Once upon a time there was a man who gazed across a ravine toward the people who lived on the other side and decided he wanted to build a bridge so that he could bring people on both sides together. He announced his intention to undertake this unprecedented attempt at unity, and everyone watched as he set out to do just that. But there were people on the other side who didn't want to be joined with those across the divide, so every time the man laid a new span in the bridge these people pulled it down and tore away part of their side of the chasm making it virtually impossible to reach them.
Then, when the bridge building project finally seemed hopeless, when the gulf between the two sides seemed wider than ever, the saboteurs stood at the edge and taunted the bridge builder with his own promises. You told us, they scoffed, that you would be a uniter not a divider, but we're more divided now than ever. So much for your deceptions and empty promises.
This, of course, is pretty much what has occurred over the last two years in Washington, D.C. When George Bush came to office he tried to build bridges to the other side. He invited Senator Kennedy to write his No Child Left Behind legislation. He brought the Senator to the White House to honor his brother, John F. Kennedy. He tried to bring people together so that the nation would benefit from a government whose parties were able to transcend their differences and do what was best for the American people. He sought to restore civility and mutual respect to our political discourse, but it was not to be.Senator Kennedy thanked the president for his courtesies by accusing him of the most nefarious crime imaginable, sacrificing young men's lives in the Midlle-East just to enrich his friends in the oil industry. Then other Democrats jumped on the president, blocking the President's nominations to the Federal judiciary, libelling the reputations of good, honest, and highly qualified men and women purely out of partisan self-interest. They frequently and loudly proclaimed that Bush was a liar, that he betrayed the country, that he knew about the 9/11 plot beforehand, that he was another Hitler, that he was a war criminal, a gang leader, that he was a stupid, incompetent, brain dead, buffoon.
The scurrilousness of the accusations grew increasingly worse. No insult was too nasty, too base, too hysterical for the Democrats to employ. They weren't shy about telling whomever was paying attention how much they hated him. Their meanness grew in intensity as Michael Moore released the grossly dishonest Fahrenheit 9/11, and the Democrats found themselves swooning over the man who once called the passengers aboard the hijacked airliners that crashed into the Trade Towers cowardly white people because they didn't overwhelm their attackers like Black passengers would have.
Meanwhile, as the stomping of the president continued, the left encouraged efforts to undermine two thousand years of settled tradition concerning marriage. Anyone who wanted to keep the institution of marriage as it had been for two millenia was branded a hateful homophobe. Those who opposed tinkering with an already fragile, but vitally important institution, were said to be "divisive". President Bush was labelled "an ignorant man", a "divisive figure", because he believes the only way to guarantee the survival of that tradition is to shelter it in the constitution.
The left was relentless also in it's attempts to undermine the morale of our troops in Iraq and greeted every setback with an unseemly satisfaction. They were quick to declare both our efforts there and Bush's leadership in those efforts an unqualified failure. His opponents reflexively distort the situation in that theater in order to make Bush look incompetent. They ridicule his claim that Saddam was trying to build WMDs even though virtually all of them believed themselves that Saddam possessed these arms, and despite the finding of the Duelfer Report that Saddam had a strategy for ending sanctions and restarting his WMD program.
Then came the election campaign and the hysteria and acidulousness of the left were ratcheted up several notches. The MSM suppressed reports on the economy and on the war that would favor Bush and hurt Kerry and gleefully ran any story they could find that made Bush look weak, confused, or malicious. NBC's The Today Show gave Kitty Kelly three days to promote her veridically-challenged smear of the Bush family, but refused the Swift Boat vets even a single interview. CBS went so far as to run a story that made Bush look like he had refused orders during his National Guard service based upon documents that turned out to be an obvious fraud. The political news director at ABC put out a memo which essentially instructs his staff to slant their coverage toward Kerry. Chris Matthews at MSNBC plays Hardball with Bush supporters and throws Batting Practice to the Kerry folks.
The MSM grills Bush with tough questions every chance they get, distorting his record whenever they can, criticizing and blaming him for everything from 9/11 to the shortage of flu vaccine, but they never ask Kerry anything that might reveal his flaws. Never has he been asked why he won't release his records from his Vietnam service, for example, nor has he ever been asked what there is in his twenty year Senate career that he thinks qualifies him to be president, or what there is in that record that gives the voters grounds for thinking he can provide the leadership he assures us he will provide.
Now the President is being accused of having a secret plan to cut social security benefits to retirees in a patently cruel attempt to play on the insecurities and fears of the elderly and to drive a wedge between them and George Bush.
Desperate to solidify their African-American base, the Democrats have resurrected the old canard that Bush has another secret plan to disenfranchise Black voters. Remember Florida in 2000, they ask, when hundreds, maybe thousands of black votes were disallowed? They never mention that there were even more white votes which were rejected, and the reason they were was because the voters were ineligible, many of them being felons. Nevertheless, televison ads are appearing which show footage from the 1960s of Blacks being knocked down by fire hoses with the clear implication that this is the sort of thing African-Americans can expect in a second Bush term.
Hoping to discredit the president among those anxious for the promise of stem cell research to cure some human afflictions, they completely misrepresent the president's position on stem cells, making him appear either cruel or stupid or both, and they misrepresent as well the potential for success that stem cells hold. Senator Edwards has even promised that if John Kerry is elected, parapalegics and quadrapalegics will get up out of their wheelchairs and walk, perhaps the most despicable political promise ever made anywhere by anyone in the history of American politics.
On top of this have come allegations of yet another secret Bush plan, this one to reinstate the draft, preying upon the fears of millions of young people and their parents. In fact, the only people trying to reinstate the draft are Democrats in both the House and the Senate. The bills to resume a draft were introduced by Democrats, and only Democrats voted in favor of them. The most likely party to reinstate the draft is, in fact, the Democratic party, since it is only Democrats who are making the case for one.
Following close upon these calumnies are news stories about voter fraud in heavily Democratic districts and threats to litigate the election results, tying them up in courts, perhaps indefinitely, if Kerry doesn't win.
Having done all this and more, having sundered every bond of good will and decency, the Democrats now stand before the nation and have the insolence to blame George Bush for having divided us. They taunt him with his own promise to be a uniter not a divider, and deride him for having failed to achieve that which they themselves have made impossible.
Through this entire storm of invective neither Bush nor any of his team have answered in kind. He has kept his word about trying to change the tone of discourse in Washington despite the disgusting viciousness of his political opponents' slanders and utter lack of moral restraint. There is an ugliness and depravity in the rhetoric and tactics of the political left which is symptomatic of a sickness of the soul. There's been nothing remotely comparable to it on the Republican side of this campaign. President Bush has kept faith with his promise. He did what he could do. His honor and dignity are intact and that of the Democrats is in tatters.
They may win the White House, but it will be a Pyhrric victory if they do. They've done more in this election to destroy the public's faith in our political system than Nixon ever did with the Watergate scandal. They have injected so much poison into the process that, should they win in November, our political discourse and the public's trust may not recover for a generation, if ever.
This matters not at all to the left. Like a cocaine addict who will do or say anything, no matter how degrading or self-destructive, in order to satisfy her addiction to the narcotic, the Democrats are prepared to do whatever it takes, even if it means destroying the careers and reputations of anyone who stands in their way, in order to sate their lust for the narcotic of political power. It would be a travesty of calamitous proportions if the majority of voters in this country chose to reward this sordid record by putting these people in the White House.