Election 2006: Forty Days, Forty Nights…

This November 7th, America will have an election. And much has been made of what may or may not happen. I think it is a watershed day, possibly the most important election of our time. And the question every American must answer is this? Which side will you be on? And yes, I do think it is that important.

Status quo-the Republican Party stays in control of both Houses of Congress. There is no oversight of President Bush at all for the remainder of his Presidency. Today (September 28th) he was given a “get out of jail free” card when it comes to detaining anyone he deems an enemy for as long as he deems necessary. And he also gets to decide (he is the “Decider” after all) what level of pain and discomfort can be administered-torture, by any other measure. How many Americans, how many people in how many lands and in how many wars have fought to take this absolute right away from a despotic leader? How many times have countries walked down this stupid path, trading away all that was them for the false promise of safety? Many in Congress voted in favor of the President’s ability to call all the shots knowing full well that it more than likely will not pass muster in the Supreme Court. “Kicked the can down the road” was one description I heard. Convincing themselves that it was alright to vote against what America should stand for, in order to not have it become an election issue for them. Cowardly, indeed. Here is something interesting. I listened to talk radio all day today, and heard what I expected to from the right wing talkers. They were, of course, completely behind the plan. They are expected to be morally repugnant. But what about the Christians? I listened to several Christian radio shows, and every single one of them was adamantly behind the plan, and many didn’t think it went far enough. Apparently, Jesus updated his theology to approve of torture. There are many issues that are important in this election, but there is nothing as important as stopping our nation from going down that road.

The alternative-the Democrats win one or both Houses of Congress. What will that mean? Frankly, holy hell might be raised on The Hill. Not much will get done legislatively. (Of course, almost nothing of import has been done legislatively by the current Congress) President Bush will be investigated, as will much of his Administration. Most importantly, there will be accountability, at least somewhat. The American system of governance depends for its survival on checks and balances. It was never imagined that there would be one party rule. The founders of America would be very troubled by what we have now. And without a check and balance system, someone as arrogantly wrong so much of the time as President Bush has proved to be can get us in alot more trouble than we already are. I can’t think of anyone else who could have turned the sentiment of the world so much as Mr. Bush has-well, unless Limbaugh or O’Rielly ran-but seriously, how much more do we want to have our international image tattered? Do we really want to be known around the planet as the most dangerous country on earth? Do we want our children to have to live in a world where they are hated because of what this Administration is doing? If we are ever to once again take the position that we are for justice and freedom in the world, are we happy that we will be laughed at for even suggesting such a thing? Do we want to give up our freedoms to a incompetent leadership because they have made us cower in the corner, hiding from the bogeyman?

There are points in history when every citizen is given the chance to stand on one side or the other. And this is one of them. Regardless of political affiliation, as not much would get done anyway with a Democratic Congress and Bush still in the White House. Not much, except the most important work of all. Checking and balancing. So choose. To support where we are and where we are going. Or to call for balance and accountability. Or make the pathetic choice, and stay home on your ass. If this time, and this election isn’t enough to get you to vote-you deserve whatever you get. And YES, this election is that important.

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