At a time when our nation is so deeply divided, it is getting tiresome and infuriating that our administration and congressional leaders are still trying to stifle debate and equate dissent with treason. It is, in fact, treasonous - that is, against the interests of and destructive to our county - to curtail people's ability to voice a dissenting opinion.
A few weeks ago, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that President Bush's handling of the Iraq war shows "an incompetence in terms of knowledge, judgment and experience, in making the decision that would have been necessary to truly accomplish the mission without the deaths to our troops and the cost to our taxpayers." Majority leader Tom DeLay responded that "her words are putting American lives at risk," and that she has "a responsibility to the troops and to this nation to show unity in this time of war."
However, in 1918, Theodore Roosevelt said "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
In fact, it is the lace of criticism and alternate points of view that enables our country to make very dire mistakes. Until very recently, members of Congress and the news media have been reluctant to look critically at the Bush administration's handling of the war. We now know that nothing Bush told us about the war has been true. We're now paying the price for the lack of critical thinking inside and outside the Bush administration.
Let's encourage our local congressmen, Robert Menendez and Steve Rothman, to follow Pelosi's lead and stand up to the bullying tactics of this administration and its right-wing congressional cohorts. I encourage them to join the chorus of disapproval, exposing Bush's incompetence and dishonesty for what it is. Jake Stuiver