This Is the Way of Dictatorships


"If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier… just so long as I’m the dictator."

~ George Walker Bush, 2000

Was this a really a joke? Back in 2000 many thought so. But was George in jest? Maybe there was more to that remark than bad taste. Maybe it was a private prank on the American people.

That was then, but this is now: It’s not a joke anymore. It’s reality.

With the help of three posturing Senators and a spineless, corrupt Congress, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 has been imposed upon the Republic. For those still in the dark, under this law George W. Bush has the full power not only to decide who is a threat but also to order his Praetorian Guard to haul the suspect away to whatever end. Neither courts nor Congress nor citizenry have legal recourse or protection from the wrath of Emperor George.

George W. Bush got exactly what he wanted. George Walker Bush is a dictator.

Things will become a lot easier for him from here on. Of course in Bush’s "mind," he is still busy "protecting us."

But, we all know that the real purpose of the law is to protect Bush from Americans. From opposing views, Bush shields himself; to dissent he is deaf. This is how he has always run his administration. Thou shalt not disagree.

This is the way of dictatorships.

Who will be the first innocent American to fall prey to this heinous new law? Who will be the first citizen to be arrested under George’s orders, tried (maybe) under a Military Tribunal and then disappear?

That poor soul will be painted as a threat to American security. Any American loyal to the Republic and the US Constitution who is possessed with the courage to be vocal will be a threat to Bush. Those who speak out are always the first to be quieted.

This is the way of dictatorships.

Will it be a highly visible critic? Will Keith Olbermann be framed and fired? Will Cindy Sheehan be arrested… again; this time to be shuffled away to Guantanamo for keeps? At the very least, Camp Crawford has to be an eyesore to Bush. Those in power always consider protesters threats.

What about the great lampooners? How about Bill Maher or Jon Stewart? Maybe Stephen Colbert will be the first. His sense of humor seemed too much like the truth to the press corps gathered in Washington DC last spring:

“Here’s how it works: the president makes decisions. He’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions and you people in the press type them down. Make, announce, type. Just put them through a spell check and go home!”

In Bush’s world would Mark Twain be safe upholding the tradition of poking fun at the President all and sundry and thus enjoy his Constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression? Doubtful. To paraphrase the late Joe McCarthy — Are you now or have you ever been making fun of George W. Bush?

This very moment, is the White House drawing up a list entitled "Enemies of Bush"? Are you on it? I probably am.

Will journalists who report the truth about the Bush regime simply cease to appear in print? Will Internet sites hosting dissent be shut down? Will the FCC play a role? Will be shut down in the interest of "national security" simply because his site has been critical of Bush?

This is the way of dictatorships.

The voices of reason, debate and dissent will be silenced. They will be replaced by voices of those who are not "stumped by morality." The US Constitution and the Bill of Rights will cease to protect US citizens from tyranny. "Elected officials" (oxymoron) will be nothing more than cringing servants of The Master. The courts will be nothing more than rubber stamps for the Will of Bush.

This is the way of dictatorships.

Ordinary citizens will display the American flag not out of pride but from fear lest they vanish overnight. Americans will be careful to be seen as "with Bush" rather than against Bush. The artificial, paranoid fear of terrorists will be replaced by a very real fear of our own government. And finally, when everyone speaks in hushed tones of "disappeared" people whom once they knew, will it dawn on Americans what a precious thing they have traded for the "security" of George W. Bush?

This is the way of dictatorships. Welcome to The New American Century.

Elizabeth Gyllensvard edited and contributed to this article.