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An Open Letter to the Democratic National Committee

Jeanie Bauer • 19/10/2002

I think the upcoming is a crucial election and I'm a grass-roots voter, more often voting for Democrats than Republicans. I have always considered myself indepedent, mostly because I reject any sort of "true believer" mindset.

I want the Democratic party to know that I'm very unhappy, overall, with the national response to the 9/11 terrorist attack. Although I did "give way" to the need for a violent answer to the attack, I am deeply against the war and the plans for war against Iraq. I see no evidence that we're engaging in a truly committed fashion to the rebuilding of Afghanistan, that we're pretty much washing our hands of it and letting it revert to the war lords. On the world stage, we "own" Afghanistan. There was a different way to approach getting redress for the attack, but we chose to go after the culprits with military hardware. We tore up what little there was of the place, with the promise we would rebuild it. We murdered thousands of non-combatants, we don't have much to show for our effort, and we're doing a crap job on the rebuilding. I'm telling you, I don't think we can afford to "own" Baghdad as well.

9/11 wasn't a military attack by a soverign government, it was a criminal act by a few individuals. It would have been nice to see some recognition of that by one or two of our so-called leaders. Like I said, there were alternatives to the response we chose.

This is the tip of the iceberg, in my opinion. No policy move yet has addressed the underlying causes of the 9/11 attack. I see no movement on Saudi Arabia or Egypt. I see no real movement on energy policy, no effort to alter our complete dependence on cheap fuel, and the fact that that dependency drives all aspects of our foreign and economic policy. I see no real recognition of the overall political health of the middle east, or of the complete hypocrisy with which we operate in that area. We need to own up to how thoroughy compromised we are and start taking steps in the direction of very big policy changes.

I'm concerned about a number of domestic issues as well, with education, social justice and civil rights on the short list. I am very concerned about the massive failure of the security agencies in the run-up to 9/11, and even more concerned about the blasé attitude toward the revelations of hubris in these services, which led to the services putting agency territoriality ahead of public safety. I don't believe for a minute that these agencies had an epiphany on 9/11. I think they know the right things to say. This is cumulative executive failure, and this is a problem we shouldn't have.

By far and away, my biggest concern domestically is the state of our democracy. I am convinced that you all don't talk to me and to people like me. My elected representatives don't solicit my opinion on issues. If I don't show up with money in my hands, ready to give, I don't count at all. You all do your business with lobbyists, who are entrepreneurs whose interest is in gaining and keeping paying clients, meaning corporations. I don't see any evidence that all the bad news we've gotten about the trustworthiness and stewardship of corporations has registered politically. I don't see any sign that the Democratic Party has rethought deregulation mania and is on track to stand up to corporate greed and globally, to capitalist imperialism. The lobbyists hedge their bets and fund both parties, and there's not hardly a pin's worth of difference between the two. Y'all pretty much agree on the policy you formulate, and we the voters don't even get to vote it up or down. Convince me that we have more choice than the Iraqis got on their last ballot.

I am sick to death of the Oil Industry White House, and the worst pResident we've had to suffer since the 19th century. I like voting in presidential elections because I actually do feel like there's a little difference and a small measure of choice in doing so.

What else is on my mind? Oh, only the failure of the drugs policy and the broad decision to treat drugs use and the trade it encourages as an issue of criminality rather than the medical issue it should be. I don't want my taxes supporting a huge criminal justice system, going to build prisons when our schools need the money. You would have thought we would have learned something from our little experiment with prohibition. The policy is a colossal waste of money and exercise in global interference. We make the international illegal drug market with our use and our criminalization policy. Stupid stupid stupid.

So that's where I'm at. You now know who I am, where I am and what I think. I will vote Democratic in order to send a message to that jackass in the White House, and it's a damn shame that it's come to that. I'm so intent on sending that message that I'll volunteer to do grass roots stuff, but I want something in return. I want some representation, real representation, not someone whose appreciation of my vote ends when the lobbyist shows up at the door.




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It is better to be defeated on principle than to win on lies.
- Arthur Calwell
Index: Current Articles

20 October 2002


Other Articles From This Issue:


Dancing on the Graves of Ten Men Dead
Anthony McIntyre


The Wily Ways of a Boy From Ballymurphy

Barry White


SF's Ruse Coloured Glasses
Brian Mór


Historic Shirts of the World
Brian Mór


Liam O Ruairc


From Belfast To Genoa - Now Florence
Davy Carlin


An Open Letter to the Democratic National Committee
Jeanie Bauer


The Letters Page has been updated.


17 October 2002


Statement from Republican Prisoners, Maghaberry


Running on Empty
Anthony McIntyre


The Political Treachery at the Heart of the IRA

Toby Harnden


Adams' Ashes
Brian Mór


The Boys of the New Brigade
Brian Mór


The Original 1930's Classic Blue Shirt
Brian Mór


Cherishing the Children of the Nation Equally
Liam O Ruairc


Republicanism and the Crisis Within the Peace Process
Davy Carlin




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