Below we post recent letters on “The 2000 elections and Bush’s attacks on democratic rights” and “Chilling episode in Bush’s war on democratic rights—Green Party activist recounts military detention at Maine airport”
I am a 22-year-old who has recently graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in political science. I came across your web site several years ago, I believe through a link on the Internet Movie Database to one of your movie reviews. For a time, I considered your site to be primarily a source of amusement. I have always been to the left of the political spectrum, but like many Americans I had been taught to consider socialism to be a discredited, somewhat kooky ideology.
Well, I’m not laughing anymore. The events of the past year, and even going back to the impeachment debacle, have shown me that this country does indeed face threats like the ones I had dismissed as paranoid fantasy when I first read them on your web site. I am particularly concerned about the genuine lack of respect for democracy among the current rulers of this country, and the apathy among the general populace towards the gradual gutting of the Constitution. The transformation of the media into a mouthpiece for government propaganda, as clearly illustrated during the current Afghan War, is also cause for deep concern. Finally, the complacency of the Democrats during all of this, and their willingness to go along with Bush’s reactionary agenda, has convinced me that this country needs a viable Socialist Party.
16 November 2001
To the Editor:
Thank you, for so clearly identifying Election 2000’s significance and placing it in such a comprehensive historical perspective. I am an American citizen. I have lived with the ugly reality of election 2000 and struggled to make sense of it, ever since it occurred. To me, the fact that my struggle has been so lonely has been its most puzzling and upsetting aspect. Your analysis offers an explanation, and confirms the disturbing nature of the political events I have observed here during the last decade.
Since the election fiasco I have attempted to get some satisfaction, by the conventional routes. I have contacted my elected representatives and asked them to fight the election results, or to at least issue a principled statement condemning the violation of process the election represented. I have attended protest demonstrations. I have collected signatures for a petition, written letters to the editor, and argued with friends.
For the most part, my efforts have been met with indifference. Even though my (Democratic Party) congressmen are considered among the most “liberal” in the country, my communications with them have been received with disdain and even impatience. The small protest rallies I have attended have scarcely been mentioned in the press. Interestingly, I received the most vigorous feedback when I collected signatures for a petition, from average people, at the local food market. There, perhaps half of those I approached agreed to sign my petition, and perhaps one in ten revealed their deep anger and despair.
I view your article as another hopeful step, towards the long-overdue process of acknowledging the fascist tendencies of this Bush “regime” (I feel I must use that word), as shown by the outrageous manner with which it came to power, and the policies and procedures it has pursued since then.
I hardly consider myself a radical. I am a middle-class, middle-aged suburban-dwelling homeowner, active in my church and community. Nevertheless, when I observe and comment on the threat posed by this administration, I feel I am a voice in the wilderness.
Please, continue providing your valuable perspective on these urgent issues. I will continue to look to you and other international news sources, as I attempt to keep myself informed. Sadly, it is practically impossible to find politically independent news coverage here in America, especially in the current atmosphere of wartime hysteria.
14 November 2001
Commendations on this excellent article summarizing the new fascist state that is being unveiled before our very eyes. Today’s announcement that any person designated as a terrorist by the President is to be placed under the control of the secretary of Defense and not allowed the aid of US or foreign courts is a giant-step in our march toward a total police state.
14 November 2001
The fascists have taken over! [Re: “Green Party activist recounts military detention at Maine airport”] The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are but words written on paper and have no meaning! It is indeed a sad, sad day, this death of America! “You are either with us or against us” the president select dictates on several occasions. Either you “goose step” with the fascists or they will take away whatever rights you have left! Surely the founding fathers have shifted in their graves.
Florida (the state where the election was stolen)
15 November 2001
This woman [Green Party war opponent] must tell this story to her US representative and senators. This mistreatment is at the whim of the federal government. No dissention is tolerable under our Compassionate Conservative, but authoritarian, right-wing, money-drenched president. Should one of his daughters be so treated? Not likely.
15 November 2001
I am a student at Brigham Young University. It is so difficult for a pacifist, such as myself, to be here surrounded by so many brainwashed war-loving “patriots.” This article about Ms. Oden really was wonderful. I appreciate this.
15 November 2001
Well I have just read the ruling elite’s democracy, having all anti-American war mongering activism suppressed, Nancy Oden’s Green Party [USA] was undemocratically detained at the Maine airport to stop her from speaking at an anti-war meeting.
Democracy is shot to pieces in the USA. It was bad enough to see the present George W. Bush become president under fraudulent means, the people who can think in America and are not kept pissed, poor and uneducated, are being treated like criminals or being criminalized on trumped-up charges, to curtail any political ambitions they may have.
McCarthyism has been resurrected and is being used as a tool for the ruling elite of America to suppress any contrary views not in line with government policy.
This country has the phoniest propaganda against authoritarian rule, while it is doing just that and heaven help those who step out of line—you will be criminalized and sent to labor camps. Democracy in America, what a crock!
15 November 2001