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Exercising democracy

Mary McGloin Alameda
Tuesday October 22, 2002

To the Editor: 


Prove this country is still a democracy and exercise your right to vote. When officials (questionably “elected” or not) cry for a “war for democracy,” while slowly eroding personal freedoms and increasing surveillance of its citizens – all the while condemning dissent and differences of opinion in how to handle the world affairs - one begins to wonder what country we are in.  

Presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer warned the press, “Watch what you do, watch what you say.” Citizens of our beautiful country can be stripped of their rights if the government deems them “enemy combatants.” How can we call this a democracy when the mere mention of an alternative opinion strikes accusation that one is not a true American? It is only truly American to question our leaders and demand their attention. We elect officials to work for us. We the people. Let them know what you think and please go and vote. 

Ask yourself if you feel more secure than you did a year ago. The United States may have defeated the Taliban in Afghanistan but Afghanistan is now diving into chaos. Has terrorism been deterred? The al-Qaeda seems to have resurfaced – bombing in Bali and the Philippines. Here at home, in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., we are terrified by a sniper and the Bay Area has been plagued with violent robbery. What about your job security or your savings? Layoffs loom while the numbers of capable and intelligent people joining the ranks of the unemployed are steadily on the rise. Jobs are still scarce and rents are still high.  

Defend our democracy. Go out and vote! 


Mary McGloin