The most dangerous man in the world will be giving a speech tomorrow night. He's brought us to the brink of war, and he's even convinced about half of us that this war is a good idea. He hasn't done it with facts, even if he has them. He's done it not only by supplying us with filtered information, but also by closing off sources of real information. The government he leads isn't supposed to be a secret society, but that's what it feels like.
He'll be giving this speech in front of a body of men and women whose job it is to stop him from becoming too powerful. Their charge is to give the people a voice, to debate and to scrutinize. That's why there are so many of them, but even so we're not hearing enough different points of view about the headlong rush to war, and the disregard for dissenting opinion, both worldwide and at home.
When he took over two years ago, we couldn't have dreamed it would come to this. He made promises of reconciliation and harmony. Then came September 11, and we were united, one people with a common cause, but it didn't last long. This man made sure of that. He took advantage of the situation by making it easier for his government to silence unpopular opinion and ignore the rights of individuals.
He's alienated allies and hardened the opposition of enemies. He's tried to make it seem treasonous to express any doubts about him, his ideas and his motives. Unlike many of his supporters, I don't suspect the loyalty or patriotism of people who disagree with me. We went through that a few decades ago, and it's taken years to recover. You don't dishonor soldiers if you believe they're being sent into battle for the wrong reasons.
President George W. Bush is the most dangerous man in the world. Our silence lets him become more potent, and therefore more dangerous. We owe it to ourselves to listen to him. Congress owes it to us to force him to prove that he's right before he thrusts us into a war with questionable goals and dubious moral footing. If not, they are complicit in whatever ensues. Fear or political ambition should not lead them to surrender to sloganeering and demagoguery.
If we don't listen, and if we don't speak out, we are complicit as well.