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The Tentacle


October 7, 2003

We Are Under Attack From Within

Mike Kuster

Our Republic is under attack. I wrote on the challenges facing a republic such as ours in my first column for The Tentacle. A free and open society based on democratic principles relies on delicate checks and balances. It is fragile, but it has endured for 227 years.

Who is threatening our way of life, our precious Republic?

I speak not of terrorists, not of Iraqis, not of Saudis, nor of North Koreans.

The culprits are Americans.

The culprits cloak themselves in the flag.

The culprits espouse their love of The Constitution.

Here are their crimes:

1. Further deterring decent human beings from running for office in the United States of America. By recalling an elected official less than a year after being elected, the chances of anyone with decent intentions putting up with the rigors of running for office, the cost of running for office, and having their entire lives under scrutiny has now fallen to nil.

2. Bastardizing The Constitution and the intentions of the Founding Fathers by proposing the following asinine Constitutional Amendments:

a. Extending the term of Congressmen from two years to four years. That way, Congressmen won’t have to work so hard to keep their cushy jobs.

b. Banning abortions to void Roe v. Wade.

c. Fighting to keep religious statues in public spaces.

3. Destroying the separation of powers required by The Constitution by:

a. Congress attempting to bypass the Supreme Court on abortion (see above)

b. Supreme Court usurps rights of states outlined in The Constitution by involving itself in the 2000 Presidential Election

Who are they?

The Extremists within the Republican Party!

The Republicans in California have mounted the recall of Governor Gray Davis. Governor Davis faces an election to be recalled less than a year after being elected by California voters. This situation bodes very poorly for the future of politics in the United States of America. Who will run for office knowing that all of the blood, sweat, and tears could be for naught? The candidates will either have questionable intentions or be an obsessed zealot.

Our beloved Congressman Roscoe Bartlett wishes to extend the term of his own office. He doesn’t feel that he and his counterparts should have to campaign so much. I guess we should forget that our Founding Fathers thought the two-year term to be necessary. We are to believe they merely pulled two-years out of the air with little or no discussion. We should probably also forget that these elected officials are making nearly three times the median income of Frederick County families and receiving benefits that are exponentially better than most Frederick County residents. Should we feel sorry for Congressman Bartlett? He chose his profession in politics.

Republicans in Congress want to amend The Constitution to ban abortions, because they have been unable to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Regardless of your feelings on abortion, all should be concerned when anyone proposes an amendment as a fix to the separation of powers written by the founders of this republic. It sure sounds like too many lawyers have too much time on their hands to find loop-holes in our Constitution.

Both locally and across the United States, people have been fighting to place or keep in place objects of religious significance in government buildings or on government property. Locally, the City of Frederick resolved the issue to the satisfaction of the law and the community.

Unfortunately, others, including a judge, attack the very basic rights guaranteed by our Constitution. Hoards of people have stood by the side of a judge in the South to protest the wisdom of the federal court, which ordered the Ten Commandments statue removed from a courthouse.

These people, and the judge they support, do a great injustice to one of the most important rights in our country. Of course, the Republican Party stands with them all, regardless of the fact that so many of our ancestors came to this country fleeing religious prosecution. In the middle of a war on terror in which our enemies promote religious intolerance and blame us for religious intolerance, we have demonstrations urging the government to promote one set of religious values.

How very sad!

The conservative members of the Supreme Court chose to usurp the rights given to states in the Constitution when they voted to hear Bush v. Gore. The Constitution allows the states to elect the President. While the federal government provides general guidelines and rules for running an election for President in each state, these are not within the purview of the Supreme Court. Of course, this is the body responsible for deciding the constitutionality of something. Therefore, it is unlikely they will admit that they, themselves, violated the powers given to them.

The Republicans are dragging this country into turmoil. The very ideals that make this Republic so special are under attack. The extreme right of the Republican Party must be held accountable. Those in power within the Grand Old Party must put an end to the abhorrent behavior of those who would have this country forsake the values for which our Forefathers fought and died.



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