He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient...US CONST, Art II, § 3
The President gave his State of The Union Address on January 31, which painted an overly optimistic and largely false picture of the true state of our Republic. He said our Republic was sound when the sane among us know that it is anything but.
My fellow Americans I believe the state of our union is weak, perhaps as weak as it has been at anytime in our history save the period preceding the Civil War in 1861. The problems vexing the nation are many and complex, but our government(s) and people seem to lack the political and moral will to resolve them. As the nation becomes more culturally diversified, we are pulling further and further apart as a society, and nothing can be agreed to without a fight; the spirit of compromise and mutual respect that are supposed to mark a great working democracy, is vanishing. And this disunity of purpose across a broad range of issues leaves the nation vulnerable to all manner of negative internal and external influences that play on emotions at the expense of intellect informed by the principles that founded this nation, and the Constitution.
The Rising Threat of the Christian Right
While we fight the unending battle with Islamic fundamentalism that threatens our way of life from without, the rise of Christian fundamentalism here at home threatens our Republican Democracy from within. The continued matrimony of religion and politics across the broad spectrum of American politics threats our very way of life.
Abortion, Pray in Schools, the Pledge of Allegiance, Gay Marriage, The Ten Commandments in the public square, Stem Cell research, Intelligent Design, Abstinence only Sex Education, Terry Schivo(sp), and the Air Force religious regulations are all part of the Fundamentalists Christian Right’s crusade to fashion an America to their liking. The Christian Right see an America where the Constitution is but a quaint document whose time has come; who needs a document fashioned by flesh and blood man who is after all fallible, when we have the Holy Bible fashioned by God—a God no one has ever seen, and no one can prove even exists I hasten to add—to guide us. Sound familiar?
The irony is that the real threat to our American way of life, our American Dream, comes not so much from without, as the Bush Administration would have us all believe, but from within, which is the way all great civilizations have fallen. Fundamentalism is born of conservative thought, and conservative thought seeks the status quo in order to keep those in power, well in power. Fundamentalist hate changes in the form of progress because it weakens their power base by spreading the wealth so-to-speak. A civilization has never prospered under the thumb of Fundamentalism, and evidence of America’s backward slide is palpable in almost every facet of society.
I believe that religions were and are formed by men seeking to subjugate others (traditionally women ad minorities), and maintain power for themselves. Christianity’s noble underpinnings and principles have long been perverted by those with less than noble intent.
And as we (America) dwell on the false issues that the Fundamentalists bring to the table, which by the way are all of matter of freedom of choice, or fall well within well establish constitutionally established doctrine, the nations real problems remain unaddressed, and are allowed to fester. The doctrine of Separation of Church and State is a sound one based on history and Constitutional underpinnings, and the wall separating the two should not be allowed to be breached further.
The Culture of Corruption and Incompetence
Our president is a liar, and hence corrupted! The political talking heads on the Sunday morning talk show dance around the word by calling Bush’s statement misleading, but the man—a professed born again Christian, an Evangelical—is a lair. He lied about the reasons we went to war with Iraq; he lied about the intelligence he used to justify his little war; he lied about the cost of the Medicare Reform Act; he lied about the governments response to Hurricane Katrina; he lied about the NSA’s domestic spying program; he lied about knowing Jack Abramoff; the man is a liar. And if that were not bad enough, Bush is incompetent and the twin maladies have pervaded the entire government.
The Senate is broken and what we witnessed this past week is further evidence of its demise. –Senator John McCain
We know have a Culture of Corruption and Incompetence that seems to have pervaded the American government at all levels. If Clinton taught American teens that oral sex was no big deal, Bush has taught Republican politicians that it’s alright to lie, and be totally incompetent. But it’s alright, because apparently more then half the electorate (those with deep fundamentalist Christian roots) doesn’t seem to mind as long as you label the opposition amoral. It’s apparently more important to the Evangelicals (fundamentalists Christian) to have a candidate who opposes abortion than it is to have one who tells the truth and abides by the Constitution. Never mind that he has sinned by lying. It’s more important to talk about being moral than it is to actually exhibit the behavior yourself. It doesn’t seem to matter to more than half of the American populace that their government, on all levels, is increasingly failing them, as along as Jane Roe cannot have an abortion, and those darn Gays aren’t allowed to marry.
What was Medicare Part D? What was Katrina? What was the Energy Bill? Surely these are signs of growing government corruption and incompetence. The Senate, once widely respected as the world’s most deliberative body is dysfunctional; so too is the House of Representatives. And the federal courts are slowly declining because Congress fails to act on filling vacancies and giving the courts the funding they need; shameful!
Whatever happened to intellectual discourse guided by mutual respect and a common goal? What ever happened to shared values and the “can do” culture that used to exemplify America? What has happened to our national pride? Do our founding principles no longer matter to the vast majority of us?
What Cost Liberty?
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. –Benjamin Franklin
Across this great land our Fundamental (Constitutional) Rights as guaranteed under the federal constitution are being eroded both by the state and federal governments and by the people as we seek security at any cost. Once again, our society faces the greatest threat from within. It is not the terrorist who will strip or Constitution of its meaning and influence in the name of security, it’s our own government.
The USA Patriot Act (how ironically named), and the domestic spying debacle are just two examples of government morphing slowly into Big Brother. The NSA has been spying on Americans for some four years now without our knowledge; what else is the Bush White House up to without our knowledge? Are we as a nation really willing to sacrifice liberty at the alter of security at any cost. And once we achieve that security, what value will it be if we are not a free society?
Growing Leadership Vacuum
The signs of our demise are all around us, if we only care to look. And we lack the leadership to safety navigate the morass. Laura Bush recently stated that Senator Hillary Clinton should show some empathy when discussing the current occupant of the White House. Why? Its time to start calling a spade a spade; Bush is no leader; he is in fact a follower, a puppet, a face. The real power lies behind the man, and that is the problem. The President has to be his own man, he has to be a leader, and Bush is not; he is incompetent, inarticulate, and ill-suited to the job. Bush is a dullard, he lacks the vision and wisdom needed to fulfill the mission at hand, and We The People and the country are the losers. His Presidency should go down in history as the worse since the Grant Administration(s) following the Civil War.
And this lack of leadership does not confine itself the White House, it pervades the Congress, and the state government as well, with every few exceptions. Oh if we only had a leader! Bush is long on rhetoric and short on substance. What again is hybrid animal-human cloning?
In closing my fellow Americans, I state for the record, that the state of our nation is weak and decomposing by the day. From failing primary education to an ever increasing dependence on foreign oil; from incompetent and dysfunctional government to the rise of Evangelical Christianity and all that purports; from the War in Iraq, to the decreasing American influence abroad; from the growing immigration situation to the lack of leadership to resolve it; from the growing lower class, to the continued decay of our major cities; from the continued erosion of our manufacturing base to the growing health care crisis; from our ballooning national debt to our ballooning trade imbalance, we are a nation tittering on the edge of collapse; we are not sound by any measure…