Bush claims that Article 2 of the Constitution which names him Commander in Chief gives him the authority to suspend the rights guaranteed to citizens by the Constitution. He and his minions construct some elaborate figments of Constitutional Law out of Article 2, but there is no language in the the article that specifically gives him war powers to suspend the Constitution. The Bill of Rights, however, contains very specific language prohibiting the government from violating the rights enumerated above.
The first strategy of all tyrants is to make the defense of freedoms a criminal activity. George Bush dismisses privileges mandated by the Constitution. Then when news media dig out and publish information that he has secretly written off those freedoms, he says that the people who tell us our freedoms have been dismissed are endangering the country and its security. Bush sounds a lot like South Dakota and its gag law. George Bush's presumption is that Constitutional rights depend upon his whims and ambitions. When anyone disagrees with George Bush, he criminalizes them, just as the fundamentalist fanatics in Iran criminalize anyone who disagrees with them. And when a president decides that the Constitution is an obstruction to his designs and gets away with it, America is dead.
The matter goes far deeper than George Bush. People support him. He has a right to speak in favor of a fascist-based dictatorship. People have the right to support the movement to a fascist-based dictatorship when they think it will serve their political interests. We call the neo-regressives fascists because they espouse fascist doctrine, they use the tactics of fascist regimes to implement their doctrines, and they participate in the criminalization of those who disagree with them. Although it may bring warrantless spying down on us, we hold to our right to call a fascist a fascist and to call into question the Constitutional legality of what is being done to us.
We recognized before the U.S. invaded Iraq that a war was inevitable because it is in the Orwellian playbook for whipping a majority of people into a regressive way of thinking through questioning their patriotism, threatening their security, and uniting them by getting them to join in the rhetoric of hate and violence. Iraq provided an opportunity to extend the effects of 9/11. We will not relinquish our right to protest totalitarianism and to do something about it. America may well be so mush-brained and responsive to the neo-regressive propaganda that its basic principles will be rejected, but that does not mean we will not protest and expatriate, if necessary, to keep those principles alive somewhere. Canada is, in fact, a much freer country than the U.S.
In the Cold War, our biggest weapon in the slow erosion of the Soviet Union that led to its demise was in demonstrating those principles of freedom, equality, and equal justice specified in our Constitution. Our enemies of the time envied those privileges. George Bush has nullified the most vital principles that distinguished us from the Soviet Union and other totalitarian states. We fought World War II and the Cold War in defense of those principles. The people who side with George Bush and the neo-regressive elements in the Republican Party find that the abandonment of those principles serves their political interests.
Make no mistake about it: the political divide in this country is not merely a matter of differences of viewpoint on how to govern America. It is a difference of viewpoints on whether America should exist under the Constitutional principles that define it.
So, the Justice Department is going make a criminal investigation into who told Americans that their Constitutional Rights have been secretly suspended by executive order. And the Bush supporters have assembled all manner of specious and sophistic precedents as evidence that he has that right. There is, however, no precedent (including Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus) to simply order away the major provisions of the Bill of Rights.
The neo-regressive propaganda machine is humming away. It wants to criminalize birth control and abortion so that it may dictate lifestyle and life solutions to its designated serfs.
It tells us that the economy is doing just great on the basis of productivity figures. It does not deal with the numbers of jobs lost that are being replaced by low-paying service jobs. It does not tell us why the number of children living in poverty is increasing each year. It does not tell us how many people cannot afford healthcare. It does not tell us how many people have lost their pensions. It tells us that as long as corporations are satisfied with their bottom lines, the economy is fine. In their economic scheme of things, the success of the economy is not measured in terms of whether it supports the people. Rather, the people are deigned to be sacrificed to the economy, which serves only the interests of corporate fascism.
Sometime since the year 2000, America died. America died because people relinquished its principles to a political faction that down deep longs to be part of the ruling class of a new feudalism.
This is the America Mark Twain warned us about.
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