by Brendan Lalor
In a land in which presidential candidate G.W. Bush delivers campaign speeches in halls to which only adoring fans are granted entrance, the crackdown against dissent continues. To point to just a couple representative cases from the regular slew of cases:
- “Police in riot gear fired paintballs filled with cayenne pepper Thursday night to disperse a crowd of protesters assembled in this historic gold mining town where President Bush was spending the night after a campaign appearance.” (Associated Press, 15 Oct 2004)
- “Three Medford school teachers were threatened with arrest and thrown out of the President Bush rally at the Jackson County Fairgrounds Thursday night, after they showed up wearing T-shirts with the slogan “Protect our civil liberties.”” (Associated Press/KGW of Portland, 15 Oct 2004)
The list goes on.
Bush’s campaign reflects his apparent view that democracy is not so much characterized by open discussion in light of evidence and constructive argument, as by the attempt to win a contest, even if that requires deception, scare tactics, and willful ignorance of evidence that counters his position on issues.