What Difference Does It Make?

Eight years ago I shrugged my shoulders and said: “What difference will it make—who is elected President: Bush or Gore? One President cannot make much difference in a government controlled by entrenched bureaucracies, special interest money and elected officials who serve for thirty years.”

That’s what I thought when the Supreme Court declared George Bush the winner over Al Gore.

But events have proven me wrong.

While Al Gore invested his energy calling America to confront the crisis of global warming—and winning the Nobel Peace Prize, George Bush set a new standard for immorality and incompetence in the White House.

Bush started a war, invoking his cowboy creed of preemptive aggression; it was and is a war we did not need and can not win. Thousands have died, tens of thousands have been maimed for life, hundreds of thousands have been displaced, and millions have nurtured a new sense of prejudice against other peoples, nations and religions.

Bush ignored the principals of human rights that have been at the center of our national ideal, repudiated his country’s stand against torture, and created a illegitimate legal system to handle people he did not like; it is called Guantanamo and will survive for years as a stain upon our national honor.

Bush responded to Hurricane Katrina with a level of public indifference rarely seen in a person of high office; and when the catastrophe created pressure he could not resist the President and his henchmen unleashed a tsunami of bungleosity that makes the Three Stooges look like Olympic athletes.

Finally: the collapse of the economy. Need I say more?

Bush, of course, was the Conservative, and thus loved by the corporations and the evangelicals; and was ordained by God, we were told, to keep America pure and decent and unregulated. But by electing the man less intelligent, less competent, and less engaged with the world we voted ourselves into a mess; and we delivered to the world a clear and compelling truth—it does make a difference!

One person can make a difference: one student, one parent, one teacher, one soldier, one judge, one writer, one friend—and yes, one President. It does matter; it matters this year, not necessarily more or less than any other year, in spite of what the politicians say. It does matter, and because of that, I will vote.

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3 comments so far

  1. katbur on

    You are right one person can make a difference. Now go out and vote!

  2. Greg Magruder on

    Well, touche’.

  3. John Mitchell on

    And, one person can make a little difference or a lot. I’m blessed to have children that have chosen to make a difference by working full time (and then some!) to make a difference — one went to Ohio, the other went to Minnesota. They were not content to talk about the difference around the dinner table. They got out of their comfort zones and are making a difference. Not to be completely outdone, my wife is working to make that difference in the evenings and on weekends, and I have decided to put my time where my mouth is and am taking several days off before the election to make that difference, and to volunteer for voter protection services at a key precinct in Virginia on election day. Yes, vote we must, but we must also motivate others to vote. And thanks, Dwight, for the reminder that when we vote and those we motivate vote, it should be for the person who can make the difference we can believe in.


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