Sunday, September 03, 2006

Politics: Vote For Us Or Die

I'm getting tired of the administration's fear mongering. So, I did what every citizen should do - I wrote a letter to the editor of my local paper. Here's what I sent:

Dear Editor,

It would seem the Republican administration is feeling the pressure of public opinion and is reaching into their bag of tricks to pull out old, familiar messages. Yup. They're laying the fear card flat out on the table. They would have you believe that if you vote for a Democrat our border gates will suddenly be lifted and swarms of islamofacists will come streaming in to rape and murder our citizens. They keep lying about "cut and run" when the Democrats have long said we need a tough and smart approach to address the problems facing our nation and the world. Rumsfeld says we are immoral and stupid to criticize an administration that has never had any idea what threatens our nation or how to face it. This is coming from someone who three years ago said that the war would only last six more months! This is coming from a Secretary of Defense who would not listen to his generals when they pleaded to provide enough troops and equipment to face our enemies. This is coming from a man in power who, along with the vice president, thought the insurgency was "in its last throes". This rhetoric is coming from an administration that demonstrably never had a plan in the beginning and is still floundering and waiting for Jesus to come down and save us. And you believe what they say about Democrats? They are not protecting us. They are not thinking about, nor solving, the problems that face our country. Why? They are too busy worrying about how to make people afraid enough to vote for them. We don't need strategies on how to win elections, we need strategies on how to save the world.

We are seeing the same old tricks. The Republicans say the same lies over and over again until people forget the truth. The truth is Democrats do not want an immediate pullout from Iraq. They know we are entrenched there for some time, but for God's sake, we need to plan beyond tomorrow. We need to start coming up with a strategy to bring our brave men and women back. We need to convince the Iraqi forces they will have to take control of their own security. That will never happen with an open-ended occupation.

Democrats want a smart military. We need to regroup and restore our armed forces that are so thinly stretched now. We have other threats arising around the world. What would we do if the problems in Iran or North Korea suddenly escalated today? We don't have the military resources to address them. Democrats know that our security must start here at home. It has been five years since September the 11th and we are still not protecting our ports, protecting our nuclear plants, or protecting our citizens in meaningful ways.

Democrats know that building our economy, reeling in spending, and supporting all our citizens, not just the richest 1%, is the surest way to build a stronger, more unified nation. Democrats do have plans. Democrats do not want to tax and spend. I can't, for the life of me, understand why people keep supporting an administration that wants to borrow and spend. That is fiscal irresponsibility.

We do not need fear, we need leaders who will roll up their shirtsleeves and get down to work. We need smart leaders who will fight for Americans and our way of life. We need leaders in our elected offices that will reach across partisan boundaries and solve problems. When President Bush stood up and addressed our nation during his inaugural speech and pledged to unite our nation by "reaching out to all who share his beliefs," I knew then the country would be more divided than ever.

Let me say this again. Democrats have plans to turn this country in a new direction, to better the lives of its citizens, and secure our nation. They have plans to restore our status in the world as a strong but caring nation. They will not ignore the world's environmental problems and will do their part to keep our planet alive for generations to come. They have plans to balance our nation's checkbook so our kids will not have to pay for our fiscal ineptitude. Democrats want to instill hope rather than spread fear.

Don't be swayed by lies. Read. Become informed about all candidates who will be coming up for election - locally, statewide, or national. Ask tough questions and expect detailed answers. It is the responsibility of all of us to be informed voters, not ignorant followers. That is how we will change our country for the better.


Fargo Maven said...

Splendid letter! Send it to all the papers in the state!

Greg said...

Thanks, FM. I have sent these to the big 4 - Fargo, Minot, Bismarck and Grand Forks. I hope people read it.

Lew Scannon said...

I just finished a post about a letter the Grand Rapids Press will not print. Coincidence? Thanks for the link! I'll add you when I update my template!

Anonymous said...

Great letter, Greg. Could you define what the democrats mean by "tough and smart" and how that relates to meaningfully applying current immigration laws to secure our borders, a security concern much neglected by both side of the aisle?

Greg said...

Lew, read your letter. Very nice. As a Michigander at heart (I'm from Plainwell), I do try to follow what's happening back there.


Sure, I can try to provide some more specifics for your questions. Tough and smart. We need to refocus our military so that it remains strong. It is overstretched now and there's lots of waste. We need to have smart strategies rather than just say our military will go in and take care of things. I know, that's rather vague and you want specifics. Ok. The number one thing we can do is to read the 9/11 commission report and finally act upon it. We need to implement many of the suggestions the commission provided. Why Bush & Co. haven't done that, I don't know.

Our borders: The current administration is wasting millions of dollars on ineffective initiatives but failes to provide adequate funding for border patrol agents. We have no place to house detainees and we are 75% short on immigration and customs agent resources that were called for by the 9/11 act. Without the right resources, facilities, and enough personnel, we cannot secure our borders. Did you know we have border crossings in our country that are completey unstaffed? Yes, people cross on an honor system. You're supposed to stop at an unmanned shack and show your passport to someone hundreds of miles away via camera. 9 out of 10 cars do not even bother to stop.

Security: To this day we still do not have a unified terror watch list for airline screening. The secure flight program that is supposed to match airline passenger lists with terror watch lists still is not implemented and oversight has delayed it even longer. The president's 2007 budgetcuts $612 million for First Responder training. That means our domestic firefighters, police and other emergency personnel are not getting adequate training to deal with our emergency preparedness here at home. We need to reverse this. After numerous rail attacks around the world recently, it shows our rail systems in America are woefully at risk. The TSA budget only dedicates 1% to rail security. We need to refocus our TSA to our homeland.

Ports: We must invest in the technology to screen cargo coming into our nation's ports. Our administration has not made this a priority. The Democrats will. We have no way to screen all cargo for radioactive substances at present and not enough personnel to board cargo ships and screen them by hand.

All these and more are detailed in the 9/11 report. For crying out loud, why don't we read it?