The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Bill Kumbier Letter 10/06/04

Dear Editor,

In the 1972 presidential election, the first I voted in, my candidate, George McGovern, was resoundingly defeated by Richard Nixon. The day after the election, the Michigan State News, our campus newspaper, printed an editorial page that was entirely black except for a small window in the center, in which appeared the words: “FOUR MORE YEARS.” That page hung as a sign of mourning for weeks on our dorm door.

Now, decades later, I’m more concerned than ever about the outcome of November’s election. During the vice-presidential debate, even Dick Cheney admitted that it is increasingly harder for Republicans and Democrats to work together in Washington. That is because, since Vietnam, from coast to coast our country—not just the Washington that Cheney knows so well—has never been so deeply divided. Americans who cherish a global vision have been stigmatized as sell-outs, willing to sacrifice American security. Thoughtful Americans who question Bush and Cheney’s hasty, sweeping “security” measures are instantly branded weak and unpatriotic. Those who oppose the unprovoked, unnecessary, wasteful war in Iraq, even though they value the sacrifices of our soldiers, are seen as inconsistent or just naive. Personally, I feel more threatened than ever, not just by terrorists but by other Americans whose stubborn, inflexible intolerance makes no room for alternative viewpoints. I am distressed by the inhumane abysses that have opened up between wealthy and poor, insured and uninsured, employed and jobless. Bush and Cheney frame the choices Americans face as “our way or the highway: vote for us or the terrorists have already won.” Let’s not forget that there are other options, that there are better ways, because, as John Edwards forcefully concluded, I don’t think we can take four more years of the same.

Sincerely,
William Kumbier

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