from the Congress Action newsletter
by: Kim Weissman
November 5, 2000
Many Americans are fed up with the divisiveness, the lies, the demagoguery, and the abuse of power that have marked the eight years of the Clinton-Gore administration. Most people across the country, including democrats, despite the appearances presented by the national party apparachiks, understand the vital importance of preserving the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Rule of Law in this country. And most Americans, regardless of their political persuasion, understand the importance of civility and honest public discourse in our political system.
In our everyday lives we all understand that other people, people of honor and integrity, may have honestly held practical, ideological, and philosophical disagreements with us. We also understand that such disagreements do not of necessity make those people evil, and certainly do not justify using whatever power we may posses to destroy them. It is the heritage of our free republic to consider all perspectives of any given issue, in honest and open public debate.
Examine the tactics of the present campaign being waged by Al Gore and his supporters.
There are honest policy disagreements about how to reform Social Security and Medicare (reforms that everyone agrees are needed), but the Gore campaign insists that George Bush wants to take away benefits and force the elderly into poverty and misery. Those shameless charges are made in the hopes of scaring enough people into voting against Bush.
There are honest disagreements about "hate crime" laws, but the Gore campaign refuses to condemn ads run by the NAACP accusing Bush of condoning the racist murder of James Byrd; accusing Bush of being a racist and resorting to racism to "prove" it.
There are legitimate concerns about the role of the Judicial branch and activist judges in setting public policy, but debate over those issues has prompted the preposterous claims by Jesse Jackson that Gore must be elected, so he can appoint activist judges who will ignore the Constitution, or else the nation risks a return to slavery.
Anyone holding honest policy disagreements with democrats is dismissed as a radical right-wing wacko. Such tactics are not aimed at fostering reasoned debate about public policy issues, but are aimed at using the power of political office to impose a particular ideology on the nation, through fear and intimidation. In a free republic, leaders are not entitled to use their power to impose their views on people through fear and intimidation. That is the mark of a tyranny, not a free republic.
When Richard Nixon went beyond the bounds of the Constitution and the Rule of Law, when Nixon set out not just to defeat his enemies, but to destroy them, it was the responsibility of the republicans to clean their own house. On the Senate Watergate Committee, ranking minority republican Senator Howard Baker (his legal counsel was the present republican Senator Fred Thompson) was the first to publicly ask about Nixon, "What did he know and when did he know it?" On February 6, 1974, when the House of Representatives voted to authorize the House Judiciary Committee to investigate Nixon with a view towards impeachment, a majority of the republicans in the House voted "yes" on the first step towards impeachment. Nixon was ultimately convinced to resign by the highest ranking republicans in politics at that time, led by Vice President Gerald Ford, House Minority Leader John Rhodes, Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott, republican party stalwart Senator Barry Goldwater, and republican presidential aide Pat Buchanan — convinced to resign because Nixon had damaged the trust, the honesty, and the integrity that are the foundations of the republic.
Clinton and Gore have already done severe damage to the foundations of our republic over the past nearly eight years. It is up to those democrats across the country, who still love this country and all that it stands for, to use their votes to cleanse their party of what it has become. How many of you democrats are prepared to reject the politics of division and hate, the tactics of lies and demagoguery, now that the corruption is in your own party?
How many of you democrats are ready to tell Gore that you resent his class warfare attacks on successful people, because you hope that one day, YOUR daughter or YOUR son will be successful as well?
How many of you democrats are ready to tell Gore that you resent his attacks on pharmaceutical companies, because you understand that YOUR health has been vastly improved by the breakthroughs made by those pioneering American pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies?
How many of you democrats are ready to tell Gore that you resent his attacks on private business because YOU and YOUR pension funds are shareholders of those companies, and YOU resent Gore's decimation of YOUR wealth and YOUR retirement security by his anti-business demagoguery?
How many of you democrats are ready to tell Gore that you resent his fear-mongering crusade to scare YOUR elderly relatives into thinking that they will lose their Social Security and Medicare?
How many of you democrats are ready to tell Gore that you resent his claims that YOUR earnings and YOUR savings belong to him, because he refuses to "spend" government money cutting YOUR taxes?
How many of you democrats are union members who work in automobile plants or pharmaceutical plants or firearms plants, and are ready to tell Gore that you resent his attempts to destroy YOUR job?
How many of you democrats are hunters, or believe you have the right to own a gun to protect yourself and your family, and are ready to tell Gore that you resent his arrogant attitude that you are too irresponsible to own a firearm?
How many of you democrats are fed up with the lies, and fancy legalisms about "no controlling legal authority", and being told that character doesn't matter — when you know that it does? Hasn't eight years of the gutter politics of Bill Clinton and Al Gore been enough? Are we willing to see our nation dragged further into the mud? Aren't we all better than that? Don't we deserve better than that? How many of you democrats will admit the lesson taught by Bill Clinton — that a president's power to evade accountability, to ignore the law and the Constitution, to impose the government's will by force, to destroy anyone who stands in the way of ambition, is very great — that the Office of the Presidency is too powerful to grant it to someone with a messianic certainty of his own infallibility, and without the character to restrain his own ambitions and obey the law? Look at the fear-mongering, the lies, the class envy and race-baiting divisiveness, the stridency of Gore's campaign — is that a man you are confident will be willing and able to restrain his ambitions, and restore reasoned public discourse and respect for the law to our republic? How many of you, whatever your political party, will keep faith with your children and grandchildren, and restore the honor, dignity, and heritage of this nation, by rejecting the democrat party's demagoguery overwhelmingly at the polls this Tuesday?
5 nov 2000