Salt Lake City Drinking Liberally

Promoting democracy in Utah one pint at a time.

August 23, 2008

A nation that forgets its past…

In 2009, America will try to begin to forget George W. Bush and his legacy: A legacy of Imperial Presidency, war of aggression and torture. We, as Americans, cannot let this happen. As much as we would like to forget these past seven years, it is important we remember not only the despicable acts that were committed in our name, but the way the events were allowed to take place.

This has been a holocaust for the United States Constitution. Not to compare the loss of life and human suffering to the atrocities perpetrated under Nazi Germany, but the spirit and the letter of Our United States most sacrosanct document has been eviscerated.

From the Orwellian named Patriot Act that provisions the arbitrary suspension of the most basic of democratic principals habeas corpus, to the politicization of the Justice Department and warrantless wiretapping on its own citizens, the administration of President George W. Bush has usurped the power of the United States Government and consolidated it in the Executive Branch. It has done this (and planned to do this from its inception) with a model called the Unitary Executive (or Imperial Presidency)

This model distorts or ignores the primary function of the Constitution: the separation of powers. All the Founding Fathers (especially George Washington) were adamant in the distribution of power away from a central authority. So much so that the first documents of American Government, the Articles of Confederation, did not have a president or figure head. We were sick of King George.

In fact, Article I of the Constitution does not lay out the powers and responsibilities of the President, but of Congress. Unfortunately, the Congress of the United States decided to be the Executive’s lap dog following the crisis of September 11, 2001. By systematically calling anyone and everyone Unpatriotic and Anti-American who questioned the necessity or wisdom of any part of any action the administration wished to take, the Bush administration brushed aside all opposition to its policies.

The so-called Fourth Estate has been consolidated to a very few corporate entities. These corporations all have the same corporate agenda and this hegemony was instrumental in killing dissent.

The questions that should have been asked were not. The few times doubts were raised the doubters were marginalized, ostracized and branded as traitors.

The worst part is, they were right. Not only about a few misinterpreted facts or hasty conclusions that one might expect in a time of severe crisis, but they were right about everything. Regarding Iraq, not one piece of evidence used to support the invasion stood the test of time. Everything was fabricated or distorted to further the dubious agenda of the Unitary Executive.

And where was the press? Where was the institution so vital to our own Revolution it is enshrined at the top of The Bill of Rights? They were following the very limited scope of their corporate agenda: selling advertising. Advertising is a very fragile business. One of the first tenants is don’t make waves. With most of the country in an orgiastic patriotic spasm, any dissent might scare away corporate media’s lifeblood: Advertisers.

It used to be that each television station’s news department was immune from the vagaries of advertising. Sure they wanted to be popular, but they did that by getting the story first. Same went for newspapers. With the advent of cable news and the 24 hour news cycle that was no longer likely.

Now with news organizations nation wide giving mea culpas for their involvement in the Second Iraq War, we’ve obviously gained some perspective. However, that doesn’t mean the threat is over.

The nation, as much as it might want to move on and forget the legacy of this Worst President, cannot allow itself to relax and slip back into its consumer bliss. We have monumental damage to overcome and repair, but we cannot allow the cause of this damage to be forgotten.

by @ 2:52 pm. Filed under Local Issues, National Issues

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