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    Thumbs Up "2004 Election determines fate of nation"

    From the Wed 06 Oct 2004 issue of the Ellensburg Daily Record
    (Ellensburg,
    Washington) written by Mathew Manweller - Central Washington
    University
    political science professor...

    "Election determines fate of nation"

    In that this will be my last column before the presidential
    election,
    there will be no sarcasm, no attempts at witty repartee. The
    topic is too
    serious, and the stakes are too high.
    This November we will vote in the only election during our
    lifetime that
    will truly matter. Because America is at a once-in-a-generation
    crossroads, more than an election hangs in the balance. Down one
    path lies
    retreat, abdication and a reign of ambivalence. Down the other
    lies a
    nation that is aware of its past and accepts the daunting
    obligation its
    future demands. If we choose poorly, the consequences will echo
    through
    the next 50 years of history. If we, in a spasm of frustration,
    turn out
    the current occupant of the White House, the message to the
    world and
    ourselves will be two-fold.

    First, we will reject the notion that America can do big things.
    Once a
    nation that tamed a frontier, stood down the Nazis and stood
    upon the moon,
    we will announce to the world that bringing democracy to the
    Middle East is
    too big of a task for us. But more significantly, we will signal
    to future
    presidents that as voters, we are unwilling to tackle difficult
    challenges,
    preferring caution to boldness, embracing the mediocrity that
    has
    characterized other civilizations. The defeat of President Bush
    will send
    a chilling message to future presidents who may need to make
    difficult, yet
    unpopular decisions. America has always been a nation that rises
    to the
    demands of history regardless of the costs or appeal. If we turn
    away from
    that legacy, we turn away from who we are.

    Second, we inform every terrorist organization on the globe that
    the lesson
    of Somalia was well learned. In Somalia we showed terrorists
    that you
    don't need to defeat America on the battlefield when you can
    defeat them in
    the newsroom. They learned that a wounded America can become a
    defeated
    America. Twenty-four-hour news stations and daily tracing polls
    will do
    the heavy lifting, turning a cut into a fatal blow. Except that
    Ir! aq is
    Somalia times 10. The election of John Kerry will serve notice
    to every
    terrorist in every cave that the soft underbelly of American
    power is the
    timidity of American voters. Terrorists will know that a steady
    stream of
    grizzly photos for CNN is all you need to break the will of the
    American
    people. Our own self-doubt will take it from there. Bin Laden
    will
    recognize that he can topple any American administration without
    setting
    foot on the homeland.

    It is said that America's W.W.II generation is its 'greatest
    generation'.
    But my greatest fear is that it will become known as America's
    'last
    generation.' Born in the bleakness of the Great Depression and
    hardened in
    the fire of WW II, they may be the last American generation that
    understands the meaning of duty, honor and sacrifice. It is
    difficult to
    admit, but I know these terms are spoken with only hollow
    detachment by
    many (but not all) in my generation. Too many citizens today
    mistake
    'living in America' as 'being an American.' But America has
    always been
    more of an idea than a place. When you sign on, you do more than
    buy real
    estate. You accept a set of values and responsibilities. This
    November,
    my generation, which has been absent too long, must grasp the
    obligation
    that comes with being an American, or fade into the oblivion
    they may
    deserve.

    I believe that 100 years from now historians will look back at
    the election of 2004 and see it as the decisive election of our
    century.
    Depending on the outcome, they will describe it as the moment
    America
    joined the ranks of ordinary nations; or they will describe it
    as the
    moment the prodigal sons and daughters of the greatest
    generation accepted
    their burden as caretakers of the "City on the Hill."


    Mathew Manweller

  2. #2
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    Re: "2004 Election determines fate of nation"

    Not much more to add to that. Pretty well says it all.

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    Re: "2004 Election determines fate of nation"

    Part of me almost hopes Bush does get re-elected just so I get to say I told you so. If I'm not dead, or in another country that is outlawed from the American Internets due to heightened regulation and governmental control, that is.

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    Re: "2004 Election determines fate of nation"

    "Part of me almost hopes Bush does get re-elected "


    That's the first thing you've said that I agree with.

  5. #5
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    Re: "2004 Election determines fate of nation"

    Now you're finally coming around Day.

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