For Democrats, Independents, and 'Backsliding Republicans' Only
A practical primer for those who wish to save the country on November 2.
by Michael H. Thomson
August 7, 2004
There is no one more surprised than I am about the article I am authoring today. First, let me share some background about how I became a Republican and then eventually left the party.
In 1988, I retired from active duty service in the military. During most of my time in the military, I never thought about politics too much. My mindset changed radically during the Carter Administration. During this time, our military was very weak. Our standards for entry into the military service were extremely low during this period. It was normal for large numbers of people with sixth grade reading levels to enter the service. Unfortunately, due to our low entry standards we created a situation where we had masses of people wearing uniforms who could not be trained to the level necessary to use and maintain the technical equipment they were assigned. At one point, the Army converted many of their training manuals to comic book form so the new trainees could better understand them. It was pathetic. Then, like a breath of fresh air, Ronald Reagan became commander-in-chief.
Our situation improved dramatically. I saw how leadership could change things. Morale improved, and for the first time since the Vietnam War – I was proud to wear a uniform again. When I retired and became a civilian, I also became a Republican.
The party organization in the county I lived in was not very strong. There had not been a Republican office holder there since the Civil War. After a couple of visits to executive committee meetings, I became chairperson. I was also selected as state committeeman, and later was nominated as the party’s candidate for state representative in the local Republican primary. Over a period of years, I came to know the state party organization very well. I learned it well enough to know it was under attack. It was not under attack from the outside, but from within.
Evangelical religious neo-conservatives under the rallying cry of pro-life, pro-gun, pro-family swept through the Republican Party like a prairie blaze. Gingrich, Kemp, and later George W. Bush and thousands of others gained momentum from this fervor and soon were dominating county governments, state houses, the Congress, and eventually, the White House. Rush Limbaugh became the propaganda minister of this new movement within the Republican Party. As for me, the party became less like a serious political body and more like an evangelical prayer meeting.
Given what I knew from the biographies of Washington, Jefferson, and others who were there at the beginning, I concluded that this was not what the framers had in mind. I left the party not because I failed to embrace pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-family. I left the party because I could not embrace the fanaticism of the Christian mullahs who had taken it over. Republicans - swayed by pseudo-intellectuals such as Gingrich, Limbaugh, and others who cleverly masked their deceptions as logic - stopped thinking for themselves. Powerful preachers, using their pulpits and unprecedented media outreach, began shaping the party in their image. The present Administration policy towards Israel is based more on a minority of Christian’s interpretation of Biblical scripture than it is on sound judgment.
The trends I’ve seen in the Republican Party have been greatly aided and put on fast forward by the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Bush never gives a speech or initiates a policy without the inclusion of the word “terrorism” somewhere in his message. His lame attempt to change the Constitution to a document taking away the rights of an entire class of people is symbolic of his recklessness and his ignorance. His ability and the ability of others in his administration to lie shamelessly to the American people have caused me and other former Republicans great distress. Clinton’s lying brought great shame to the office of the President, and to the American people, but Bush’s lying has brought coffins to doorsteps of American families.
Homeland Security, while necessary now, could become our secret police. I have no doubt that Islamic fundamentalist terrorist are planning more attacks on the U.S., but our reaction to those attacks is the reaction of fear, not strength. Americans are stronger when we are free, not with our rights gradually stripped from us by an administration who has abandoned the rule of law.
Recently I viewed Fahrenheit 9-11 at a local theatre. I was not influenced by the movie because I looked upon it as I view Limbaugh’s blathering – as propaganda. Now, what was surprising to me was my own reaction as I left the theatre. I started looking at the ceiling for cameras. Was my entrance and exit to this Michael Moore production, being monitored by someone? The phrases “somethin’s happenin’ here” and “paranoia runs deep” from a Stephen Stills song began running through my mind. For the first time in my life, I understood what those lines meant! It was at that moment that I concluded the Democrats must win this election.
