Dear Conservatives, We libertarians are a patient and kind lot of people by nature, but we've been watching the destruction of America for the last four years now and we feel the need to speak up. You conservatives control the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the corporate media. Your dreams have come true. You have 100 percent of the power.
And what have you done with it? You've run up record deficits, opened up the federal treasury and handed out money to the richest 1 percent of people, poured almost $300 billion into a war predicated on lies and have spent money like there is no tomorrow.
The record surpluses President Clinton left you are long since gone. We're borrowing money every day on the world market to finance the tax cuts for the wealthy, the war and the hurricane relief efforts.
There's an all-time high of racial and class division. You've appointed political hacks to run important federal agencies like FEMA. You've forced a dramatic increase in the poverty level. You've made us less safe than we were five years ago.
Yet you neocons still want to blame President Clinton for all of this. No. Look in the mirror. Your president is the cause of this calamity. Gasoline cost around $1.25 a gallon four years ago. Now, $5 a gallon is predicted.
At some point, you neocons are going to have to take an iota of responsibility for the massive failures you've brought about. And make no mistake, failure after failure after failure is what this administration has brought us.
We've failed in Iraq, which is looking and sounding more and more like Vietnam every day. We've failed in the war on poverty, which has become a war on poor people. And we've failed the world by having a leader who lies on a daily basis.
Let's take a look at what Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have said and what they have done. "I'm a uniter, not a divider," Mr. Bush said during the 2000 campaign. The latest polls show 49 percent agree and 49 percent disagree with that assessment.
Only 40 percent of Americans approve of the job he's done in office and even that number seems generous.
Time and again, Mr. Bush has chosen confrontation and partisanship instead of unity. He's shown no indication of being willing to work with the Democratic leadership in Congress.
He spoke from New Orleans, for the first time, about racial discrimination denying the American dream to generations of its citizens. But he suspended affirmative-action and fair-wage provisions for the rebuilding effort on the Gulf Coast, preferring to use this crisis to ram through an ideological conservative agenda.
He claims he won't raise taxes to pay for the rebuilding effort, even though even his allies disagree. The richest 1 percent of the people don't need their tax cut. We need them to sacrifice some of their wealth to rebuild the nation.
He promised to be tough on illegal immigration. Instead, he's presided over the biggest influx of illegals in history, prompting even archconservative Pat Buchanan to call for impeachment hearings.
He stood before the American people, in front of a banner that said "Mission Accomplished," and said that major combat operations in Iraq were over. Two years after that statement, our troops continue to fight heroically and die. And for what? Democracy? Freedom? Occupying a country and installing a puppet government makes it neither democratic nor free.
He promised to make this country stronger and more free. Under his stewardship, more restrictions have been placed on civil liberties than at any time since the first Civil War.
Last week, I compared Bush with President Lyndon Johnson. Both come from Texas. Both faced national tragedy in their early days in office and performed admirably. Both presided over an unpopular war. But unlike Bush, Johnson realized that America could not sustain runaway federal spending, tax cuts and an expensive war. Johnson, who if anything was even more stubborn than Bush, knew that he could not give us both guns and butter without falling deeper into debt.
This administration is giving the butter to the richest 1 percent and pointing the guns at the other 99 percent. When Johnson saw civil unrest, he worked with Martin Luther King and other black leaders. He appointed a blue-ribbon commission to study ways to end the causes of discontent.
This president has done nothing to heal the country. It's his way or the highway. Instead of leadership, he gives us photo-ops. Instead of strengthening the country and uniting people, he angers and divides us.
I'm tired of writing about this failed administration and the destruction it's brought us. It's much more fun to write about peanut-butter sandwiches or pretty girls or video games.
But in the face of such fundamental failures, it's impossible to remain silent. The big-money corporate media are too afraid to speak out, having been warned by the administration. The local media are controlled by conservative Republican corporations and will never speak truth to power.
Until the rights of free speech are suspended, I still have the right to peaceably petition the government for a redress of grievances. And there's never been a time in American history where so many grievances exist.
America has withstood incompetent, malicious presidents before and maybe it will again. But until Mr. Bush reaches out to his harshest critics, the "United" States will continue to be much less united than they once were.