Tuesday, July 3, 2007

On what’s patriotic this July 4th:

I’ve never been what most people think of as patriotic. I’m not much into waving flags or decorating my house red, white & blue for the 4th. But I love my country and what it used to represent. I love that when America is at its best, if there’s a reasonable doubt, the accused isn’t guilty. I love that in the age of technology that can make Big Brother a reality, I have a right to privacy under the law. I love that I get to participate in choosing my leaders and can critique their actions on my blog.

Election results always disappoint some of us. The losers galvanize, reorganize, work to elect their candidates in the next election, secure in the knowledge the system of democracy holds a place open for them if they have the votes.

I’m beginning to think maybe we feel a little too secure. We’ve got rogues in power. Dick Cheney and George Bush have stopped working within the system, playing by the rules. But it seems like we’re still waiting, sure that the next election will offer the opportunity to resolve everything that’s left us unsettled: the signing statements that circumvent the legislative process, the vengeful outing of a CIA agent, the illegal wiretaps, the unlawful holding of detainees, the rendering of detainees for torture, the firing of U.S. Attorneys, the commuting of the fall guy’s sentence. But if we allow them to set the precedent that the person in the position of Vice President is not subject to subpoena, we may never get our democracy back. If we allow the world to think we approve, we may never regain our place in it.

Of crimes against our democracy, they’re guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. This July 4th, the most patriotic thing we can do is impeach the criminals.

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