I received the following e-mail, and am passing it along:
As some of you already know, two weeks ago I turned in my official letter of resignation at work. Monday was my last day as a software engineer. What now, you might be asking?
I have never been a Democrat and I have never supported the local members of the Democratic party. I never cast a vote for Bill Clinton. Yet I, like many others in this nation, Republican and Democrats alike, feel the right wing ideologues currently in charge of our country have gone too far.
For the first time since 1929, the right wing of the Republican Party controls all three branches of the government. What have they given us? Fiscal conservativeness? A balanced budget amendment? No. They have given us the largest budget deficit in U.S. history so that the people who ran Enron can receive tax cuts. Rather than balancing the federal budget they are repealing the estate tax, which affects only the top 2% of America. When pressed to instead raise the bar for the estate tax exemption to $4 million permanently, they have instead chosen to repeal it altogether. They talk about Homeland Security, while at the same time their budget policies are forcing communities all over the country to lay off police officers and fire fighters. They talk of “No child left behind” while teachers across the country are being laid off due to lack of funding. They talk of the “Clear Skies Initiative” which allows polluters to dump more toxins into the air. They pass a “Patriot Act” that compromises the Constitution by eliminating “Due Process of the Law”, gutting the 4th Amendment, and allowing the government to conduct surveillance of any U.S. citizen with reduced checks and balances. They talk about “revisionist history” while leading conservative pundit Ann Coulter releases a new book arguing that Senator Joe McCarthy was “misunderstood” and a saint!
Some of you may have heard about the recent FCC vote on media ownership. FCC Chairman Michael Powell, against the wishes of over 95% of the Americans who wrote in on the issue, voted to raise the restriction on ownership limits on television and media. Republicans often argue for free markets, yet this is not just another market. Media is the fundamental vehicle for our constitutional and human right of free speech. This is why moderate Republicans led by John McCain have teamed up with Democrats to fight to overturn this decision.
The Republican Party used to be the party of fiscal responsibility and patriotic duty. Although these people are members of the Republican Party, they ARE NOT REPUBLICANS.
Some of you may have heard of Howard Dean, the 12 year former Governor of Vermont, who yesterday officially announced his candidacy for President of the United States. As Dr. Dean said in his speech yesterday, ‘President Kennedy challenged us to “pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.” And so, we must issue that challenge again.’
For the next year and a half, I am going to be joining 38,000 volunteers from around the country who want our country returned to us. For too long, my generation has sat on the sidelines and not engaged in the political conversation in this country. We have avoided talking about politics with our friends, our family, and especially our parents, out of fear that they may not feel the way we do. It is time for this to end.
Some of you may have heard of Dean and support his ideas, yet do not believe he can win the nomination. Well, Governor Dean recently won the Wisconsin straw poll. He is a frontrunner in all of the major polls. Last Thursday, I witnessed the Governor giving a speech to the San Francisco Bar Association that left the entire 500+ attendance audience on their feet clapping and cheering. Dean is slated to win the online MoveOn.org primary, the leading online organization of my generation, by such a wide margin that the other candidates have begun to question its legitimacy for the sole purpose of discrediting its obvious significance.
And the media? Fox News reported there were 1500 people meeting up yesterday to support the Governor’s declaration when there were really closer to 30,000. Newspapers around the country sought to de-legitimize our movement by reporting that “at least 2500 people” (AP) or “more than 1000” (LA Times) showed up for the declaration, when the Burlington fire marshal himself closed down the entrance to the square because the crowd had grown to over 5000. The Bush administration, sensing a growing political force, attempted to monopolized the media by holding a policy speech at precisely the same time that Governor Dean was announcing his candidacy.
The media is not going to educate us. They are not interested in promoting a civic debate. They are not going to help us maintain a vibrant democracy. Yet we have a weapon far stronger than they do: the Internet.
Please, read the Governor’s speech and look into the issues yourselves. Get involved. Attend a local Meetup event. Make your own voice heard. If you are a member of MoveOn, vote for the Governor by the end of today.
We have the power to win this battle, but we must do it ourselves.
Great letter. (Actually no one is expected to win the MoveOn primary.)
By the way – a few hundred readers are going to be asking — just WHERE is that software engineer job opening up?