Before I begin, let me state for the record that, regardless of whether we have a chance to get our democracy back or not, I am prepared to go to the wall with this. I am not ready to roll over because 'there's nothing we can do about it'. I will keep hollering because the alternative is unacceptable to me.
However, I have some grave doubts about the possibility of any kind of democratic (small 'd') process when I hear with my own ears a voice vote taken where the 'ayes' are clearly audible, the 'noes' are practically inaudible, and the chair moves that the 'noes' have it. That is pretty much saying black is white, and white is black, and anyone who disagrees can take a long walk on a short pier.
I have grave doubts when I watch with my own eyes a chairman of a hearing shut off microphones and stalk out of the room to keep witnesses from testifying, and get away without so much as a 'by-your-leave'.
I have grave doubts when I see something happen that I have never seen before - the media intimidated into silence by an administration that will not tolerate dissent of any kind.
I have grave doubts when I watch civil rights and property rights and privacy rights dismantled before my eyes by the most secretive, bloodthirsty and greedy administration ever, without a peep from the party that is supposed to be all about freedom from government intrusion. When I see anyone who dares to speak the truth about what they see smeared and discredited, and anyone who places loyalty to the administration over doing what's right promoted and decorated.
I have grave doubts when I find that the only places that the exit polling does not closely match election results are places that are pivotal to one candidate's success.
I have grave doubts when a congressman of sterling character and 30 years' service to our country, carrying a letter signed by 122 other congresspeople and over half a million Americans, is insulted and dismissed by an unelected underling as if he were a beggar at the gate.
I have grave doubts when a 'Snowflake' of cells or one brain-dead woman represents the 'Culture of Life' and an avalanche of American and Iraqi deaths mean nothing.
When torture is acceptable and the reporting of it is unacceptable.
When facts mean nothing, spin means everything and the President uses the word 'propaganda' in all seriousness.
When 'pre-emptive war' is national policy.
When the President's idea of 'bipartisanship' means 'both parties agree with me."
All of this flies in the face of everything I thought I knew about America. And I have the fear that, no matter what information is revealed to the American people, our votes and our voices will not matter anymore.
We are being ruled by a dynasty. It doesn't really matter who is President; the idiot son is just a puppet, albeit a cruel and vindictive one. This administration is filled with the plutocrats and chickenhawks that have been in collusion for decades. There can be no accountability when everyone in power is in on the fix.
Bill Clinton was vulnerable because he was a country boy from a poor family, with only his brains and personality to recommend him. He got to be President on his own, and didn't have a phalanx of courtiers to protect him when he displeased the ruling class. George Bush does not have that vulnerability.
At the moment, I'm running out of hope - not that we're not right, but that it won't matter. I will not let that stop me from raising my voice and taking whatever action I can. But I sure could use a little light at the end of the tunnel. And I don't mean the light of an oncoming train.
I want my democracy back, you thugs!