The ‘dark side’ of Dick Cheney

Sean Pauzauskie and Sean Pauzauskie

Though I am not quite one of the many die-hard Star Wars fanatics that I have come to know over time, George Lucas’s re-re-release of the films on DVD Sept. 21 – for $70, according to USA Today — still seemed exciting when I saw the news last week.

At the same time I heard of the reappearance of a galaxy far, far away, though, we were reminded again by a campaigning vice president, Dick Cheney, of the impending end of western civilization — if Americans don’t cast enough votes for Bush come November.

Speaking at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, last Tuesday, the Vice President warned, “Make the right choice. Because if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we’ll get hit again, and we’ll be hit in a way that will be devastating.”

This statement hit John Kerry below the belt on defense and crossed an enormous political line by attempting to manipulate electorate fear into votes for the Bush camp.That got me thinking that George Lucas’s timing is impeccable. We have a president who isn’t all that unlike Luke Skywalker.

George Bush Sr. is W.’s “light father,” the president who made valid attempts at internationalism, and as recently as 2003 gave his George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service to vehement anti-war liberal democratic senator Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.

Dick Cheney, hovering on W.’s other shoulder, has proven by his recent statements to be the most outspoken fear-mongerer of the Bush administration. He is our president’s “dark father” — or in a more intergalactic parlance, America’s Darth Vader.

It is unfortunate for the country and the nature of this election that the pessimistic, nasty, brutish and short ex-Halliburton CEO gets to run around the country spreading scare tactics like he does and will until the end of the campaign.

If Republicans such as Cheney are serious about fighting fear and promoting security, they wouldn’t allow Congress — which, according to an Aug. 9 Gallup poll, has a public approval rating of just 40 percent because of its inactivity — to abandon attempts to secure our ports and airports through federally funded cargo inspections, in favor of expanding tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Cheney and his cohorts only spread fear and no-bid war contracts.

The choice between tactics in this election season is clear. At the SUA Open Forum last week, (which takes place every Wednesday on Wescoe Beach, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) Scott Whitney from the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center warned students against what he called the “siege mentality,” a constant fear complex that envelops communities entrenched in terrorism, such as Israel and Palestine.

If we allow politicians such as Darth Cheney to slowly and loudly breathe fear into the discourse this election season, our psychological security will be on a dangerous even plane with our nation’s security. Those who use the politics of fear should remember Yoda’s warning: “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to the Dark Side.”

For the sake of truth and sanity in this election season, we should weed the fear out of politics. Questions of who is right and who is wrong should be debated in earnest; the fight between who is good and who is bad should be left on DVD.