Date: September 2, 2004
Sent to but not published in the Philadelphia Inquirer
The hollowness of George W. Bush's values.A person who really acted on the values he espouses would long ago have disavowed the scurrilous slurs of the Swifties.
This is just one more disconnect between what George Bush says and what George Bush does. He promised us compassion; he delivered the most divisive administration in recent history with its opening up of the class war by stiffing the working stiff while giving untold wealth to the rich – yes a tax cut of $58,000 appears to be untold wealth to the working poor making an income of $15,000 a year; that is a tax cut of $58,000, not an income of $58,000!
He extols the sacrifices of the troops in the field while failing to fund the necessary Veterans' programs to support them in their post-battlefield traumas. He speaks with his hand on his heart of our debt to the first responders who are in the front line of our defenses against terrorism while he ruthlessly cuts transfer payments to states and cities who are unable to afford the cost of strengthening that security.
He talks of "no child left behind" but fails to provide adequate funding for the programs that would make that slogan a reality. For the first time in history, he wants to amend our constitution -- a document rich with the symbols of liberalism and freedom -- to discriminate against our fellow citizens. He talks of strengthening medicare but enacts legislation that allows the drug companies to enjoy excessive profits.
He talks about conservatism (which to me means conservation) but presides over an administration that repudiated the Kyoto accords, that has weakened clean air laws and that is opening up areas of the wilderness to being trampled on by off-road vehicles and oil and gas drilling rigs.
He talks about law and order but his legal advisors suggest repudiating the Geneva convention – a convention designed to protect American prisoners of war – and his agents abuse prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He talks a good game, but I implore Americans to judge him by his actions and those of his administration.