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Friday, July 29, 2005

 

Burkett: Tricks worse than Watergate

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By Bill Burkett, shown below right with his wife Nicki at the Abilene Democrats July 2 picnic
 
BurkettsI'm not happy with the fact that my country - the same country others claim as their own seems to be so divided and partisan that hatred and lying seem to have overtaken ethics, morals and what is right.
 
I'm not happy that the President of the United States, George W. Bush would place politics over policy; or being 'loyal to friends' over being loyal to the integrity of his office or the people of this country.
 
I'm not happy that the White House seems to have become ground zero for dirty tricks, retaliation and retribution; character assassinations and violations of the people's right to both know completely what's going on and being able to openly comment about it even when that comment is in total disagreement with it.
 
All of this seems foreign to this nation's birth and nurturing for over 200 years.  It seems foreign to me; a man who served in uniform under oath to protect the Constitution and this nation against all enemies; foreign and domestic for nearly three decades.
 
How could it have gotten so far out of balance and out of control.
 
It began with a single lie and deception.  It began with hidden agendas.  It began with hidden friends that would gain substantially from public policy; from a historical attitude of "to the victors go the spoils" and from a recent attitude and acceptance of "Survival".
 
It dissolved the principle of "WE, THE PEOPLE"  "WE" rather than "ME"; the concept of equal rights responsibilities and access . . .which seem to have been replaced by the concepts of "influence peddling" and "favoritism" and "retaliation". 
 
It has been eroded by the misuse of the word "War" by those who have no direct association or experience with what the term means.
 
It has been a change from the Thomas Paine patriotism of liberty or death to the current patriotism of "don't tread on me" or more modernly stated, "I've got mine so screw you."
 
We've forgotten what it means to fight on principle.  We've done so regardless of party because our focus is on "what's in it for me" rather than "What's in the best interest of our nation".
 
So we fight no more.  We compromise and back bite.  We retaliate and snipe.  We character assassinate anyone who speaks against us.
 
And we employ dirty tricks which deflect from the facts. 
 
That art which used to be gutteral in nature has become admired in the "Survivial" standard.  It is admired by journalists where only one generation ago it was abhorred.
 
Yet it was only one generation ago that actions like those of today were called Watergate and were exposed and rejected -- actions like the rat infestation currently exposed at the White House with the entire staff willingly invovled in outing an entire CIA mission in order to retaliate against someone who became outspoken on a controversial public policy. 
 
And then we look back only fifteen years past Watergate and we discover that this very action was indeed a capitol offense, punishable by death until we adopted new rules that make national security and intelligence a political football.
 
Whether the President was Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, or Kennedy, does anyone really doubt that each of these individuals would have been fired, and preferred for criminal prosecution?  All of them, wholesale.
 
And the pressure would have been placed squarely by the opposition party and the press and that pressure would have kept America honest and on the ethical and moral track.
 
The Republican Party can never more speak to me of the great moral standards when they fabricated talking points to protect criminal acts rather than demand resignations and prosecution.  But neither can the Democrats seem so high and mighty when they have been unwilling to fall on their sword in defense of America; her standards and her integrity.
 
This is a fight for what is left of America.
 
It is not personal to me, though I know it first hand having received retaliation at the hand of these same individuals who then chose Ambassador Wilson or someone else.  To them, the name, the family destroyed or the lives lost are just casualties.  Their insensitivity is a reflection of a win at all cost mentality - forget the rules - rub out the lines.
 
That's not America.  That's not the land I fought to keep free; to maintain a freedom of speech for the journalists; to retain the right to bear arms for the hunter; retain the right of assembly for the dissident. 
 
That's not America.
 
America weeps.  It weeps for strong minds and hearts to set her free again; to free her from the grip of fear and tyranny; to free her from the grasp of the corrupt and greedy.  America weeps and waits as she weakens.
 
There is nothing 'cool' about America.  Waiting until something "cool" happens to embrace her will let her die slowly of abuse.  Bleeding and crying aren't "cool.  Being willing to stand up against those that are cool for a wrong is not "cool".
 
This will have to be an UNCOOL response if America is to survive.
 
It will have to be a socially unacceptable response; one that will not bring positive headlines; or help your business or social circle.  It means standing against the Oprah Club, the Rotary Club and the Good Old Boy Club; not in defiance of their right to exist, but in the irrelevance to what is really America.
 
It will have to be those willing to be blunt, candid, and take heat for it.  It won't come from the charletains parading as independent voices; like Rush Limbaugh, or Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly, for their voice is nothing more than a for profit scheme to gain greed - not for the good of America.  it will come from the little people who turn off their radio dial and turn on their research and their core values.
 
America is weeping.  She's weeping for us all to stand for her and free her from her bondage.
 
America is crying for you.
 
-Bill Burkett
Baird, Texas

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