Why November 2 is so important

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Jan 16, 2004
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Western Arkansas USA
From the Wed 06 Oct 2004 issue of the Ellensburg Daily Record

(Ellensburg, Washington)...

Written by Mathew Manweller, Central Washington University political
science professor...

"Election determines fate of nation"

In that this will be my last column before the presidential election,
there will be no sarcasm, no attempts at witty repartee. The topic is too
serious, and the stakes are too high.

This November we will vote in the only election during our lifetime that
will truly matter. Because America is at a once-in-a-generation crossroads,
more than an election hangs in the balance. Down one path lies retreat,
abdication and a reign of ambivalence. Down the other lies a nation that is
aware of its past and accepts the daunting obligation its future

If we choose poorly, the consequences will echo through the next 50 years of
history. If we, in a spasm of frustration, turn out the current occupant of
the White House, the message to the world and ourselves will be twofold.

First, we will reject the notion that America can do big things.

Once a nation that tamed a frontier, stood down the Nazis and stood upon
the moon, we will announce to the world that bringing democracy to the
Middle East is too big of a task for us. But more significantly, we will
signal to future presidents that as voters, we are unwilling to tackle difficult
challenges, preferring caution to boldness, embracing the mediocrity
that has characterized other civilizations. The defeat of President Bush
will send a chilling message to future presidents who may need to make
difficult, yet unpopular decisions. America has always been a nation that rises to
the demands of history regardless of the costs or appeal. If we turn away
from that legacy, we turn away from who we are.

Second, we inform every terrorist organization on the globe that the lesson
of Somalia was well learned. In Somalia we showed terrorists that you
don't need to defeat America on the battlefield when you can defeat them in
the newsroom. They learned that a wounded America can become a defeated

Twenty-four-hour news stations and daily tracking polls will do the heavy
lifting, turning a cut into a fatal blow. Except that Iraq is Somalia times
10. The election of John Kerry will serve notice to every terrorist in
every cave that the soft underbelly of American power is the timidity of
American voters. Terrorists will know that a steady stream of grizzly
photos for CNN is all you need to break the will of the American people.
Our own self-doubt will take it from there. Bin Laden will recognize that
he can topple any American administration without setting foot on the

It is said that America's W.W.II generation is its 'greatest generation'.
But my greatest fear is that it will become known as America's 'last
generation.' Born in the bleakness of the Great Depression and hardened
in the fire of WW II, they may be the last American generation that
understands the meaning of duty, honor and sacrifice. It is difficult to admit, but
I know these terms are spoken with only hollow detachment by many (but not
all) in my generation. Too many citizens today mistake 'living in America'
as 'being an American.' But America has always been more of an idea than
a place. When you sign on, you do more than buy real estate. You accept a
set of values and responsibilities.

This November, my generation, which has been absent too long, must grasp
the obligation that comes with being an American, or fade into the oblivion
they may deserve.

I believe that 100 years from now historians will look back at the
election of 2004 and see it as the decisive election of our century. Depending
on the outcome, they will describe it as the moment America joined the
ranks of ordinary nations; or they will describe it as the moment the prodigal
sons and daughters of the greatest generation accepted their burden as
caretakers of the City on the Hill.

Mathew Manweller
I also recieved this e-mail a couple of days ago.

I also feel that the WW2 generation was the last greatest generation, they knew what hardship was and how to rise above.
cattle_gal":32c5gxfw said:
I also recieved this e-mail a couple of days ago.

I also feel that the WW2 generation was the last greatest generation, they knew what hardship was and how to rise above.

I still believe there are people that are just as good as ever-but there are also so many that that 'don't have a clue' as to what it is all about.
So, across the board, I think you are right.
Scary aint it.