The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

April 3, 2001

I'm writing this post out of ignorance, despair, anger. I will confess
readily to the first, even the idiocy of it.

What the federal government is doing to the United States and the rest of
the world is horrifying. Most of the people I know, admittedly left-lean-
ing, feel powerless to stop it. Our own freedoms are being taken away; the
environment is left to rot; minorities are left out of any real decision-
making; and some of us, like myself, think we may be on the brink of war -
cold war, if not hot.

I've protested and sent protest emails, all with the understanding none of
this makes any difference. There are calls for boycotting US products, but
that will, I think, effect nothing; if Bush continues on his present path,
it's in subservience to the mining/oil/development interests at home -
which in fact would only be helped by boycotts. This country is one of the
largest, if not the largest, consumer per capita, of any country on the
planet - it also has, as you know the largest prison population (per capi-
ta as well), and next to no health care.

Bush, in order to get elected, made numerous campaign promises - many of
which he's reversed as soon as he took office. He promised compromise with
the Democrats, and has ignored them; he's reversed all environmental prom-
ises, etc. What he said in the campaign clearly makes no difference to
him. He's got Christie Whitman to act as his fall guy - and she seems in-
credibly liberal compared to him.

For the first time we have a "president" that has not been elected - we
are feeling the tension and horror of a government the people did not
want, and a government which clearly does not want the people. (Yes, there
have been electoral college reversals before, but not in modern times; not
with the collusion of the brother-governor of a state; and not with so
much right-wing legislation immediately put into place. Bush "lost" by
half a million, which is not inconsiderable, even by official counts, of

I am writing to ask the obvious - so it doesn't get kicked around only in
our lofts here - is anyone thinking of suing or impeaching Bush? Is such a
thing possible? Can a lawsuit be filed on the basis of campaign promises
immediately reversed? - which leads to the other natural question - Can I
promise _anything_ to get elected, and then proceed otherwise? I don't
know if constitutional law plays into this - I doubt it - but is there the
possibility of oral contracts established? I know this is the case among
private citizens here - very hard to prove - but with the government, this
would be a matter of record.

This country has never had, not since Vietnam, a strong and viable opposi-
tion; as you know, we have no speaker of the opposition here - and cur-
rently both congress and the supreme court side with right-wing concerns
in general. (While the Senate appears divided, Cheney casts the deciding
vote, and a number of Democrats are fairly right wing; the party has moved
more in that direction.) In short, on one hand there is intense economic/
laissez-faire capitalist activity, and on the other - silence, analysis,
theory, self-laceration, blame-placing, futile marches and email.

So many of us are living in despair; if the US continues on its ultra-
right path, the world economy and environment will suffer as well. We are
indeed a rogue nation, a violent one; we are a nation of murderes, killing
our own, taking the rest of the world for granted as marketplace, quaint,
tourist-destination, naive.

I'm well aware of the idiocy of this post, its naivete; I can repeatedly
analyze the current situation, but, again like many of us, "just" feel
victimized. I see no way out; I don't want to march and sign petitions
that mean nothing - no one is listening anymore.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Petitions, anyone?


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