Today America votes to elect a new Congress. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 33 seats in the Senate are up for grabs. It has been a very contentious and dirty campaign on both sides but, and no surprise here, the bulk of the dirty tricks on the Republican side. The general consensus is that the tide is flowing with the Democrats, although the Republicans have made some gains over the last few days. Voter turnout is also expecte to be very high, a sign of how angry the electorate is.
But what is most important here is the fact that this election is about so much more than just Congress. This is as important a midterm election as there has been in the past. So much is at stake, not just the Iraq War and the War on Terror. The future of the country is at stake. For six years, with help from the panic caused by the 9/11 attacks, the Bush Administration has undertaken policies and measures that have eroded the freedoms attained through much ardor in this country, all in the name of National Security. National Security is extremely important, but so are the freedoms and rights which this country has so vehemently fought for in the past. These freedoms have been endangered by an Administration whose policies seek to (and to a large extent have) expand presidential powers comparably to a dictatorship, and to suppress the minority opinion, which in this case represents half or more of the population. The majority of the country disapproves of the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress, but the minority Republicans are in control of everything so the majority of the country remains disenfranchised. For six years this Republican controlled government has taken over in imperious fashion over everything and forced policies through that have been detrimental to the middle and lower classes, while rewarding the richest 1% of the nation. They have diminished world opinion of the United States, turned some of it into hatred. They have weakened the might of the most powerful military in the world and by extension weakened its ability to defend the fatherland. They have undertaken economic policies that have resulted in the largest federal budget and trade deficits every recorded. The national debt has tripled practically and we are being held hostage to an extent by China, who holds a large portion of that debt. Tax cuts that have benefited the richest 1% have translated into a fairly good economy that is only felt by that 1%. The rest are struggling to get by, working two jobs, increasing credit card debt to a record high just to stay afloat. Healthcare and energy prices are through the roof, and the Administration passes drug perscription and energy plans that benefit the drug and oil companies. These result in record profits for oil companies and excellent ones for drug companies. All the while 44 million + americans do not have health insurance because they cannot afford it. Education, the cornerstone of any country's future, is pathetic, with a No Child Left Behind initiative that has been underfunded completely. Higher education is now out of the reach for most americans not only because of higher tuition prices, but the federal government cut funding for higher education grant and loans. Although unemployment is low at around 4.3%, the fact the wages are stagnant at $5.15 an hour translates into people having to work two or more jobs to get by. Any attempt to raise the minimum wage has been denied by Republicans, and when they introduce a minimum wage bill it is ammended to include other issues that are not beneficial, so Democrats vote it down and then Republicans try to make them look like the bad guys. Other non-policy issues such as gay marriage and federal stem cell research funding have been used to divide the country bitterly. Even in the face of scientific eveidence, Bush and his people have denied the progress of research because of their highly misguided concept of religion. In gay marriage, they have sided with evangilicals to used the wedge issue and deliver the vote, all the while some of these leaders secretly doing those things they preach against. The height of hypocrisy. This governement has taken the idea of "divide and conquer" a step further, more like divide, destroy and conquer, all at the expense of the nation's future. Their environmental record is abyssmal. The White House has systematically denied and supressed scientific evidence indicating global warming, a world wide problem, to advance its goals (many benefitting energy companies). Death of Habeas Corpus? Torture? Warrantless eavesdropping? I could go on and on about endless number of things that have harmed the country. I will not even discuss the Iraq War and the War on Terror, there is no need to, everything is clear by now. The Republicans say that Democrats don't have solutions or that they do not offer anything. Well, first of all, Republicans do not allow Democrats to introduce anything in Congress. Anything good introduced by Democrats is shot down, then a similar bill is drafted by the Republicans and introduced in Congress. Second, why should Democrats have to offer up a solution to clean up the mess created by the Republican Congress? Is it not as Colin Powell said: "you break it, you own it"? Democrats offer a solution while they are not in the majority? Why? The President is already going to leave this mess to the next President. Republicans always try to blame democrats about everything, but last time I checked they controlled everything. I'm not saying that Democrats are going to be any better, but they cannot be any worse than Republicans already are. Republicans on the other hand CAN make things worse. After all they are the ones who got us here. What is worse is that they do not see how bad the country is doing, therefore they offer no solutions to stop the downward spiral. Democrats won't do much, after all it is still a Republican presidency and most likely senate, and no veto proof majority. But they can at least put a stop to the Republican Titanic and start some very much warranted investigations into Republican misconduct.
So you see, this midterm election is not just for Congress, but for the restoring of some sense of decency and correctness to the nation. It is a vote for the future, to provide our children with a lot of the great things this country has provided for us. It is a vote to protect what this country has been in the past and should be in the future. It is a vote for AMERICA.