I’m not going anywhere
Once again, conservative vitriol only serves to lend support to the very positions it seeks to criticize.I am referring to the recent letter in which the author expresses the wish that “… disgruntled Democrats would move to Canada.” The writer apparently subscribes to the “neener-neener-neener” school of politics. The author compares, but fails to contrast, the 2004 election with the elections of 1992 and 1996. She states “now you know how we felt” (neener-neener-neener), without recognizing a fundamental difference between then and now.She may have disagreed heartily with the agenda and policies of the Clinton administration, but she was never branded an un-patriotic, un-American traitor for doing so. And yet these are the very labels that the Bush regime and its supporters have attached to those of us who have expressed disagreement with their policies. Columnists and other letter writers in this very paper have used these words to describe us. If we joke about moving to Canada (with varying degrees of jest), it is not the disgruntled ire of a sore loser, but rather the sometimes acerbic humor that frequently hides a profound heartache. We are horrified at the direction in which this country is moving, at the dismantling of civil liberties, at the fear-mongering this administration has used to gain support for its reactionary policies, at the international animosity which can only increase the incidents of terrorism we claim to be fighting. And more than anything we are heartbroken that our love for our country is now called un-patriotic.The Bush regime has, at every turn, sought to marginalize any dissenting voice. So far this marginalization has been (mostly) rhetorical, but how long will it be before the rhetoric turns into overt action? Now that Bush has all that “political capital” burning a hole in his pocket, how long will it be before a letter like this earns me a spot on some enemies list somewhere? (Parenthetical aside: I’d be honored.)The author says she wishes that I and people like me would go ahead and move to Canada. Is this the “brighter day” the author was waiting for, a day when anyone who disagrees with the conservative agenda is told to shut up or leave? Is this my education in Republican principles? Have we forgotten Benjamin Franklin’s astute observation that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety?” Are we on the verge of a “Springtime for W?”In some ways, I’d be willing to pay 35 percent in taxes if it meant I was living in a country that actually lived up to own standards. I’ve never placed my portfolio (such as it is) above my values. However, I’m not going leave just yet. (Now it’s my turn: neener-neener-neener – I’m not going anywhere!) I love my country and have a lot of hope for our future. And in spite of a defeat in the recent elections, I have no intention of rolling over and taking it while the Bush regime undermines everything this country is supposed to stand for.I have a flash for you, my friend: Dissent is the life-blood of a democracy. Without dissent, democracy dies. The founders of this nation knew this; they understood very clearly the dangers that a tyranny of the majority could pose. This is why they built protections into our system – protections that the Bush regime is actively seeking to erode with such vile legislation as the “Patriot” Act. You may not want to admit this, but it is us “un-patriotic, un-American traitors” who are the true standard-bearers of liberty – your liberty. Because we never called you an un-patriotic traitor for disagreeing with us.See ya at the polls in 2008! Loré McLaren lives in Truckee
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