"Are You Better Off Today Than You Were Two & Four Years Ago?" A Simple Question To Remind Voters of Bush's Miserable Failures
Back in 1980 on the presidential campaign trail Ronald Reagan famously asked, "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?" It worked like a charm and ushered him into the White House in what was the start of Republican-dominated politics for years to come. It was a simple question. And it's one that Democrats should start asking at every truck stop, park, playground, shopping center, school and campaign speech across America. Because the answer is also simple: the country is a colossal mess, and Americans are angry, frustrated and ready for change. Let's remind them why.
We are a nation at war with an invisible enemy who'd like to kill us where we sleep, yet we're mired in a quagmire in Iraq, which serves as a major distraction that's sapping our precious political, financial and military resources. President Bush and his cabinet manipulated intelligence, manufactured evidence, and lied to us in order to justify this quagmire we're in. It's cost $300 billion, almost 3000 U.S. soldiers' lives, and killed tens of thousands of Iraqis, not to mention the tens of thousands of U.S soldiers maimed or wounded.
Because of Iraq, America is less safer. Let me repeat that for the throngs of kool-aid drinking Repuglicans who follow this dangerous president's every move in lock-step: because of the Iraq war America is less safer. Bush has botched the effort in Afghanistan, allowing the Taliban, drug lords and terrorists to reconstitute and rebuild. After years of saying things like "I don't know where he is...ya know I just don't spend that much time on him," Bush closed down the CIA's only bin Laden-exclusive unit, Alec Station, yet 6 weeks before the midterm elections has suddenly become obsessed with the terrorist mastermind, invoking his name 18 times in a 40-minute speech this past week. He's taken his eyes off bin Laden, but not when it comes to helping Repugs retain power. Keeping America safe is secondary to this president. Being a automaton spin puppet for Karl Rove has been his main function.
So while Bush tours the country telling us how well the war in Iraq is going, and why it's so important, the world, and the country, is turning to shit. Here at home, consumer confidence continues to drop. Inflation is on the rise. Interest rates are climbing. Employment is stagnant. Wages are falling behind inflation. Oil and gas prices are astronomical. The trade and budget deficits are at record highs.
And where was/is Congress through all this? They've allowed themselves to be neutered by Bush, Cheney and Rove. You can forgive the Democrats. They're trying to fight the good fight, but it's difficult to exert any muscle anywhere when every branch of government is controlled by your opponents, and when they serve as a shameful rubber-stamp for the president's insane agenda. It is the Repuglican incumbents who must pay the price for throwing their constitutionally-mandated oversight down the toilet when it comes to Bush. They've let him rush to war, ill-equip our soldiers, violate the Geneva Conventions, alienate our allies, incite and marginalize our enemies, mock diplomacy, destroy our economic prosperity, rape the constitution and polarized our nation like never before. And for that, they must be stripped of office.
Go onto any street-corner in America, where the average Dick and Jane live, and ask them "Are you better off today than you were two and four years ago?" Ask them how much it costs to fill their tanks. Ask them when they got their last raise, or took their last vacation. Or whether they both have to work in order to meet their expenses. Ask them about their kids' education. Ask them about healthcare. Ask them about their winter heating bills. Ask them about their sons, daughters, relatives and neighbors who are dying in Iraq. Ask them if they are happy with the way things are going overall. Ask them a simple, highly effective question: "Are you better of today than you were two and four years ago." Let's ask this question until voters are tired of hearing it. Until they run into the voting booths November 7th.