First, John Kerry, John Edwards, Ted Kennedy, Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or any of the other Democrats who crossed the stage in Boston do not sway me. I have problems with all of them.While I totally agree with James Leroy Wilson, a writer for this e-magazine, in his strong contention that we need a viable third party, I must also conclude that we don’t have one yet and we are definitely in an emergency situation. We must have a counterbalance to this train wreck that is about to happen on November 2nd if the Bush Administration should win another four years of power. Voting out Bush is not enough. The entire Republican Party is contaminated with a virus that can destroy us all. My solution is radical – we can survive it – we have before. My solution will only buy us time. Time for a new Republican Party to emerge and time for a viable third party to take advantage of political opportunity. So…To Democrats, Independents, and Backsliding Republicans:
A primer for winning the November, 2004 elections:
1. Don’t let Republicans push propaganda down your throat. First, it is not original. Brilliant propagandists have authored most of it. A great deal of it is found at Rush Limbaugh’s website. Or at least I suppose its still there unless he’s had to cut bandwidth to pay his attorney, Roy Black.
2. While in church, if your pastor tells you that a vote for Bush is vote for God, quietly depart… - dusting off your feet as you leave the building. Also, and this is very important – if you can, snatch back your tithe envelope from the offering plate. Become a Unitarian until your beloved pastor comes to his senses. If enough people follow your example – trust me, he truly will come back to his senses. He cannot make a living by Dobson, Falwell, Robertson, and Limbaugh alone.
3. Vote a straight ticket. Despite how long you have known them, regardless of all the good things they may have done for you in the past – this year you must vote against EVERY Republican by voting Democrat. This means you cannot vote Republican for a school board member, state representative, county commissioner, city council member, congressional representative, senator, or anyone affiliated with the Republican Party. This my friends is true term limitation. The hard part here is that you must vote for some idiot Democrats as well. If you waver in your resolve, just remember you are not truly in the mode of a voter, but that of a surgeon. Take a drink, keep your fingers steady and don’t let them stray from voting the Democrat ticket.
4. Your mindset and resolve to vote a straight ticket is very important. This election is not business as usual. It is probably the most serious election in recent history. Temporarily, you must suck it up and become an activist. It is an election where the fate of our very Constitution may be at stake. Someone who tells you, “I vote for the man” must be swayed to believe the man or woman most suited for the job is a Democrat – even if they are the most low life scum in town. This is an election that’s worth getting into a fistfight over, this is an election that’s worth making your wife or husband sleep on the couch if they should vote for even one Republican. This is war!
Why is it war? It is war because we are being seriously betrayed by a government philosophy that will lie about anything to obtain, retain, and consolidate power – even at the expense of tramping on precious liberties. Here are some of the possible consequences of giving this party at any level, the right to govern:
A. Due to their failure to secure a peace after invading Iraq on the basis of a lie, probably 250,000 to 300,000 troops will be needed in that theatre of operations. Once renewed in power, I truly expect the present administration with help from Republicans in the Congress to present legislation to renew the Selective Service Law – with a few changes. This time the draftees will be men AND women.
B. There will be more erosion of our personal freedom and liberty. Using the boogeyman of terrorism to justify us giving our rights away, the U.S. could become a very grim country. Can you envision a country where the most important document you possess is your national identity card? Can you imagine having checkpoints where your card is checked as you enter states or certain cities? Can you imagine having to obtain permission to enter Washington D.C., New York City, or Los Angeles? Can you imagine Homeland Security issuing your driver’s license with your entire dossier and medical history on the plastic strip? Paranoia runs deep.
C. There is the great possibility of economic disaster as more countries pull towards the EU because of their rejection of us. Would an authoritarian America help or hinder our economic progress? Will the second term of this administration be any more trusted than the present one? What will this president do to get this country out from under control of our Chinese, Saudi, and Japanese bankers? This is a guy who worries more about the consequences of our notes being pulled than the consequences of his moral obligation to the country.
D. Finally, how many big lies can we afford to tolerate from this administration? With a vice-president who uses the “F” word on the floor of the Senate and berates his opponents for not having a strong moral compass, and having a presidential advisor, Karl Rove, who is so Machiavellian that he should be called “The Prince”, do you truly believe there will not be anymore big lies in this administration's future?
Realistically, the steps I have proposed would need a committed electorate concentrated and focused on sending a no-confidence vote at all levels. In England, they do this through their parliament; in this country, we are limited to our voting booth – our most precious exercise of freedom. A freedom that if lost presents only one alternative-an alternative so reprehensible to me that I cannot speak it. It is the “R” word. I hope we never have to go there. Make sure it does not happen. Vote on November 2, 2004!
About the Author:
Mike Thomson is so scared about the consequences of another Bush Administration that his tongue can no longer touch his cheek...
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