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Posted: 10/20/2004 4:55:14 AM EDT
The following column by Matthew Manweller, a Central Washington University political
science professor, appeared in the Ellensburg (Washington) Daily Record on Wed.  Oct. 6, 2004. 

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."

Received this from a very good friend in PA. She wants everyone to know what she saw.

Good Tuesday morning! John Kerry brought his "front porch meeting" to our Canonsburg,
PA neighborhood on Labor Day morning. Since you will never hear the truth from the TV
or print media I thought that you should know from someone who was 'almost' there.
The residents who live on the street where the event took place were not allowed to attend.
Kerry shipped in approximately 90 invitation only VIPs. In addition, there was a hard luck
case who was about to lose her job at USAIR and another was an elderly woman who was
having health care problems. Neither one was from this neighborhood.

The street was closed to all traffic the night before and all residents on the street were
REQUIRED to remove their Bush/Cheney signs.The sympathetic police officers on duty
told us that Kerry used imminent domain to claim the street for his purposes. Residents
who have homes within the perimeter (approximately 1 full block) were kept behind a
line away from the partisan crowd. The rest of us were not allowed within the 1 block cordon.

A neighbor from across the street came to the line where we were being kept and
asked us to come onto his property. The police told us that we could stand on this mans
FORMERLY private property! This was set up so that Kerry's views could be
heard - but not the neighbors.

About 30 people (mostly neighbors) shouts echoed down the street "Let the neighbors in".
We could barely hear Kerry speaking with his microphone because press buses were used to block us off
from view! This mornings papers are reporting hecklers tried to interrupt Kerry as he
spoke to the neighborhood gathering, but he turned our chants to his favor by calling us rude.

Even though most of the media was there to record our stories of not being included
in the neighborhood forum, not one of them printed or aired the truth. This is what
America will look like if Kerry becomes president.

Get registered and get all of your friends registered to vote if they have not already.
Kerry thinks that he is better than the rest of us and he has the media on his side to
make him out to be what he is not!

Finally, last night as I drove down the street where the rally was, I was shocked to see
Bush/Cheney signs in almost every yard on the street!


Gayle Daugherty
Administrative Assistant
Institute for Educational Initiatives
University of Notre DameComment:

This is the same man the media is saying won the first debate.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 4:57:31 AM EDT
Thanks for posting this. I tried the other day but had technical difficulties and was ridiculed.
Link Posted: 10/20/2004 4:58:04 AM EDT
P.S. Its a sad day when you have to supply your own followers to a rally.
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