Wednesday, October 20, 2004
I watched, via the net, Al Gore's address to Georgetown University that he gave on October 18, 2004. CSPAN has it, if you want to watch. All the memories from 4 years ago flooded over me. At the time I was strongly in support of Gore and engaged in spirited debate with others on the forums that CNN hosted at the time. You had to be careful what you said or the moderator would suddenly kill your login. That happened to me a couple of times... but what I remember most is the final retort from the right, when we beat them back with how pathetic a choice Bush would be for President. They said, "Look, for you worst case scenario is he is in office for four years. How much harm could he do in four years?"
I think many of us know the answer to that now.
The US, once revered and respected and regarded as a symbol of freedom and tolerance and liberty around the world, is now reviled and mistrusted and regarded with fear and loathing.
Who would have thought it only took 4 years to do that?
The economy was booming, and projections were for trillions of dollars of surplus. The looming baby boomer Social Security disaster had been averted. Kids could go to college, it was a job-seeker's market, the onerous federal debt was being paid down.
Who would have thought this bounty could be undone from top to bottom in only 4 years?
Then there's the environment, education, health care, the state of our military, the trust or lack thereof in our government, international treaties, loss of liberty, the media control...
Bottom line is, four years has been more than enough to screw with America as we knew it. Four years has been more than enough to set us back at least 20 years. I am appalled at what Bushco has managed in 4 short years. There are some things that cannot be taken back. Preventive war, once struck, is not something you can erase with a presidential directive. The albatross all of us have been hung with can never be unhung.
That being said, this election year I won't just be sitting at my computer sharing my views in a community of others. I will be heading for a "swing state" to put my old boots on the ground to GOTV for Kerry. My knees aren't good anymore, and I haven't done any training to get ready for exertion. But I will do what I can, in word and in deed, to overturn the Selected resident of the White House.
I know how bad the last four years were. I simply cannot imagine four more.