Sunday, May 11, 2003

Printed in it's entirety, a plea to the Democrats:

An Open Letter to the DNC
by Ken Follett

Dear DNC Leadership:

I am writing you because of something I seem to have lost. It seems that I have misplaced my political party! I know it was here somewhere. It wasn't that long ago when I saw it in action. I remember how it fought for civil rights with Dr. ML King when I was growing up in the '60s. President Johnson stood up for that issue and signed the historic Civil Rights Act. And I remember reading how my Party fought to save the economy and create jobs where there were none back in the Depression through FDR's "New Deal". Those programs continued even as our country was plunged into the horrors of World War II. And speaking of war, I remember my history lessons showing how my Party only agreed to go to war when our country was attacked. More importantly, I remember how it fought to prevent or end war when it was unnecessary or unwarranted (i.e.: Viet Nam). I remember how my party championed the rights of the poor, the working and the working poor, fighting to keep the greedy interest of big corporations in check or at bay. And there was a time when I could count on my Party to protect the interests of our environment and plan for our children's and our senior's futures.

But it seems that lately I haven't heard much from my Party about all those things. I have heard some weak and feeble criticisms from my Party's leadership of our current "President's" policies -- some of the most aggressive, dangerous, irresponsible and reprehensible domestic, economic and foreign policies ever pursued by a presidential administration in the history of our great country. But there has been no real fight to speak of from my Party. I've watched in horror as thousands of people both here (on September 11, 2001) and abroad (in Afghanistan and Iraq) died as a result of those policies. Yet all my Party could do is offer its support -- in the name of "patriotism" -- to the "Gestapo in Chief" as he continues to draw up plans to convert our great land into a police state and to conquer the world. He continues to chip away at our civil liberties. He continues to pander to corporate greed and monetary interests. He continues to destroy alliances that have taken decades to establish and squander what little sympathy the world might have had for us after September 2001.

I read recently that our country had reached a similar crossroads over 70 years ago as the world was plunged into a global depression. At that time that the United States and Germany both devised a plan to deal with the situation: We chose the CONstructive path developed by FDR ("The New Deal), and Germany followed the DEstructive path forged by Hitler (fascism). Unfortunately, we seem to be following the latter this time, as opposed to the former. We are on a collision course with history, and the results won't be pretty!

But where is my Party? I hope that as we enter the upcoming Presidential campaign season, my party can get it's collective act together. It needs to present a STRONG message to the American public that a different, more productive and more palatable path to the future is available than the one we are currently traversing. (That is as opposed to the usual political infighting and self destructive tactics that seem to have been my Party's hallmark in the past.) We need a "regime change" here at home before out nation ends up going the way of the Roman Empire and the Third Reich. I fear if my Party does not take this opportunity to get our country back from the corporate interests and the "elites", it may be too late. The American public is being hypnotized by the corporate media into believing that everything "The Emperor" says, every new program and proposal that "The Emperor" concocts, every new aggression that "The Emperor" forces, is "good for us". Yet "The Emperor" has no clothes and no one -- including my Party -- is pointing that out!

I've been a voting member of the American public for 30 years now. And while I do not have the most stellar voting record, I have voted in every presidential election since 1976. In all but the first, I voted Democratic. But after the fiasco of the 2000 elections and the horrors of the 2 1/2 years since, I've begun to wonder if I should start looking elsewhere. It pains me to even have to think that way, but I can't seem to find the spirit that my Party had in the past. And I now realize that the result of the 2000 election does not rest on the shoulders of the Green Party or any other independent party. It rests squarely on the shoulders of my Party and it's leadership, who have lost that spirit and with it, the real perceived options available to myself and other voters. The Democratic party has stopped being "the Party of The People" and instead has become the "Me Too! Party", sometimes even lumped together with the opposition as "The Republicrats".

Please give us a sign -- a strong policy speech, a scathing criticism, a successful filibuster, ANYTHING! -- to show us that the Democratic Party is still alive. Our nation needs a strong opposing force to the current rampage in Washington. We -- myself, my family, friends and fellow voters -- are becoming increasingly frightened about what our future holds. If indeed there even IS a future for us. We're counting on you to come through for the sake of our country and those who crafted this great experiment over two centuries ago.

"Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for the sake of security deserve neither." -- Benjamin Franklin

Sincerely and longingly,

Your longtime supporter,

Ken Follett, Rockford, IL

AND I'll add my name too.....Roger Brooke, Bend, OR