Tuesday, September 21, 2004

'Volunteer for America: Get the truth out about George Bush'

'Volunteer for America: Get the truth out about George Bush'
Posted on Tuesday, September 21 @ 10:00:21 EDT
The Smirking Chimp
...and what "four more years" will really mean
By Dennis Rahkonen
Lies, fear-mongering, appeals to selfishness and jingoism, and limitless money for attack ads have given George Bush enough of a lead in certain presidential preference polls that many feel he can't be beaten.
Even if John Kerry finally gets his bumbling act together and begins to campaign effectively.
In fact, some say American elections are now so completely manipulated and bought by reactionary interests that popular democracy has been essentially obviated.
They point to those ordinary voters whose jobs have been shipped abroad by Bush-promoted economic "values" and whose kids are being sacrificed on the killing sands of Iraq, but who are nevertheless quite enthusiastic about the Republican ticket.
The phenomenon of workaday folks who are getting royally screwed by the Right facilitating their own shafting is undeniably disturbing.
History shows that fascism lethally consolidates itself when the people it will inevitably destroy become its staunchest, massively deceived backers.
But we shouldn't succumb to hopelessness.
For every woefully misled person who alternates between listening to Rush Limbaugh and Toby Keith, thereby tightening the piano wire around his or her own neck, there's someone with sufficient social consciousness and political savvy to recognize the ominous, pre-Hitlerian parallels in America today.
Their combined number is large.
Those good souls must now unite -- as volunteers for national salvation -- to use every means at their collective disposal to spread the truth about what four more years of Bush rule will mean for both our democracy and mass quality of life.
Methods will necessarily vary, ranging from Internet blogs and letters to newspaper editors to door-to-door outreach, or standing at strategic street corners with particularly convincing placards and banners.
The point is that we can't rely on either the Democratic Party or the establishment media to spread the most hard-hitting facts.
We'll have to do it ourselves, through our unions and community organizations, ad-hoc groups, etc. -- and we've got precious little time left.
Our message must be simple, and decisively impactive.
Using humor is a definite plus, as the following example illustrates:
"We'd be better off having Jay Bush and Duke in charge rather than George Bush and Dick!"
"In Vietnam, John Kerry turned his boat into enemy fire to rescue a crewmate.
"In Texas and Alabama, derelict Guardsman George Bush turned over in bed, fighting hangovers stemming from his bragged-about drinking.
"Now he's waging class warfare on the American wage-earning majority while bringing ruin and chaos to Iraq.
"Is this a presidential administration or an international wrecking crew?
"We'd be fools to give him four more years to do his profits-before-people harm."
Here's still another:
"How much 'visionary leadership for the future' can we expect from someone who completely overlooked abundant forewarnings of 9/11 and yet saw weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that simply weren't there?
"Do we want a President who shifts between blindness and hallucination?"
Having a little fun at the Resident's expense will help, so long as we don't degenerate to the viciously mean-spirited, mocking ridicule Bushies aim at Kerry.
There's no question our words will resonate, provided we stick to the basics.
Lost jobs. Lost pensions. Lost healthcare. Young lives lost in a needless war. Lost U.S. prestige worldwide.
Typical Americans and their hard-pressed families simply can't tolerate more devastating losses. They just need to see through the propaganda fog to appreciate where their pain originates. They want to start winning again.
We've got slightly over a month to dissipate the swirling mist.
Every minute wasted in defeatist despair enhances the likelihood that our worst fears will come to pass.
Get your pens and paper out; start putting marker to poster.
Talk to friends, or even strangers. Initiating a political discussion on the bus or train to work would be a good idea. Many riders will hear what you have to say.
Those who can afford to do so should contribute to MoveOn.org, which is producing a series of no-holds-barred ads to coincide with the campaign's final weeks.
Don't let monetary contributions substitute for more direct, personal action, however.
It's no exaggeration that this will be the most important election in any of our lives, with the very future of humanity at stake (thanks to rampant militarism and environmental neglect).
If we sit this one out -- not just on election day, but in the crucial lead-up -- we'll be complicit in bringing on an unprecedented political disaster.
Get involved now. Network with your buddies and neighbors. Make sure everyone you know understands why Bush must be defeated. The website One Thousand Reasons (www.onethousandreasons.org) will give you plenty of ammunition. Then be certain they all get to the polls on November 2.
Above all, don't abandon faith.
The power of a nationally aware, aroused citizenry is a force no amount of dollars and dirty tricks can resist.
The people united can't be defeated.
Dennis Rahkonen, from Superior, WI, has been writing progressive commentary and verse since the '60s. He can be reached at dennisr@cp.duluth.mn.us