Wednesday, March 30, 2005

George W. Bush Is A Threat To My Life

This is personal.
This is not about how stupid or obnoxious George W. Bush is. This is about the many ways in which his actions as president have threatened my own safety and well-being -- my life, in other words.

Global Politics: By following an "Up Yours" strategy towards the world, George W. Bush endangers the lives of Americans, like myself, who frequently travel abroad for business and pleasure. His invasion of Iraq in the face of opposition from almost every country of the world (regardless of his claims of support from the "Coalition of the Willing," there has been virtually no support from the populace of any nation) has dirtied the name of the United States of America, inspired anger and resentment, and increased that chances that my family and I might be the victims of violence when we travel. Five years ago, I was living abroad and felt comfortable traveling virtually anywhere -- including the Middle East. Now, I worry that I will become a target of violence because of the passport I carry. Note to Right-wingnuts: My fears are NOT based on the actions of Al Qaeda. The attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon inspired the world to support the U.S., an outpouring that Bush and Co. thumbed their noses at, resulting in the current state of global distrust and resentment at the U.S.
In addition, the Bush administration's decision to thumb their collective noses at the treaties that promise us protection (i.e., those "quaint" Geneva conventions) and to engage in disgusting practices such as torture and extraordinary rendition mean that if I am put in danger while travelling internationally, I have a much smaller chance of being safe from similar treatment.

Business: Because of the Bush administration's stirring up of anti-Americanism, my company is reluctant to do business in parts of the world where this sentiment is strong. While I thank my company for their concern over the lives and safety of their employees, I resent the fact that Mr. Bush has cut into our potential to do business globally. Since I am specifically compensated on International deals, Mr. Bush and team have cut deeply into my own revenue potential.

Health: I am a diabetic. Diabetes is a disease for which stem cell research holds some promise in the search for new treatments. The Bush administration's decision not to fund development of new stem cell lines could directly affect the length and quality of my life.
Stem cell research is just one area in which Mr. Bush's actions have worked to my personal detriment. His support for weakening of environmental protections -- oil drilling in the ANWR, easing of regulations on the energy industry -- make it more likely that the global climate will change in ways that are harmful to me, or that I will suffer from pollution-related diseases as I grow older.

Financial Security: As I approach the status popularly known as "senior citizen," I worry increasingly about my ability to retire comfortably. I have worked since my teenage years, and make a comfortable salary, but I have not always made good retirement decisions, and in my early career I left a few jobs before my pension plans vested. Social Security is an important part of my retirement plan. I am a few years younger than the group that Mr. Bush has so generously offered to protect while he attempts to dismantle this safety net for the rest of us.

Family: The Bush administration's global, environmental, health and financial policies affect all of us as individuals, but they affect those we love as well. His social policies, too, are insidious. Many of us have family members who are gay; Mr. Bush is fighting the hopes they have of having their relationships recognized under law. This is not an issue of lifestyle. This affects such things as providing for their loved ones in case of their death, having their loved ones sit beside them at the hospital, and so many other basic, personal, human rights. I am the parent of a teenaged daughter. At 14, she tells me she is not sexually active, and I believe her, but I also know that if she decides to engage in sexual activities, she will have access to adequate protection. But the Bush administration is on the warpath against both contraception and safe, legal abortion, preferring to punish healthy behavior by driving it back into the alleys and basements.

There's more, but this is a start.