Shortly after 9-11, TV talk-show host Sean Hannity said, “Thank God, we have an honest man in the White House!”

And when you think about it, a great deal of what you might believe about the so-called War on Terrorism is based on statements from George W. Bush. You have only his word, or that of someone in his administration:

  • that Iraq, which George Bush is dying to invade, still has “weapons of mass destruction” that threaten Americans directly;

  • that Osama bin Laden masterminded the 9-11 attacks (the infamous videotape demonstrated his joy at the success of the attacks, not his participation);

  • that the people being imprisoned as terrorists really are terrorists – even though they’ve received no public trial (whether you believe terrorists deserve to be protected by the Bill of Rights is irrelevant. You don’t even know that they are terrorists until they receive a fair trial under the Bill of Rights);

  • that the Bush administration won’t misuse the private information it’s acquiring through its massive violations of civil liberties.

Since America is endangered by the “you’re either with me or against me” tactics of the Bush administration, it becomes vital to know whether we can trust the man in charge of our government.

The record

So does George Bush’s record inspire confidence in his honesty?

Unfortunately, this is the same man who has referred to trillions of dollars in budget surpluses – even though the federal government hasn’t had a budget surplus since 1956. (The appearance of any “surpluses” was created by taking excess receipts from Social Security and applying them to the general budget, even as the politicians swore they were protecting Social Security.)

Mr. Bush even has the chutzpah to refer with a straight face (well not exactly a straight face, he loves to smirk) to corporate executives “cooking the books.” He neglects to mention that many of the corporate bookkeeping methods the politicians are so incensed about today were motivated by rules imposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

And George Bush is the same man who in 2000 said he believed in “limited government.” Most people assumed he meant a government limited by the Constitution. In fact, he took an oath in which he swore to uphold the Constitution.

But he’s violated virtually every one of the first 10 Amendments – especially the Ninth and 10th Amendments, which are meant to impose precise limits on his power.

  • He’s willing to give your tax money to foreign dictators who claim they “need” it (meaning they’ve gone too deeply in debt by spending money on palaces and other forms of self-aggrandizement);

  • He wants to escalate the spending of your tax money on farm subsidies, health care, welfare, government schools, the War on Drugs, propaganda and other programs – none of which are authorized in the Constitution;

  • He believes we should trust him and his minions when they tell us the unnamed people they’ve locked up are not entitled to the protections of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

  • He claims he can attack Iraq without a congressional declaration of war – even though the Constitution clearly gives such authority exclusively to Congress.

So his belief in “limited government” apparently means government limited to what he wants to do.

George Bush is the same man who in one breath tries to ingratiate himself with you by saying, “It’s your money, not the politicians’ money” – but in the next breath, he says he’s entitled to one third of “your money.”

George Bush is the same man who said he has learned more about political philosophy from Jesus of Nazareth than from anyone else. But he’s proven by his actions that he doesn’t really believe such things as “Blessed are the peacemakers.” And “the meek” who Jesus said would inherit the earth are in Mr. Bush’s eyes really just “collateral damage” in his plans to tell the world how it must live.

Is honesty important?

In these and in so many other ways, George Bush has proven that he’s not an honest man – and that we shouldn’t trust him with the safety of America.

In fact, Thomas Jefferson understood that we shouldn’t put our trust in any politician. He said we should bind them down from mischief “by the chains of the Constitution.” And a truly honest man wouldn’t even ask you to trust him.

Contrary to what you might have thought, this isn’t an article about George Bush. It’s an article about you. Are you going to demean yourself by putting your faith in a man who has done so much to demonstrate the folly of such faith?

Are you going to let politicians stampede you into throwing away the Bill of Rights, based on “evidence” you never see, reassured by politicians who have proven that the truth is secondary to their own ambitions?

Don’t you have enough respect for your own mind to make your own decisions, refuse to accept conclusions without evidence, and be something better than a cheerleader for a politician or a political party?

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