Before I make my appeal for your united stand to preserve the union, please allow me to give you a review of my background before you label me as a liberal, communist or subversive. You see, I spent most of my life supporting your campaigns and your stated principles of governing, but left your party out of frustration with what I considered to be your dereliction of duty during the Clinton presidency.
My disenchantment with your party was not caused by your inability to properly deal with the ineptitude of the Clinton Administration, but goes back to how you choked off and killed the populist movement that grew out of the “Contract with America”. During those heady days of 1994-5 when Republican candidates catapulted to congressional majorities and earned control of a majority of state legislatures I believed that conservative thought would begin dissipating power out of Washington, D.C., and begin restoring a federal balance of powers between states and the national government that was intended by the US Constitution. To this end I gravitated toward the message of Pat Buchanan that the American government should serve American citizens, protect the standard of living of the American working middle class, use tariffs to require foreign manufacturers to support the economic system from which they desired to profit, and develop a non interventionist foreign policy that would guard American security without obligating the country to participate in international intrigues.
Those positions, however, were considered to be anathema to party regulars that saw the end of the Cold War to be an opportunity for America to assert itself as the “indispensable nation”. I witnessed your party, in response to Buchanan’s emergence as a front-runner for the 1996 GOP presidential nomination, gather all its resources to choke off the movement he championed and prop up the moribund candidacy of Bob Dole which was little more than a forfeit to the re-election campaign to President Clinton.
Although I did not disassociate myself from the party after the treachery you committed marginalize us “peasants with pitchforks”, I put one foot squarely out the door. I began looking to the vast horizon with the botched impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. I began my stride when there was no indignation over his surprise attack of Bosnia on the eve of the impeachment vote. I finally turned my back on your big tent on April 22, 2000, when the US government conducted the armed kidnapping of Elian Gonzales and the GOP hardly raised a whimper of protest.
I am, at this time, willing to swallow my contempt for the realization that your party, from the highest levels to the newest precinct walker, holds the greatest potential to rescue America from potential and rapid destruction. Only Republicans can appeal to President Bush and his advisers that taking military action against Iran is not in the best interests of this country without appearing partisan or accused of liberal, communistic motivations.
Regardless of what you believe, dear Republicans, of America’s invincibility, the invasion of Iraq has exposed some serious chinks in the American armor. Due to America’s foreign military adventures annual federal deficits have crossed the $400 billion mark throughout the Bush Presidency. The bulk of the resulting $9 trillion federal debt is coming under increasing control of the Chinese government. China, by the way, is managing a rapidly industrializing economy, thanks to corporations moving their production facilities there from America. This industrial growth is making the major owner of American debt a competitor with the US for construction resources and oil. If China wants to gain a competitive edge for those resources, it can easily gain it by calling in the chits it is holding against America’s currency.
Nor is one treasonously cynical to suggest that American society is ill suited to handle the sacrifices required to expand the Iraqi war to another country. America has a consumption-based economy that demands spending. Large-scale war demands saving, production, and rationing. According to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the American public last year had a savings rate of negative0.5 percent. Furthermore America has lost manufacturing jobs for the past 42 months running through March 2006.
Please don’t overlook the emerging social conflict that is coming over immigration and employment throughout the nation. If you would review Civil War history you will find that the biggest riot of the war was the New York Draft Riot which drove New York City to the brink of destruction at the onset of the Civil War during July, 1863. The riot was caused by wage competition between labor pools and the demands on residents to meet the call of a nation going to war. Today the immigration debate focuses on wage competition between labor pools and the demands on American citizens that are being required to support the needs of a nation in a boundless war.
I am well aware that contemplating an American assault on Iran satisfies a noble faith that America desires to act preemptively to rescue the world from nuclear weapons proliferation among madmen. Consider, for a moment, though, that we invaded and occupied Iraq to liberate it from violence and oppression. We removed a leader that destroyed cities and tortured political prisoners so as to remove him as a global threat with Weapons of Mass Destruction and connections with Islamic terrorists. In the process of delivering this mission the world has discovered Iraq had no WMD or capabilities to produce them, nor were there were no clear connections between Saddam Hussein and Islamic terrorists. Furthermore, before the American invasion, Iraq under Saddam did not suffer from any terrorist attacks, and pursuant to victory in the War Against International Terrorism America has found it necessary to destroy cities and torture prisoners. This is not a record that inspires confidence among us doubters and makes you who are truly faithful to the occupation appear detached from reality.
Subsequently I am appealing to you, my former partisan cohorts, to please consider the consequences of the last decade of “conservative” government to the nation, of the Iraqi “cakewalk” to America’s international standing and credibility, and then ask the head of your party, President Bush, to restrain himself from rescuing the United States from the wickedness of tyranny and the threat of evil. I am not sure that the nation will be able to survive any more of his, or your party’s heroic acts.
Bob Strodtbeck has been writing commentaries for a news weekly circulated in a community 10 miles north of Orlando, since 1993. He currently lives in Orlando. He may be reached for comment here.
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