Jason Lindquist (jlindquist) wrote,
Jason Lindquist
jlindquist

Democracy? Never heard of it

Our system of government is a republic, a representative democracy. Instead of every citizen voting on every legislative and executive issue, we elect people to represent us in a legislative body, and an executive to carry out the laws that body fashions. Since we elect them to their offices, logically, those officials must answer to us. They owe us explanations of their logic, their methods, and their intents. They must account to us for their actions, so that we may continuously evaluate their fitness for office, deciding periodically whether to return them to that office, or replace them with a candidate better suited to serve us there.

Kids, if you haven't noticed, Shrub doesn't believe in that. Sidney Blumenthal writes in Salon of political rallies where people are required to swear loyalty to the President before they are allowed entry:
Before attending a rally to hear Vice President Dick Cheney, citizens in New Mexico were required to sign a political loyalty oath approved by the Republican National Committee. "I, (full name) ... do herby (sic) endorse George W. Bush for reelection of the United States." The form noted: "In signing the above endorsement you are consenting to use and release of your name by Bush-Cheney as an endorser of President Bush."
If you're on the fence, or you're an opponent, you don't get to come in and ask your questions.

That may be surprising to some, but not to me. This presidency was bought and paid for by the Republican National Committee and its deep-pocketed financial backers. Babylon 5 creator and prolific author Joe Straczynski related a story at Comic-Con in 2000. B5 cast member Jerry Doyle was mounting a run for Congress as a Republican. Prior to the primaries he was approached by the RNC. Sign this pledge, they said. Declare your support for George W. Bush, or we won't give your campaign any financial support. Implicit was the threat that they'd give it to someone else, even if they had to find someone to give it to.

Maybe it doesn't matter who they do or don't let into their rallies. Shrub doesn't believe he's accountable anyways. Bob Woodward quotes him in Bush At War:
"I'm the commander. See? I don't need to explain. I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."
"Anybody" includes you and me, the voters.

Now, if you were to lie, sign their pledge, and get into a Shrub rally anyways, don't think that saves you. They happily eject anyone who displays a shirt or a sign for an opponent, or asks questions critical of the President. It's happened in Appleton, Wisconsin, Bangor, Maine (full text copied here), Saginaw, Michigan, Phoenix, AZ (scroll down, it's noted in a reply by "adam_az"), La Crosse, Wisconsin... there's plenty more examples to be found through Google.

Anyone trying to be a public official who can't take criticism, who won't answer questions, who doesn't even want to hear from anyone who doesn't already support them does not deserve your vote.

Now, watch this drive!
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