Why We Are So Powerless

Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.
— Thomas Jefferson

If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator,” Bush joked.
CNN.com, December 18, 2000

Let’s face it, the Founding Fathers of our country were incredibly prescient. One of the things they were most afraid of, having just liberated themselves from the grasp of King George, was another king. Thus, they instituted a nearly foolproof system of checks and balances. If a man with dictatorial ambitions became president, voila! The Congress would be able to stop him from doing real harm to the country. If the Congress didn’t stop him, well, there was always the Supreme Court.

And of course, in the extremely unlikely event that all three branches of the government were compromised, the press would surely come to the rescue. An informed population would never consent to being railroaded into fascism.

The Bush Administration is very fond of the phrase “No one could have foreseen…” They use it for every situation, including 9/11, and usually in the most disingenuous manner.

But in their own case, they were right. No one could have foreseen the Bush Administration and their conservative allies. No one could have foreseen a decades-long, systematic takeover of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government. No one could have foreseen that this same cabal of determined corporo-fascists would also turn the media into nothing but a giant megaphone for their twisted, anti-American agenda.

And since no one had foreseen it, no one knows what to do to stop it. Extreme measures such as impeachment, or shutting down the government, appear to be the only way to end the war and stop the mad power grab of the Bush Administration. And although many members of Congress would have the courage to take these measures, the support of the dictator is so strong in Congress that every Democrat, and some Republics, would have to have the hearts of lions. And what are the chances of that?

I don’t mean to say there is no hope. I do believe that we can find our way out of this terrible morass. But first, we need to recognize just how dire the situation is, and exactly why we are in it. Only then can we come together to make sure that we, the people, are never so powerless again.


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