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Tuesday, 7 November 2006
The Only Issue This Election Day
By Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card has for some time been one of my favorite authors, it is nice to know we think alike.

There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that's the War on Terror.

And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case -- if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

But at least there will be a chance.

I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America's role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hellbent on losing it -- and in the most damaging possible way -- I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.

To all intents and purposes, when the Democratic Party jettisoned Joseph Lieberman over the issue of his support of this war, they kicked me out as well. The party of Harry Truman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- the party I joined back in the 1970s -- is dead. Of suicide.

The rest of this article is well worth reading, but I will muse a little on my own before returning to it.

Zell Miller said, "I did not leave the Democratic Party; the Party left me." Notice how the right's most articulate spokesmen today used to be Democrats back when Democrats were centrists. Today, to be in the center is to be called a right-wing nut by the leadership of the once-great Democrat party.

I too followed the same path. My Great-Grandfather named his son after his beloved Commander in the War Between the States. Stonewall Jackson Puckett was his name. Kentucky is where my Mother's family hails.

That should tell you a little about their politics. I recall as a small boy hearing my Great Aunts and Uncles (we are longed lived on both sides 100 and over not unusual) discussing the Great War and Reconstruction, with bitterness.

My Mother told me a story once about the time My Grandmother voted for a Republican. My Grandfather was horrified. "But Stonewall" she said, "You always told me to vote for the Best Man, not the Party." Mammie he replied "The Best Man is always a DEMOCRAT!"

But I think Stonewall was thinking of a different kind of Democrat than we see now. Wilson, FDR, Truman, JFK. I truly think that if he were alive today, the Democratic Party would have left him to.

About 10 years ago I moved from Kentucky to Iowa, work, you see, and for the second time in 30 years I had to register to vote. When I did so, I decided to register with the Party I had been voting for, I no longer had anything in common with the Party of my ancestors. Because that Party in my opinion, no longer existed.

I will never be ashamed of being an American, but I have at times been ashamed of things done in our name. Some make that statement about the Iraq War.

My thoughts go back further. I was going to write my own version, but found the identical thoughts in Orson Scott Card's essay

You know: If America withdrew from Iraq and Afghanistan and exposed everyone who had cooperated with us to reprisals.

As happened in South Vietnam. The negotiated peace was more or less holding after American withdrawal. But then a Democratic Congress refused to authorize any further support for the South Vietnamese government. No more armaments. No more budget.

In other words, we forcibly disarmed our allies, while their enemies continued to be supplied by the great Communist powers. The message was clear: Those who rely on America are fools. We didn't even have the decency to arrange for the evacuation of the people who had trusted us and risked the most in supporting what they thought was our mutual cause.

Some look back on our withdrawal from Vietnam with pride, I am haunted by visions of people trying to cling to the runners of helicopters leaving Hanoi.

I am haunted by visions of Pol Pot and the Killing Fields, of the Vietnam Boat People, the 2 million who tried, the less than 1 million who survived the attempt.

I am haunted with visions of the Montagnards our stanched allies in that War.

Who are the Montagnards?
The Montagnards, or "Degar," are one of the oldest native peoples of Southeast Asia. They have inhabited the peninsula of Indochina for more than 2,000 years.

Although the majority live in Vietnam, there are several hundred thousand Montagnards also in Cambodia and some tens of thousands in Laos. During the French colonization, which began in the 19th century, it is estimated that the Montagnard population was over 3.5 million. Today the survivors number between 700,000 and 800,000.

We have read recently justified calls for action against the genocide in Dafur. Have the same voices ever been raised in denunciation at the loss of human life described above, which pales Dafur by comparison. I wonder why not.

When we cut off Aid to the South Vietnamese the North BROKE the Paris Peace Accords. And we did nothing.

I do not wish Baghdad to fall like Hanoi.

I do not wish Free Kurdistan to fall to the fate of the Montagnards.

I do not wish the like of Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha to determine the fate of the Iraqi People.

And now the Polls are opening here.

I will finish this and go and place my vote.

And since I work nights and sleep days,

I will then sleep with a clear conscience.

I will have done my part,

I only hope enough others do their's.
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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 6:19 AM CST
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Updated: Tuesday, 7 November 2006 8:48 AM CST

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