If I hear another politician use 9/11 for partisan politics I’ll puke. In the past four nights, I have witnessed speaker after speaker at the Republican National Convention invoke 9/11 to play on my fears to sell their candidate. It pains me to watch the level of discourse in this election. Dredging up anger and fear to sell a candidate appear to be the order of the day. I guess it’s all fair in candidate marketing.
But seriously, how low are we prepared to go, where is the line, do we have no shame?
The good senator from the state of Georgia, Zel Miller used 9/11 scare tactics over and over to sell the candidate for bigger defense budget with Star Wars, armored vehicles and Patriot missiles. I think he is still fighting the Soviets. Didn’t terrorists use box cutters to highjack the airplanes? He said, “my family is more important to me than my party”. Apparently money is even more important than his family; otherwise he would not be a tobacco lobbyist.
Lest we forget, there is an incumbent in this election and we should look at his record. The most important issues are security, the economy, education, healthcare and the environment. So let’s review the President’s record on these issues:
Are we safer today than before President Bush took office? The answer is absolutely not. Not only we are not safer since the Iraq invasion, the United States is now viewed as one of the biggest threats to world peace right after North Korea, Iran and Israel. Now, that’s a feather in any president’s cap.
Are we better off economically since President Bush took office? The answer depends on who you are. If you are in the top 1% of the population, then the answer is yes. But if you are like me, the answer is a big no. Furthermore, we are setting new records for the number of working families in poverty.
Are the schools better since the President took office? The No Child Left Behind Act has been a very controversial law. It has given the federal government unprecedented authority over schools. Growing criticism of the law and its uniform testing standards plus the recent budget cuts makes the answer unclear.
Is the healthcare system any better since the President took office? A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey indicates that out-of-pocket expenses for people with employer-sponsored health plans have risen nearly 50 percent over the past three years. The study also shows that two-thirds of large employers have raised health care premiums this year, with a nearly 14% increase on average. Additionally, 44 million people do not even have insurance. Again, the answer is a resounding no.
How has the President’s environmental policy affected the environment? The proposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, doubling the accepted mercury level in drinking water and the secret proceedings of the administration's energy task force all show a systematic disregard for the environment.
There you have it, with 4 NOs and one MAYBE, the President’s record does not favor his re-election, no matter how angry I felt on 9/11 or how sacred I am of those damn terrorists.