Stain on the Presidency

Stain on the Presidency

If you’re looking for paradise, you might want to check out Marin County …

What you do is, next time you’re in San Francisco, make your way across the Golden Gate Bridge. Once you’ve done that, you’re in Marin. I also recommend doing it in October. That’s when the best weather comes via Indian Summer. When the hiking and biking on Mt. Tamalpais will make you think you’ve discovered another solar system. When the international film festival in the small town of Mill Valley will take you in style to lands far away. When the discs are soaring non-stop at Red Rock. I always enjoy Kugenuma; but I never miss October in Marin.

I’d love to sit here and write more about Marin County. This year, however, my conscience won’t let me. That’s because this October’s claim to fame is as the buildup to the question, “Will America rid itself of Bush?” On the first Tuesday in November, Marinites, Californians, Americans, and people everywhere will find out if George W. Bush, the man at the top of the list of the world’s most disliked individuals, will continue as the planet’s most powerful person.

Stain on the Presidency

So, if you’re coming to San Francisco this October, prepare yourself for an extraordinary election featuring clear thinking on one side; religious fundamentalism on the other. At stake is a future wherein America joins with the other great nations of the world in confronting the nightmares plaguing our planet versus continuing the insanity we’ve witnessed since Bush stole the presidency in 2000.

The issues are what presidential elections should be about and you’d think a guy who’d been in office nearly four years would have something positive he could point his finger at. Well, unless you think enriching the pocketbooks of the super rich is a positive achievement, the only finger that comes to mind is the middle one, and it’s directed toward Bush.

I’ve heard, beyond the sports section and the want ads, only 10% of Americans actually read daily newspapers. Perhaps this explains why so many are asking so little of their current president. Can a president’s greatness be validated by simply wrapping him in a flag? When America’s foundation is attacked by an ultra right-wing group, is it less shocking because the public is ignorant? If the American people want to deny Michael Moore’s assertion in his wildly popular book, Stupid White Men, that theirs is an idiot nation, where are the screams of protest?

Where is the public outcry over Bush’s altering or disregarding of scientific research inconsistent with his religious beliefs?

Where is the public outcry over Bush’s blurring of America’s foundation principle separating church and state?

Where is the public outcry over Bush’s rescinding of environmental legislation at the expense of the air we breath, at the expense of our wilderness, and at the expense of our natural resources?

Where is the public outcry over Bush’s use of fear for political gain?

Where is the public outcry over Bush taking America from the extraordinary achievement of a surplus to the largest annual government-spending deficit in human history?

Where is the public outcry over Bush’s failure to protect the nation from the crazies of the world in the days, weeks, and months leading up to September 11, 2001?

Bush was so caught up in his senseless anti-Clinton obsession he failed America when he was needed the most. His priority just before 9/11 was, “I got brush to clear!” Thousands died, but yet …

Idiot nation!

I spend about six months a year outside of America. Two thirds of the time is in Japan, in and around Kugenuma. The other third is a mix between Southeast Asia and Europe. I’ve been doing this long enough to see three American presidents come and go. If the many people I’ve spoken with, and the countless newspapers I’ve read, are any indication, the image of America today is sucking the bottom. Of course, it doesn’t help having your soldiers on the front page of the world’s newspapers wearing Nazi-replica helmets knocking down doors while children cower nearby. And, it looks bad when your president parades around in a fly-boy suit below a Mission Accomplished banner. Since everyone knows Iraq was and continues to be a mess, everyone also knows Bush thinks the people of the world are fools.

Perhaps he’s right.

What kind of international community allows an America to invade another country with lies and innuendo as justification?

What kind of international community allows an America to incarcerate and torture thousands of people in blatant violation of international treaties and standards?

What kind of international community allows an America to deposit massive amounts of pollution into the atmosphere at the expense of all the planet’s people?

I look forward to the day when I can simply write of my experiences on planet Earth. But I love my country, and I love my planet. As a result, October 2004 is a time for me in Marin County, as it is a time for concerned people everywhere, to do whatever can be done to defeat Bush. Over the past year, editors of newspapers throughout the world have reported receiving thousands of letters carrying a similar message … Since the American presidential election affects everyone, we should all be allowed to vote! Well, I don’t think the right-wing is gonna allow for that since Bush wouldn’t have a snake’s chance. Still, there are things a non-American can do to get a point across. Last summer, my wife and I visited Berlin. On one occasion, we stood near the balcony from which John F. Kennedy delivered his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech. It was the summer of 1963 and a young American president gave hope and inspiration to one million Berliners who stood before him. Forty years later apparently things have changed in the German capital. Not far from the famous balcony, in letters large enough for us and everyone else to see, someone had brush stroked their feelings on the side of a building. The words were simple …

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D. B. Guidinger © All Rights Reserved 2004