A Republic or an Empire?

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Gentle reader, did you know that, in April, President Bush went to Stanford University to speak to the Hoover Institution fellows at the invitation of former Secretary of State George Shultz but was not allowed on campus? The Stanford students got wind of it and blocked Bush’s access to the campus. The Hoover fellows had to go to Shultz’s home to hear Bush’s pitch for war and more war.

A person might think that it would be national news that Stanford University students would not allow the President of the U.S. on campus. It happened to be a day when hundreds of prospective freshmen were on campus with their parents, many of whom joined the demonstration against Bush. I did not hear or read a word about it. Did you? I learned of it from faculty friends in June when I attended Stanford’s graduation to witness a relative receive her degree. The June 16 edition of The Stanford Daily reprinted its April 24 report of the episode.

At the graduation, I was struck by the preponderance of Asians, Africans, and Hispanics in the student body. Stanford is truly an international university, a noted difference from the days when I was a member of the university. Looking at the list of graduates in human biology, which I understand to be a pre-med degree, I count 24 white and Jewish males out of a graduation class of 206. That means 88.35 percent of the graduating class in human biology was Asian, African, Hispanic, and female. If white males were a "preferred minority" protected by quotas, they could certainly bring a discrimination suit against Stanford.

My count could be off a bit as a result of the modern practice of giving girls boys’ names and giving boys girls’ names, but on the whole I was able to resolve the gender issue by consulting middle names. One thing is clear. At Stanford the days of white male hegemony are over.

To my readers I want to thank you for your emails and occasional old-fashioned letters delivered by US mail. I have learned that I am loved by some and hated by others. I continually hear interesting things from readers. Recently I heard from a Russian that Bush’s slogan, "you are with us or against us" comes from a communist song dating from 1950, "The one who is not with us is against us." The slogan was part of the propaganda used to suppress dissent.

Now for the main subject of the column. Martin Sieff is one of the few remaining American reporters who actually report facts instead of covering up for Bush. Sieff is elated at the US Supreme Court ruling blocking the use of military tribunals to punish alleged "terrorists." Sieff says the ruling means that "the United States is still a republic, not an empire."

I hope Martin Sieff is right. But why will Bush pay any more attention to a Supreme Court ruling than he does to the US Constitution, US law, Congress, and public opinion? Bush and his criminal government have decided that they can use 9/11 and the fear and mindlessness it has brought to the American people to elevate the executive branch into its own world of unaccountable power. As Congress, the Democratic Party, and the media have all collapsed in the face of Bush’s power grab, why will Bush pay any attention to a court ruling?

The Supreme Court, like the Pope, hasn’t any divisions or a police force with which to arrest Bush. Moreover, as one reader pointed out, the majority decision against Bush was written by an 86-year-old man. His decision shredded the incompetent and utterly ignorant ruling of the lower court written by John Roberts, the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

An 86-year-old man hasn’t a lot of time left to protect our rights from executive power grabs. All Bush has to do is to appoint one more Federalist Society tyrant to the Court, and he will have a second rubber stamp of his dictatorial ways. He already has Congress, which has made it clear that it is perfectly comfortable with Bush’s high-handed behavior. Democrats are too intimidated by 9/11 and the phony "war on terror" to offer any opposition.

With the electronic voting machines supplied by Republican firms and programmed by Republican operatives, Bush can control election results. Don’t bet very heavily that Americans will regain the constitutional protections and democratic accountability that they enjoyed in the 20th century.

Dr. Roberts [send him mail] is Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor for National Review, and was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

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