|The Real Truth !|
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. -
"While I have no doubt that his religious belief is genuine, and that it is an important motivation for many things that he does in life, as it is for me and for many of you, most of the President's frequent departures from fact-based analysis have much more to do with right-wing political and economic ideology than with the Bible. But it is crucially important to be precise in describing what it is he believes in so strongly and insulates from any logical challenge or even debate. It is ideology - and not his religious faith - that is the source of his inflexibility. Most of the problems he has caused for this country stem not from his belief in God, but from his belief in the infallibility of the right-wing Republican ideology that exalts the interests of the wealthy and of large corporations over the interests of the American people. Love of power for its own sake is the original sin of this presidency.
"The surprising dominance of American politics by right-wing politicians whose core beliefs are often wildly at odds with the opinions of the majority of Americans has resulted from the careful building of a coalition of interests that have little in common with each other besides a desire for power devoted to the achievement of a narrow agenda. The two most important blocks of this coalition are the economic royalists, those corporate leaders and high net worth families with vast fortunes at their disposal who are primarily interested in an economic agenda that eliminates as much of their own taxation as possible, and an agenda that removes regulatory obstacles and competition in the marketplace. They provide the bulk of the resources that have financed the now extensive network of foundations, think tanks, political action committees, media companies and front groups capable of simulating grassroots activism.
"The second of the two pillars of this coalition are social conservatives who want to roll back most of the progressive social changes of the 20th century, including women's rights, social integration, the social safety net, the government social programs of the progressive era, the New Deal, the Great Society and others. Their coalition includes a number of powerful special interest groups such as the National Rifle Association, the anti-abortion coalition, and other groups that have agreed to support each other's agendas in order to obtain their own. You could call it the Three Hundred Musketeers - one for all and all for one! Those who raise more than one hundred thousand dollars are called, not Musketeers, but Bush Pioneers!
"The essential cruelty of Bush's game is that he takes an astonishingly selfish and greedy collection of economic and political proposals then cloaks it with a phony moral authority, thus misleading many Americans who have a deep and genuine desire to do good in the world. And in the process he convinces them to lend unquestioning support for proposals that actually hurt their families and their communities. Bush has stolen the symbolism and body language of religion and used it to disguise the most radical effort in American history to take what rightfully belongs to the citizenry of America and give as much as possible to the already wealthy and privileged, who look at his agenda and say, as Dick Cheney said to Paul O'Neill, "this is our due."
"The central elements of Bush's political - as opposed to religious -- belief system are plain to see: The "public interest" is a dangerous myth according to Bush's ideology - a fiction created by the hated "liberals" who use the notion of "public interest" as an excuse to take away from the wealthy and powerful what they believe is their due. Therefore, government of by and for the people, is bad - except when government can help members of his coalition. Laws and regulations are therefore bad - again, except when they can be used to help members of his coalition. Therefore, whenever laws must be enforced and regulations administered, it is important to assign those responsibilities to individuals who can be depended upon not to fall prey to this dangerous illusion that there is a public interest, and will instead reliably serve the narrow and specific interests of industries or interest groups.
"This is the reason, for example, that President Bush put the chairman of Enron, Ken Lay, in charge of vetting any appointees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Enron had already helped the Bush team with such favors as ferrying their rent-a-mob to Florida in 2000 to permanently halt the counting of legally cast ballots. And then Enron went on to bilk the electric rate-payers of California, without the inconvenience of federal regulators protecting citizens against their criminal behavior. Or to take another example, this is why all of the important EPA positions have been filled by lawyers and lobbyists representing the worst polluters in their respective industries in order to make sure that they're not inconvenienced by the actual enforcement of the laws against excessive pollution. In Bush's ideology, there is an interweaving of the agendas of large corporations that support him and his own ostensibly public agenda for the government he leads. Their preferences become his policies, and his politics become their business.
"In the international arena, treaties and international agreements are bad, because they can interfere with the exercise of power, just as domestic laws can. The Geneva Convention, for example, and the U.S. law prohibiting torture were both described by Bush's White House Counsel as "quaint." And even though new information has confirmed that Donald Rumsfeld was personally involved in reviewing the specific extreme measures authorized to be used by military interrogators, he has still not been held accountable for the most shameful and humiliating violation of American principles in recent memory.
"There is now only one center of power left in our constitution capable of holding George W. Bush accountable, and it is the voters. There are 15 days left before our country makes this fateful choice - for us and the whole world. Join me on November 2nd in taking our country back!"
These are the honest views and frank opinions of Al Gore !
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