Have we gone too
far to be able to find common ground ? Or has the division become the goal
rather than the obstacle to be overcome. In the aftermath of the recent
American elections it would appear that there is no middle ground. Americans
are divided as never before in my lifetime. This may have served the purposes
of the Bush political machine but it has done nothing to heal the country.
And when America is ailing the entire world is the victim. There
is no denying that America is the most powerful nation on earth and the
sole super power but strength not tempered with mercy is an unrelenting
task master and as history shows it comes with disastrous results.
When is winning
an election justification for character assassination, baseless lies and
dishonesty? The campaign waged to destroy Mr Bush's opponent was
the most relentless and despicable of my lifetime. Senator Kerry
has proven irrefutably that he is a patriot and is an acknowledged war
hero but even those credentials did not insulate him against the baseless
charges sanctioned and, in the opinion of most, encouraged by the man who
would ask for the respect of the Free World as Leader. How does one respect
a Leader who has no limits on how far he will go to achieve a political
objective ? How can one follow him when he has shown such lack of character
and decency? When he places so little value on a man who went into
battle to defend his country what message does this send to those now
facing the unimaginable horrors of war under his command ? How can
those youngsters have any confidence that he will support them should circumstances
change or the mood of the electorate change ?
Yes, Bush knew
his opponent. He knew that John Kerry would never speak out against those
veterans who were maligning him on Bush's behalf. He knew the integrity
which is engraved on Kerry's soul would never allow him to denigrate those
he considered 'Brothers' despite their politically motivated and misguided
actions. And so, John Kerry asked the people to trust his record.
And to know that those who had fought with him and still stood shoulder
to shoulder with him all these years later would only do so if it
was warranted. The people did not live up to his expectations. They perceived
his reluctance to reply in kind as weakness rather than what it actually
was - the strength and character to lead a nation torn apart by division
and at war.
The mistake in judgement
was not the fault of the electorate. They were led by the so called Fourth
Estate whose duty it is to inform and educate as to the facts. If anyone
failed the people it is not difficult to find the culprit. The Press
failed utterly in this past year to do their job. Not only did they not
inform they actually aided and abetted in the dissemination of the
misinformation and for that they should be held to account.
And it didn't
stop there. The distortion continued when it came to John Kerry's
positions and decisions over a twenty year period and up to and including
his comments throughout the campaign. Instead of debunking
the falsehoods and misrepresentations they perpetuated them ad infinitum.
No, John Kerry was not the most adept of campaigners. True Statesmen seldom
are. It takes a degree of chicanery to truly be an accomplished politician
on the campaign trail and to always have at hand the adroitness to adapt
to the circumstances and say only what people want to hear. None of us
deals well with the truth when it doesn't suit our agenda. John Kerry does
not conform well to that pattern. He assumes intelligence and understanding
perhaps when it doesn't exist. Or when his listeners are incapable of
wanting to understand.
As I watched the
results on election night I could almost feel my heart breaking as I
was faced with contemplating the future being decided for all of us. How
could a people have been so deluded as to not see the calibre of the man
they were rejecting? And how could they choose to follow a
man who had led his country to be so distrusted and dishonoured by
the results of his decisions? How many Abu Graib's or slaughtered children
would it take for them to see?
And so we once again
are faced with a country and a world divided and on the brink
of goodness knows what disaster. Led by a man who feels he must answer
to no one and without the capacity to change. A man who sees using the
power and might of his country's military armaments and the squandering
of the lives of a country's youth as only a small price to pay to enforce
his will on others as right and in God's name. The innocent children who
die in his cause are only collateral damage. May God forgive him for I
doubt the loved ones of those lost in his crusade ever will.
Dwight David Eisenhower, President
of the United States, General of the Army, wrote in 1953: " Every
gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies,
in the final sense, theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those
who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money
alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists,
the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true
sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron."
Another of his countrymen Benjamin
Franklin, at age 77, from a letter to Sir Joseph Banks, written July
27, 1783: " I hope that Mankind will at length, as they call themselves
reasonable creatures, have reason and sense enough to settle their differences
without cutting throats, for in my opinion there never was a good war,
or a bad peace."
This time it is quite possibly the
future of this planet which is at stake. In the name of God and for
the sake of the children now here as well as the generations not yet born
please think about what is being contemplated and speak up as one in an
effort to have our leaders see reason before it is too late. Now is not
the time for division or rancour amongst those who should be one. Waging
war for revenge or with the aim of imposing our values on others will only
cause our enemies to multiply and the ultimate cost is too horrifying to
An international system was built after
the Second World War which created a series of laws, treaties, organizations,
and shared values that set limits on our foes and protected our friends,
and this system has survived through the years acknowledged as our best
chance for world peace. For freedom's sake and for humanity itself we MUST
convince those who are prepared to discard these safeguards that they must
stop and think about the gravity of their course of action and the
ramifications which may very well be beyond comprehension.
I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who
once said ... "Those who give up liberty for the sake of security deserve
neither liberty nor security." In my humble opinion we
would all be well advised to heed his warning.
"The saddest epitaph which can be carved
in memory of a vanished liberty
is that it was lost because its possessors
failed to stretch forth
a saving hand while yet there was time."
~ Justice George Sutherland
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"America the Beautiful" courtesy of Les Gorven
November 12 2004