The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Another Four Years

BY SKEPTIK SINIKIAN

So I think I’ve finally figured out how this internet thing works. For a system of communication that’s supposed to simplify the way we do things–this internet business is pretty confusing. Trying to understand how to work with it when you’re coming in at the middle is like starting to watch "Days of Our Lives" midway through the season and understand what the heck is going on. (I still don’t know why Stefano is evil or why Marlena was possessed). I’ve finally set up my web blog. After trying and trying and giving Asbarez readers the runaround–the blog/website is finally up and can be visited at www.sinikian.blogspot.com. This time it’s for real. Feel free to write back and exchange ideas. I don’t take things personally–so all types of commen’s and letters are welcome. After all–everyone has an opinion–and it’s not a crime yet in this country to share your opinions openly.

Take last week’s column for instance. I wrote about the flip-flopping of the Democrats at their National Convention and stated my opinion. In response–I received numerous letters from Republicans and Democrats alike. Republicans praised me for finally seeing the light and Democrats thought I had been sniffing glue. But my column wasn’t an endorsement of Republicans. I simply stated my opinion about the Democratic Convention. I doubt anyone would disagree with me when I say that it was probably the most boring week of television up until the Republican Convention later this month.

One of the letters I received last week was a forward of a letter to the Editor by an Armenian who is presumably a Republican and was obviously a President Bush supporter. I’ve decided to share an excerpt from this letter because it illustrates an opinion that I disagree with and is part of my response this week to Armenian Bush supporters.

"[T]his Presidential election is not about the issues that both parties are talking about–or who can make the most promises to whichever interest group gives them the most money or votes–because all of these factors are irrelevant. The issue is simply who Osama and his buddies would fear most as President of the United States of America."

I agree with the first part of this statement that says that this election is not about the issues that the parties are talking about because the issues that the two parties are talking about non-issues such as Kerry’s war and post-war record. Did Senator Kerry throw medals or ribbons over the fence of the White House in protest of the Vietnam War? Did he throw his own ribbons or someone else’s ribbons? Who cares? I don’t care if Kerry threw an orangutan in pajamas over the fence because its irrelevant. The real issue in this election is the question that Ronald Reagan asked Americans when he challenged Jimmy Carter and then when he was seeking reelection to the White House against Walter Mondale–"Are you better off today than you were four years ago?" My answer is a resounding "no."

And as for the question of whom Osama and his buddies would fear more? I personally think they would fear someone who was able to restore America’s glory and respected position in the world rather than gallivanting around the globe like a vigilante gunslinger from an old Western.

I appreciate that there are folks out there that still believe this election is about the War on Terror–but the War on Terror isn’t going to put books in classrooms for our schoolchildren. Nor has it helped bring down the cost of colleges and universities or created any stable–long term jobs.

The next time you call AOL or any other Internet Service Provider and you wonder why your customer service call is being answered by some young kid living in Punjabi–India–ask yourself why these jobs have left America and why places like West Virginia have an economy that parallels those in the third world. Or the next time you hear about another kid that died in Iraq–ask if he was looking for Bin Laden. Ask where your retirement investmen’s have disappeared to and why the top executives of Enron (Bush’s top campaign contributors) are still free and being driven around in limousines. And finally–the next time Vice President Dick Cheney talks about national energy policy and national security–ask how much money his former employer–Halliburton Inc.–has invested in Azerbaijan–a country which harbors Al Qaeda cells and hires Taliban fighters to fight against Christian Armenia’s defending their land in Karabagh.

I’m not a fan of Michael Moore and this column isn’t my version of "Fahrenheit 9/11." Nor is this an endorsement of one candidate over another. But–I’m sorry to say that there are a lot more questions to ask in this election that simply who will Osama Bin Laden and his buddies fear more. The real question is not who we will fear more but how long will we have to live being afraid of ourselves–of the world around us–and those enemies out there who relish in terrorizing us and our children. There are too many questions to be asked and no one who is willing to answer them truthfully.

I don’t want to live in a country where my beliefs and political views are defined by who a nefarious criminal genius fears more. We’ll just have to wait until November to see if the rest of America shares my sentimen’s.

Skeptik Sinikian is an angry Armenian-American with lots of useless ideas and opinions. He’d love to hear from you at SkeptikSinikian@aol.com or visit him at www.sinikian.blogspot.com.

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