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by Mark C. Eades
Friday, Aug. 04, 2006 at 11:42 AM
The following is a letter sent Aug. 3, 2006 to Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer from a California voter regarding their failure to call for an immediate Israeli cease-fire in Lebanon:
Dear Senators Feinstein and Boxer:
As a California resident and life-long Democrat, I write to inform you that you no longer have my vote. I make this unhappy decision primarily on the basis of foreign policy concerns, in particular your deeply disappointing performance in the current Middle East crisis as a reflection of the broader, Clinton-led conservative shift in the Party. Most disturbing, as I watch my tax dollars being used by Israel to rain death and destruction upon the innocent civilian population of Lebanon, is your failure to join with progressives and humanitarians in the call for an immediate cease-fire.
With last year’s "Cedar Revolution" in Lebanon, the United States received a golden opportunity through support of that nascent democracy to make a badly-needed new friend in the Middle East. Just as we squandered the goodwill of the world following the 9/11 attacks, however, so have we now squandered that opportunity. American and Israeli flags today burn side-by-side on the streets of Beirut just as they burn on the streets of Islamabad, Tehran, Baghdad, Gaza City, and around the world (As I wrote in an Aug. 1 letter to the Los Angeles Times, "The United States and Israel truly seem now to be walking hand-in-hand into an abyss."). As the killing in Lebanon continues, it is predictable that those left to clean up the mess will turn increasingly away from the United States and peace with Israel; and increasingly toward Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, and perhaps al-Qaeda. Who wouldn't? America is losing the "war on terror" today in Lebanon.
You have failed, and the Democratic Party has failed.
On this day I make the decision that I will no longer hold my nose and vote for Democrats simply because they appear to be the ever-so-slightly lesser of two evils. We have a conservative party in America; we don’t need two. As an Oakland, California resident I will continue to support my Representative Barbara Lee, who has shown a willingness to swim against the conservative current on matters of principle which I truly respect. As Barbara Lee is, so do I still consider myself a Democrat.
I shall never again, however, waste that vote for which the Revolutionaries of 1776 fought and died on so paltry a choice as a Clinton, a Kerry, a Boxer, or a Feinstein. Should such as yourselves prove to be the best the Democratic Party is capable of coughing up, then my senatorial and presidential votes will go to some deserving third party as protest votes. Should this on the part of myself and others mean in turn that the Democrats spend another eight years out of power, so be it. Better to lose on the basis of one’s principles than to win on the basis of having none.
Copies of this letter will be forwarded to my local, state, and national Democratic committees, and made available to the media.
Mark C. Eades
Aug. 3, 2006
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