News - Turning back the clock

GOP masks its true intentions behind a smiling lie

Batter up! The country's values are at stake next Tuesday. Are we collectively going to turn the reins of power over to those fixated on the past, or face the promise of the future? For me this is not a matter of empty sloganeering, but a case of stark reality.
How in America can we possibly re-elect the likes of Bob Barr? Do we really believe a congenial dunce from Texas is the best we can offer as president?
No, we can do better. But shockingly disturbing trends just days before the election have folks like me preparing for a worst-case scenario.
I can hear the right-wing gang on Capitol Hill (Dick Armey, Trent Lott, Tom DeLay, Jesse Helms), who have kept quiet in a Bush "lock-box" for months, shouting for joy. I can visualize the muzzled Revs. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and presidential also-ran Gary Bauer tearing the tape from their mouths to demand that gays be thrust back in the closet, and that women once again face the grisly realities of coat-hanger abortions in filthy backroom "clinics."
What we have witnessed this election cycle by the Republicans is nothing short of a massive charade. The public posturing — from their "big tent" convention hyping phony "inclusion" to Bush's nonsensical "compassionate conservatism"-- rings so hollow to the folks who know where they really stand. Don't be deceived by this scam. Desperate to regain the White House, they are saying anything — or, in the case of the extreme kooks, nothing at all — to assure a GOP victory.
If all goes as planned for Bush/Cheney, come next Wednesday the nastiness kept in check for eight months can be unleashed. The true colors of the diehards can be worn proudly, while the gullible American public will be treated to sneers and contempt from those who cheated it.
Somehow, before next Tuesday, a sleepy public content in its prosperity must awaken to the differences between the candidates. Voters must realize that there are consequences, whether they cast their ballots for Bush or Gore, or Buchanan, Nader or Browne.
And there are other considerations, too. The re-election of a Republican Senate or House will have far more serious ramifications if Bush is elected. It appears that whoever wins the White House may also carry a majority in the House. This, along with the likelihood of the GOP retaining control of the Senate, could nullify any legislative checks and balances — all the more reason to pay close attention in the final days of campaign 2000.
Fear should never be a reason to motivate someone to vote. But a scenario like the one above should give some pause if the worse instincts of voters play out next Tuesday. As U.S. Rep. John Lewis puts it, "Vote like you never have before. Vote like your life depends on it." I couldn't agree more.
HOUCKLINE: Call, 404-614-1886, e-mail: thouck@mindspring.com

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