Monday, January 16, 2006

If this were a dictatorship... Warning: this post is replete with personal type musings on Friks life.

In the course of bopping about the internets in search of fodder for this blog, I have recently noted a spate of other bloggers posting about a purported quote from George Bush. I put the quote into google, hit search and found the transcript. There is actually a video clip with the following quote from George Bush:
If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.
This quote is from before his inauguration, following a meeting with the congressional leadership, during which Bush told them there would be disagreements (oddly enough despite all these differences the president has yet to veto one single bill) but that was ok. Then he pulls the dictatorship line out of his rear, intending for it to get a chuckle I suppose.

One must consider the means by which president Bush gained the presidency in order to see how chilling this quote should have been at the time. Only after a split supreme court stopped the counting of votes in Florida was the issue of the winner of the election put to rest. The tactics used by the Republican party during the election to purge mostly Democratic voters from the rolls in Florida, followed by the absolutely horrendous sham of the vote count in which Catherine Harris and the Republican staffers from the U.S. congress played such an odious role are really telling when considered against the administrations record on issues of democracy and freedom.

When the 2000 Florida vote counting debacle was really heated up my sister and I had a serious falling out over this political issue. It really affected us on a personal level and I'm afraid the relationship has never truly recovered. I recall telling her at that time that if the presidency were to be decided upon the insistence of the winning party that votes not be counted, that the presidency would inevitably be a disaster for our democracy. How can it not be so? The lesson is learned from the outset that the thwarting of the basic foundation which our democracy is founded upon, the right of citizens to vote, is the path to power. Why not simply ignore the rest of our democratic principles when they stand in the way?

I had hoped that congress would oversee the executive and check the over reach. After 9/11 this hope was effectively dashed, and with the cementing of Republican power over the congress with the 2002 election the remnant of that hope were themselves reduced to ashes. Whilst I had a passing interest in politics for well over a decade until that election, in effect I dropped out of politics for the most part until the 2004 presidential campaign. I followed the news, but spent most of my free time building an empire with an internet game called Neopets. During the 2004 election I started losing interest in the game, and picking up interest in politics again. In mid 2005 I totally dropped the game and started this blog.

Looking back over the course of this presidency I can see how the lesson learned in Florida 2000 was taken to heart by this administration. The democratic institutions that are the foundation of this nation are nothing but a bother to these folks. I sincerely wish I had been more involved with the leadup to the Iraq war. My lone voice certainly would not have made a difference but my efforts would have been far better put to use in voicing dissent to the neo con juggernaut than in building a fantasy empire in a game that in the long run has not one iota of consequence in the real world... with one notable exception. One thing that Neopets brought into my life that did make it worth while. It is where I met my girlfriend. So all in all I suppose I would not change it.

I have turned what could have been a great post regarding president Bush usurping power and being prescient with the quote linked above into a rambling discourse on my life. If you read this blog on a regular basis please forgive my digression in this post. I'll make sure this is a one time event and future posts will be all about the issues of the day.

Gore is back,alive and kicking
I think we all can point to falling out that we've had over the events of the last 5 years. I had a good friend, a man that I founded a company with, violently shout me down in a restaurant over our perceptions of the events following 9/11--the Patriot Act specifically.

What I find most disturbing is that both liberals and conservatives beleive that there is nothing left to debate--that both sides are un-american traitors that don't deserve to liver here. I know that I have to fight this feeling in myself every day.
I think we should be taking what is happening more personally, so writing on how it affected your life is right on the mark...
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