BuzzFlash presents Southern Style
by Rebecca Knight

November 22, 2002




















Living In Never-Never Land

Southern Style
by Rebecca Knight

* * *

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

-- James Madison, as a United States Congressman

* * *

Never, never did we think that the American people would fail to respond to what is so obvious to those of us who understand the sham being perpetrated by the Bush administration on this country. Never, never did we think that the voters of Florida and other areas of the country, stripped of their voting rights through devious manipulations of voter rolls and intimidation tactics in election 2000, would capitulate to the same tactics in the 2002 mid term elections.

Election day 2002 can best be described as a failure of democracy. Less than forty percent of eligible voters actually participated. Shame on those Americans who did not take the time to cast a vote, especially those who were manipulated out of their right to vote in 2000. Where was your outrage? Shame on apathetic Americans who do not take the time to understand the issues involved and their impact on the life of every citizen. There will be consequences and they could be monumental.

Republicans are claiming a historic victory and mandate for the Bush administration. However, examination of the facts indicates it was much closer than one would think. There were 75,723,756 votes cast nationally. A swing of 94,000 votes would have resulted in Democrats capturing control of the House and retaining a majority in the Senate. Do the math. This is less than two-tenths of one percent of the total vote. That is how close America came to making a negative statement about Bush and the Republican agenda.

Only twenty-two percent of voting age citizens actually voted. Consider this staggering fact: 105 million citizens of voting age did not vote. That is hardly a resounding endorsement of any political philosophy. Just remember that this type of analysis was used by Republicans to claim that Clinton was not legitimately elected in 1992. Now, however, they claim it as a right wing mandate.

This election marks the third straight mid-term election (beginning in 1994) where the GOP has outpolled Democrats. Prior to 1994, the last time the GOP had done that was 1946.

Democratic turnout is down 8 percentage points from its apex of 26.2 in 1962. Republican turnout is down 6.3 percentage points from its apex of 26.4 in 1966.

What has happened to the Democratic Party? It has been rendered voiceless and incompetent by masterful campaign strategies of the right wing. The solution is not to become more centrist or "Republican Lite" as some have suggested. The solution is to get back to the fundamental principles that have guided the Democratic Party for decades, to be the party of the people and to promote strongly policies that will alleviate suffering and improve the lives of average citizens. This is not accomplished by going along with the right wing just to get along.

Democrats who vote with the right-wingers are doing a severe injustice to their constituents. They should remember the identity and demographics of their base. Instead, they have been so busy trying to keep their jobs, they are failing to do their jobs. If they will not be the strong party of opposition to the Bush agenda, they do not deserve their positions in government. The lack of voting from the Democratic base in the mid term elections proves this theory.

Now Richard Gephardt has stepped down as House Minority Leader and Nancy Pelosi has taken that position. That may be a move in the right direction as Pelosi made this statement: "We must draw clear distinctions between our vision of the future and the extreme policies put forward by the Republicans. We cannot allow Republicans to pretend they share our values and then legislate against those values without consequence." If she maintains that stance and lives up to her potential, she has the ability to make a difference.

A real opportunity exists for Democrats. Will they be up to the challenge?

Check out the fact that party identification leans to Democratic or Independent overwhelmingly 61% to 38% here:

Check out the fact that public opinion and electoral behavior reflects liberal or moderate 43%, conservative 30%, and haven't thought 27% here:

* * *

"What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think."

-- Adolf Hitler

* * *

To paraphrase James Carville on election night, the American people have no idea what they have just done to this country. Of course they don't, because most citizens are out of touch with the realities of political discourse, with the impact of policy decisions, and with the extreme manipulation and corruption of the system by the moneyed elite. Apparently they don't care or they lack the capacity to process complex ideological theories and their impact on our every day lives.

* * *

"It also gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them."

-- Adolf Hitler

* * *

There are questions involving how fair and accurate the mid term election actually was. Consider the fact that the Voter News Service failed to report exit polling and there were large swings of percentages for Republican candidates. What really happened? Apparently computerized voting is suspect as indicated by many articles and reports here:

Check out election machine ownership here:

Check out "A Government Hijacked" here:

Check out "The Nightmare Scenario Is Here Computer Voting With No Paper Tail" here:

* * *

"Through clever and constant application of propaganda people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise."

-- Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1923

* * *

The Republican Party, soon to be in control of all three branches of the government, will have the ability to pass legislation and make policy that will take us down dangerous paths. It has already begun with the passage by the Senate of a deeply flawed Homeland Security Bill that hands out pork to Texas A&M University and pharmaceutical companies. Only nine Senators, Akaka (D-HI), Byrd (D-WV), Feingold (D-WI), Hollings (D-SC), Inouye (D-HI), Jeffords (I-VT), Kennedy (D-MA), Levin (D-MI), and Sarbanes (D-MD), voted in opposition to this destructive bill. Many spoke in opposition, but then voted approval. Only one Senator, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, fought valiantly against this bill.

These are indeed dangerous times. Bush campaigned for his party by beating war drums and positioning himself and his plan for America's security as the best way to insure the safety of American citizens. The citizens bought it and gave tacit approval. They apparently are not nearly as concerned with honesty, integrity, or their own economic welfare as one would have imagined. They apparently are willing to overlook the destruction of their civil liberties and a secretive administration with links to large-scale corporate corruption. It boggles the mind.

Check out "How Close Is America To Outright Dictatorship?"

Consider these words from a letter to the editor printed by the Boston Globe:

"I grew up during the Depression on a farm where seldom a week passed without desperate homeless men coming to the door to seek work or a meal.

"I enlisted in the Navy toward the end of World War II and got through college and graduate school with the help of the GI Bill and part-time jobs. I lived through the witch-hunts conducted by Joseph McCarthy, the Korean War, the Vietnamese conflict and the tumult it brought about in the halls of academe where I taught, and the Cold Ware with its fears and uncertainties. Never in all that time was I ashamed of my country, nor did I fear for its future.

"Now, however, I am both ashamed of our domestic and international policies and fearful for our future. We are led by a president who captured his office through devious means with less than a majority of popular support. He is an intemperate, immature man who has relied on his privileged family throughout most his life to keep him safe and prosperous. He works with a Congress that seems, for the most part, to value money and position over principles and people. We are in a sad state.

"A host of domestic problems unemployment, poverty, a failing health care system, poor schools, corporate greed and malfeasance, and a plethora of violent crimes are ignored while we spend billions in a reckless, ill-considered attempt to dominate the world.

"What we have become is sad."

* * *

Yes, it is sad. Perhaps it has never, never been as sad as it is currently.

Take heart. We have seen dark times before and survived. We will do so again. It will be a difficult period, but we will have another opportunity for change in two years. That is the beauty of America.

* * *

Rebecca Knight is a native Tennessean, who grew up in Nashville, and currently resides in a small town near Nashville. Ms. Knight's political awareness evolved through the civil rights movement, the Vietnam era, the Watergate era, and the cold war. The debacle of the 2000 election increased her sense of responsibility for political activism. You may contact Rebecca Knight via e-mail at

2002 by Rebecca Knight



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