In the next 100 to 200 years when historians look back at the United States, they will agree that it was during President George W. Bush’s terms in office, the end of the United States as we knew it began. The real debate will be whether or not it was the 2000 election or the 2004 election that trumpeted the beginning of the end.
Some scholars will note that the 2000 election began the end of democracy in the country. They will point to the fact that George W. Bush became President although not receiving a majority of the votes. They will cite the fiasco and debacle in the State of Florida to prove that the United States democracy failed, when every vote wasn’t counted, and that is when the American dream of true democracy ended. They will analogize it to third world nations, when voting irregularities take place, usually a hand-picked Supreme Court steps in, in the name of democracy and takes over that democracy. They will show the fact that all the Justices of the Supreme Court who installed George W. Bush as President in 2000 happened to be Republican appointees. They will cite the 2000 election as the beginning of the end of the United States.
Other historians will vehemently disagree. They on the other hand will note the 2004 election wherein numerous precincts around the country used electronic voting machines that could not be verified, and where there were more votes for George W. Bush then were even cast in those precincts. They will point out a large amount of disenfranchising being done by way of election officials not sending out proper amounts of absentee ballots and not staffing the different precincts with adequate amounts of provisional ballots. Some will even point to the fact that some voting machines showed zero votes tallied although people waited in lines for hours to cast those “no votes”.
Still others will point to the 2004 election as the end of democracy as we know it due to the media. They will point out how the media sat on its hands and allowed the Bush Administration to tell lie after lie and yet refused to call them on those lies. They will show how the media within the four short years between 2000 and 2004 became overly conservative with the FOX network, not to mention MSNBC and CNBC, being little bit more than arms of the Republican party. They will point out how for years an independent media kept Democrats and Republicans in line thereby prohibiting either party from taking over the greatest country on earth. Some will say that in the 2004 election that the journalists had crossed over the line and no longer were free and independent thinkers, but now were employees of large corporations and no longer were relating the news but now tailoring the news to that corporation’s political desires.
Of course, there will be other historians that will disagree with all of these concepts and rather claim that the 2004 election as the undoing of the doctrine of “separation of church and state” and actually the formation of the doctrine of “church in state”. They will relate how the Catholic church stepped into the election causing numerous voters to vote against the Democratic nominee John Kerry because he favored a woman’s right to choose. They will present statistics showing the number of evangelical Christians who voted for George W. Bush because of his religious views. They will note how the church came to the forefront of political power by making Christian doctrine the policy of the United States. They will note that science was retarded, such as stem cell research and even the teaching of evolution in order to appease and placate the political clout of the evangelical right.
Yet, others will still have another take on the 2004 election. These scholars will point out that at other times in the American history, there were in fact ardent religious groups involved in the election. They will show that not at all times was the media unbiased and in fact point to the “Sinking of the Maine” as an example of how the media does not report news, but created it sending this country into war. They will regurgitate that same old mantra of the liberal media and claim that the conservative media of 2004 was no different than the liberal media of the 1970’s. These people will point to the stacking of the Supreme Court with ultra-conservatives ideologues as the true turning point in the downfall of this country.
They will explain how George W. Bush stacked the U.S. Supreme Court with young ultra-right conservatives, who instead of insuring people’s rights were more concerned with fostering religious and conservative ideals. They will note that the woman’s right to choose was taken away during this court. They will note how citizens’s rights to be free from unlawful searches and seizures and their rights to remain silent were also taken away. They will comment on how civil rights were taken away in the name of “strict constructionists”. They will note once again that the United States Supreme Court became and was no different than those Supreme Courts in third world nations.
Some historians will even claim that it was inevitable what happened to the United States. They will point to 9-11 as the turning point in the United States history. They will claim that once the United States tasted blood on its own soil it was no longer able to act with the moral high ground in mind. They will note that the reason for the United States’ downfall was essentially fear. Fear of being attacked. Fear of being part of the rest of the world and no longer protected by its oceans on both sides.
Yes, historians will have a lot to debate. Where this debate takes place will be another story. Will it take place here in the United States? Doubtful. By that time debate will not be allowed. It will be against national security. The First Amendment will be a vague memory. Most likely, the debate will occur in some other country that is striving to obtain the ideals that we as a country used to have but unfortunately the 2000 and 2004 elections show that we will not have for long.