day when the President of the United States uses campaign rallies as invitation-only events, exclusively for those who support him. It is a tacit admission that no dialogue will be allowed. Mr. Bush doesn't even seem to feel the need to pretend that there is any reason he should put up with it.
By NOT putting up with it, however, isn't the great "Uniter not a Divider" admitting his inability to reach across the political divide and bring Americans together? He doesn't even make the effort. If you're not with him, you're against him. And you will not be tolerated.
You will be excluded: No American citizen is allowed in to a Bush/Cheney campaign unless they are an invited supporter.
You will be discriminated against: If you support Mr. Bush, you may express your First Amendment rights anywhere you like, even at a Kerry rally. If you do not, your rights are forfeit, and you will be forcibly removed.
You will be intimidated: Can anyone imagine, for even one moment, if any Republican were denied access to a John Edwards speech unless they signed a Loyalty Oath to him? Can anyone imagine John Edwards demanding such a travesty?
You will be arrested: How many more instances will there be of Americans arrested for no other reason than not supporting George Bush? Pro-Bush t-shirt, good citizen; anti-Bush t-shirt, you're going to jail.
My only question is this: Where are all the good, decent Republicans who realize how wrong this is? I want to ask them, is this your vision of what America is? Is this what it should be?
Personally, I think George Bush is a coward. I think he's afraid. Afraid of us. Afraid of dissent. Afraid to look bad.
I remember when we had real presidents, who not only weren't afraid of the American people, but who went into the sometimes unfriendly world and stood up and spoke to people, in public! Kennedy, and Reagan, in Berlin. Clinton, in Ireland. Don't kid yourself that those weren't dangerous places to be. They went anyway. Their audiences weren't screened. And people responded to them wherever they went. The world saw their strength, loved them for going, and wanted to be us. Boy, have things changed!
President Bush goes to England and demands that Central London be shut down, protestors kept far away and the walls of Buckingham Palace be reinforced before he'll sleep there. He doesn't go out in public anywhere. Here or abroad. Photo-ops of him outside are carefully staged, no public admitted. It isn't just the rallies that are closed affairs -- the entire Bush presidency is.
Where are you, good Republicans? Where's your pride? Why is this ok with you??
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
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