The Challenges We Face
By A.D. Freudenheim  

2 September 2004

Listening to Senator Zell Miller and Vice President Dick Cheney at the Republican Convention last night, it is clear that the American people need to prepare themselves vigorously, on three fronts, if we are to survive and thrive until the national elections of 2006 or 2008.

First, Americans must prepare to throw this dishonest, war- and fear-mongering administration out of office. As much as the Bush-Cheney camp has accused the Kerry-Edwards camp of running a campaign that does not focus on the real issues and goals of either set of leaders, the Bush folks have been no better. Their convention speeches have sought to reflect Bush’s leadership abilities as Commander-in-Chief of the so-called War on Terror first and foremost, while putting most other policy discussions in limited light – and for obvious reasons, since this administration’s social policies are hardly as compassionate as the campaign has fought to make them appear. More critically, the only way Bush is likely to win re-election is by scaring Americans; this was the true substance of Zell Miller’s speech: fear. Except the persons we should all be afraid of are not those who propose cautious use of force but the ones – currently in power – who use it all too freely, and without true regard for the consequences.

Second, however, prudence requires Americans to make an equal investment in the institutions that help preserve our liberty, across the political spectrum. From the American Civil Liberties Union to People for the American Way, from Judicial Watch to the Natural Resources Defense Council, from the Libertarians of the Cato Institute and the Libertarian Party to the Green Party and Reform Party ... Americans must be prepared for a Bush-Cheney victory in November 2004 – and must be equally prepared to defend America against the deceitful tactics used by the Bush-Cheney administration in pursuit of its conservative and constraining agenda. Increasing the power of the federal government as Big Brother, and encouraging an environment in which the government has nearly-unrestrained power to spy on its citizens and limit our political voice; attacking fundamental rights held (and deserved) by women to make choices that are personal, not governmental; giving liberal tax benefits to the already-wealthy while forcing proportionately-larger tax burdens onto lower-income workers; these are just some of the ways in which a Bush victory puts Americans’ liberty at risk, and we must fight to protect our rights.

Third, Americans should rebel against and overthrow the so-called fourth branch of American democracy: our news organizations. These multi-national conglomerate corporations have abandoned any pursuit of news in favor of money – money in the form of higher ratings and greater advertising – and we have an obligation to ourselves to make clear that news and money are not the same thing. Few news organizations have presented “fair and balanced” coverage, to borrow Fox News’ cynical phrasing; the media is largely divided into solidly-left-wing or solidly-right-wing reporting structures, which leaves the truth-seeking middle abandoned in favor of unhelpful ideologies. Alas, none of these ideologies is about the protection of liberty over all other strains of politics.

We Americans have reason many reasons to be afraid – but not for the reasons the Bush-Cheney campaign has been telling us.

  Copyright 2004, by A.D. Freudenheim. May not be used in whole or part without written permission. However, you may link to this page as desired! Contact A. D. Freudenheim for further information.
This page is part of: The Truth As I See It.