A b-grade Hollywood movie? Or the past eight years of Bush in the White House?
The new millennium was ushered in with the Y2K bug and the inauguration of the 43rd President of the United States of America.
One of these was a malicious virus that would spread throughout the world wreaking havoc wherever it went; the other was a computer related problem.
A lengthy election campaign saw Vice President Al Gore officially beat George W. Bush in the national popular vote by more than half a million. But Gore’s polar ice caps were soon to be melted as Bush fired up his election warming campaign and coerced the state of Florida to victory.
Bush’s brother Jeb was conveniently positioned as the Governor of Florida and his campaign co chair Katherine Harris by some fantastic twist of fate just so happened to be Florida’s Secretary of State.
Harris was responsible for purging 57,700 people from the electoral role on the premise that they were all convicted felons: even ex-offenders whose rights had been legally restored were illegally erased.
There were also numerous accounts of people being convicted of crimes years into the future; one man was convicted of a felony on January 30, 2007. Don’t ask me how these masters of time and space did it, but as a result of this slight clerical error as Harris put it; over 4,000 alleged conviction dates were then deleted from Florida’s electoral role.
It turned out that roughly 90 per cent of these people were not felons after all, and not so surprisingly over 50 per cent of them were of African American and Hispanic descent. A mere coincidence that they were all predominantly Gore supporters and had little to no intention of voting for Bush and his purging posse.
So the votes were counted, eyebrows were raised and they were recounted, until an adherent Republican majority on the US Supreme Court had it stopped and George W. Bush was un-triumphantly sworn into office.
On September 11, 2001, an estimated 2,762 people tragically lost their lives; a city lost two iconic towers and the Bush administration lost what little credibility it had left as the war on terror and pre emptive strike doctrine were announced to the world.
The USA PATRIOT Act was passed without hesitation or question in the darkest hours of the night and gave the Bush Administration the legal right to listen in on its own citizen’s phone calls, to read their emails, intercept their text messages and faxes, access personal health and financial records, and enter homes and offices without the consent of either owner or occupier. Not bad for a day’s work, especially when it’s all in the name of freedom and democracy.
Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida, WMD and Terrorist became the most over used words in Bush's vocabulary as he escalated his pro war rhetoric. And the world began to shudder at the recognisable sound of his oil hungry war machine.
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