Today I looked back in vanity and read all my old Progressive Populist articles. It was a quick read because there aren't very many, but an almost comically clear common thread runs through the few that do exist -- DOOM! Yes, doom is in the articles and it is desperately trying to escape from its state-of-the-art stroller not six feet away from me. I'm staring, probably a little too intently, at a boy of about 4 in a Bush-Cheney '04 T-shirt.
I think it's safe to say that Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Ashcroft and all the rest of the election thieves are mostly responsible for the dark tone I've subjected Populist readers to. Sometimes as I write I wonder if I should tone it down, relax a little bit -- and then the fear instinct kicks in again. We are the first Americans to be a nation of criminals by default, by virtue of being alive. If you want use telephones you have to accept the fact that your conversations will not necessarily be private, if you want to use email you have to accept that your email can be read by parties other than the intended recipient, if you want to protest you have to do so in a "freedom cage" with razor wire around the top, if you want to go to the library ... well, the libraries are still pretty safe thanks to the cantankerous freedom loving of Vonnegut's "lights in the darkness." Nevertheless, if you happen to be the wrong color, speak the wrong language, or be in the wrong corner of the world at the wrong time, you can be seized and detained and tortured with no access to legal council and no way to contact your family. Of course, all of this is old news and, hey, "price of freedom," right?
Kerry is ahead in the polls but not by nearly enough. He has a slight projected edge in the Electoral College (yes I know this is a ridiculous statistic at this point in the game) but the Supreme Court will probably take care of that ... or they may not have to. No president (and here's a stat that might matter) has ever lost an election with an overall "job approval" rating as high as the one W is clinging to. And this is pre-RNC convention. Four more years of Bush will probably mean the end of freedom and privacy even in the truncated forms we now know them, because the next attack (which could potentially be a VERY bad one, according to worry warts like the Union of Concerned Scientists) will allow him to hustle PATRIOT Act III through Congress and continue the subjugation of every other branch of government. George Le Roy, after all. And we'll go quietly into the night clutching our Bush-Cheney clad children, who will be the first generation of Americans to grow up without even the memory of freedom in the United States of America. Sorry Folks, DOOM! again, for now.
Charles Cullen is a recent university graduate living in Atlanta.