Putting Everything into Perspective

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Ps104_33, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
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    This was read on-air by a local talk show host here in Tampa. It was written by Matthew Manweller who is professor of political science at Central Washington University and it appeared in a local newspaper editorial page. Thought it was worth passing on.


    In that this will be my last comlumn before the presidential election, there will be no sarcasm, no attempts at witty repartee. The topic is too serious, and the stakes are too high.
    This November we will vote in the only election during our lifetime that will truly matter. Because America is at a once-in-a-generation crossroads, more than an election hangs in the balance. Down one path lies retreat, abdication and a reign of ambivalence. Down the other lies a nation that is aware of its past and accepts the daunting obligation its future demands. If we choose poorly, the consequences will echo through the next 50 years of history. If we, in a spasm of frustration, turn out the current occupant of the White House, the message to the world and ourselves will be two-fold.
    First, we will reject the notion that America can do big things. Once a nation that tamed a frontier, stood down the Nazis and stood upon the moon, we will announce to the world that bringing democracy to the Middle East is too big a task for us. But more significantly, we will signal to future presidents that as voters, we are unwilling to tackle difficult challenges, preferring caution to boldness, embracing the mediocrity that has characterized other civilizations. The defeat of President Bush will send a chilling message to future presidents who may need to make difficult, yet unpopular decisions. America has always been a nation that rises to the demands of history regardless of the decisions. America has always been a nation that rises to the demands of history regardless of the costs or appeal. If we turn away from that legacy, we turn away from who we are.
    Second, we inform every terrorist organization on the globe that the lesson of Somalia was well learned. In Somalia we showed terrorists that you don't need to defeat America on the battlefield when you can defeat them in the newsroom. They learned that a wounded America can become a defeated America. Twenty-four hour news stations and daily tracing polls will do the heavy lifting, turning a cut into a fatal blow. Except that Iraq is Somalia times 10. The election of John Kerry will serve notice to every terrorist in every cave that the soft underbelly of American power is the timidity of American voters. Terrorists will know that a steady stream of grizzly photos for CNN is all you need to break the will of the American people. Our own self-doubt will take it from there. Bin Laden will recognize that he can topple any American administration without setting foot on the homeland.
    It is said that America's WWII generation is its "greatest generation." But my greatest fear is that it will become known as America's "last generation." Born in the bleakness of the Great Depression and hardened in the fire of WWII, they may be the last American generation that understands the meaning of duty, honor, and sacrifice. It is difficult to admit, but I know these terms are spoken with only hollow detachment by many (but not all) in my generation. Too many citizens today mistake "living in America" as "being an American." But America has always been more of an idea than a place. When you sign on, you do more than buy real estate. You accept a set of values and responsibilities. This November, my generation, which has been absent too long, must grasp that 100 years from now historians will look back at the election of 2004 and see it as the decisive election of our century. Depending on the outcome, they will describe it as the moment America joined the ranks of ordinary nations; or they will describe it as the moment the prodigal sons and daughters of the greatest generation accepted their burden as caretakers of the City on the Hill.


    http://caldwellhome.net/blog/archive/2004/10/18/216.aspx
     
  2. KenH

    KenH
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    Since my candidate won't win, may George W. Bush win on November 2. [​IMG]
     
  3. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Ken, you should still vote your conscience, regardless of whether your candidate will win.

    Likewise, everyone should vote his conscience, and not someone else's conscience. And, we should each allow everyone to vote his conscience, not our conscience.

    I care less about whom you vote for, and care more about you having you vote.

    Everyone vote. Vote on every issue and candidate you have an issue on. Don't stay home from the polls. Don't buy into the lie that your vote doesn't count.

    And, while you're at it, find at least one qualified voter who doesn't plan on voting, and take them with you.
     
  4. KenH

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    Oh, I am going to vote for Michael Peroutka.
     
  5. mioque

    mioque
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    I belong to a nation of meek greengrocers. I like it that way.
     
  6. mioque

    mioque
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    I belong to a nation of meek greengrocers. I like it that way.
     
  7. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist
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    Moved to the Politics Forum ->
     

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