Friday, December 30, 2005

I have a confession to make.

I voted for Nixon. Yes, it's true. In 1968 Mrs. Nivers' first grade class participated in a mock election and I voted Republican. While it was true that I was concerned about exactly where I was going to hide my big brother from the draft in my small bedroom, it was not Nixon's fiery statement about the issues of the nation that won my approval.

"When the strongest nation in the world can be tied down for four years in a war in Vietnam with no end in sight, when the richest nation in the world cannot manage its economy, when the nation with the greatest tradition of the rule of law is plagued by unprecedented racial violence, when the President of the United States cannot travel abroad, or to any major city at home, then it is time for new leadership for the United States."

This makes total sense to me now. I'm sure he even pronounced all the words correctly. But that wasn't it. It was his hair. You see, male pattern baldness runs nowhere in my genetic line. At age seven, baldness and receding hairlines were just freakish to me. When I looked at the pictures on my little first grade ballot, Humphrey was definitely the more hair challenged. I knew I could trust all of my big-haired male relatives so Nixon it was. By 72, I was much more politically savvy and went with McGovern.

And two years later, Nixon came tumbling down in the Watergate scandal.

One Republican argument justifying Bush's NSA classified domestic surveillance program involves rolling back the state of executive privilege back to the pre-Watergate years. We essentially have a situation today where the president is advocating a modern day Huston plan, one of Nixon's Articles of Impeachment. The Huston plan advocated the systematic use of various illegal acts and infiltration of anti-war groups and others. In Nixon's words from his 1977 interview with David Frost, "Well, when the president does that it isn't illegal."

Are we okay with this? I don't recall being asked if I was okay with this. To me, Watergate restored some much needed checks and balances in the Executive branch of government. It made the statement that the president is accountable, not only at election time but the entire time he's in office. So watch your p's and q's buddy boy.

We live in a much different time now. Just visiting the NSA site will give you a cookie to track your movements on the Internet. We have very little privacy as it is, every purchase is tracked, private companies keep scores of our credit ratings, and the most intimate details of our life are available for a price. I'm old enough to remember joking around about our FBI files. Given that our lives are so accessible, I don't think it's too much to ask that government agencies wishing to violate mine or others constitutional rights take the extra few minutes to get a warrant to tap a phone.

It's not that I'm concerned about my own phone being tapped. This would result in long hours of dial-up screeching since I only keep one phone and am on the computer fairly often. But violating someone's rights should never be easy. It should never happen just because the president says it's okay. Unlike George Bush, the constitution is more to me that "just a %#$@#* piece of paper."

I have precious little privacy as it is. Despite my remote location and seclusion, nothing goes on here on the mountain that everyone doesn't know about. It's done the old-fashioned way, by observing and reporting to the rumor mill. I'm fairly sure that, at this instance, a community of 500 all share in the knowledge that I'm fighting a nasty chest cold and have plenty of cough syrup. They know this because I went to pick up some stuff at Mrs. Busbee's and declined her offer of cough syrup. If you want to tell your side of the story just go down to the dump and tell the dump crew your latest troubles, "leaking" the pertinent bit of information you want getting out.

This works just dandy for Grassy Fork. But I hold the federal government to a higher standard.


  1. buddy don said...
    verr well sed, ma'am. i am wishin fer a nuther restorayshun of proper balants to our gummint. tiz a skeery time.
    Matt said...
    Loved your blog. Keep it up!
    Anonymous said...
    Where did you find it? Interesting read » » »

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