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Posted: 10/17/2004 2:35:24 PM EDT
DU lurkers, you might post this and see where it goes.

This was written in the Daily Record (Ellensburg, Washington's paper) on Wed. Oct. 6, 2004 by Mathew Manweller who is a Central Washington
University political science professor.

The title of the article was _*"Election determines fate of nation."*_

"In that this will be my last column before the presidential election there will be no sarcasm, no attempts at witty repartee. The topic is too serious, and the stakes are too high.

This November we will vote in the only election during our lifetime that will truly matter. Because America is at a once-in-a-generation
crossroads, more than an election hangs in the balance. Down one path lies retreat, abdication and a reign of ambivalence. Down the other lies a nation that is aware of its past and accepts the daunting obligation its future demands. If we choose poorly, the consequences will echo through the next 50 years of history.

If we, in a spasm of frustration, turn out the current occupant of the White House, the message to the world and ourselves will be twofold.
First, we will reject the notion that America can do big things. Once a nation that tamed a frontier, stood down the Nazis and stood upon the
moon, we will announce to the world that bringing democracy to the Middle East is too big of a task for us. But more significantly, we will
signal to future presidents that as voters, we are unwilling to tackle difficult challenges, preferring caution to boldness, embracing the
mediocrity that has characterized other civilizations.

The defeat of President Bush will send a chilling message to future presidents who may need to make difficult, yet unpopular decisions.
America has always been a nation that rises to the demands of history regardless of the costs or appeal. If we turn away from that legacy, we
turn away from who we are.

Second, we inform every terrorist organization on the globe that the lesson of Somalia was well learned. In Somalia we showed terrorists that
you don't need to defeat America on the battlefield when you can defeat them in the newsroom. They learned that a wounded America can become a defeated America. Twenty-four-hour news stations and daily tracing polls will do the heavy lifting, turning a cut into a fatal blow. Except that Iraq is Somalia times 10. The election of John Kerry will serve notice to every terrorist in every cave that the soft underbelly of American power is the timidity of American voters. Terrorists will know that a steady stream of grizzly photos for CNN is all you need to break the will of the American people. Our own self-doubt will take it from there. Bin Laden will recognize that he can topple any American administration without setting foot on the homeland.

It is said that America's W.W.II generation is its 'greatest generation.' But my greatest fear is that it will become known as America's 'last generation.' Born in the bleakness of the Great Depression and hardened in the fire of WW II, they may be the last American generation that understands the meaning of duty, honor and sacrifice. It is difficult to admit, but I know these terms are spoken with only hollow detachment by many (but not all) in my generation. Too many citizens today mistake 'living in America' as 'being an American.' But America has always been more of an idea than a place. When you sign on, you do more than buy real estate. You accept a set of values and responsibilities.

This November, my generation, which has been absent too long, must grasp the obligation that comes with being an American, or fade into the oblivion they may deserve. I believe that 100 years from now historians will look back at the election of 2004 and see it as the decisive
election of our century. Depending on the outcome, they will describe it as the moment America joined the ranks of ordinary nations; or they will describe it as the moment the prodigal sons and daughters of the greatest generation accepted their burden as caretakers of the City on
the Hill."

Mathew Manweller

Link Posted: 10/17/2004 2:44:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 2:49:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 2:53:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 2:55:10 PM EDT
I predict it goes downhill fast with the poster getting banned.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 2:56:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 3:00:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
i'm certain the election of 1860 was considered just as important as this one.

I was thinking this same thought today while watching the History channel. Problem is, where will the battle lines be drawn this time? If this nation is divided it's gonna be ugly.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 3:45:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2004 3:45:41 PM EDT by ShadowOne]
[Flame suit on]

I'm voting GWB but I'll play Devil's Advocate on this one just to add additional perspective. The voting in of Kerry probably doesn't change much on the battlefield. We'll still be in Iraq, we'll still be in Afghanistan. The relationship with Israel will still be one of support, although the degree to which is up in the air. This is enough to "embolden" the islamofacists. GWB is already seen by many in the world as an "illegitimate" president who got the job with less than half of all voters supporting him. There's nothing we can do about that. A change of presidents by a highly polarized 50/50 electorate only represents the stochastic nature of our election process, not the heart and soul of the American people. The only way a message would be sent is if Kerry wins by a landslide like in the case of the elections in Spain, which won't happen. Bush winning by a landslide might send a message, but it'll just mean that our enemies continue hating us as they already do.

As it looks now, the winner will be declared via a photo finish.

Link Posted: 10/17/2004 3:51:40 PM EDT
That is a damned fine article, and very, very accurate.

There are always elections, but then there are those elections which define which direction this country will move. 1860 was one. 1980 and 1984 were two others.

2000 wasn't, because at the time it would have simply been a continueation of the same crap, but then 9/11 happened, and America fought back.

So now, here we are. Do we go forward, or do we step back to where we were when we got attacked? Do we do what is best for America, or do we do what will make us more popular?

No, I believe this guy is right; this IS a defining election, and what will make it even more so is what happens as a RESULT of its outcome.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 4:03:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
i'm certain the election of 1860 was considered just as important as this one.

Shit, the 1968 election was during our (my) lifetime. Country was incredibly divided, and close to tearing itself apart.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 5:16:06 PM EDT

There are no trolls.

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