- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 27, 2004

“If you think that rape should be legal, then don’t vote.” — Cameron Diaz, Sept. 29

“If Bush gets elected, he will put in new Superior Court judges … — Cher, Oct. 22

“Every single thing this White House has done goes against the foundation of what our country was built on. For us to tell the United Nations we would ignore their doctrine and their resolutions; for us to say that we will not adhere to the Geneva Convention … We are America, we are better than that. … And the rich, corporate, horrible, horrible people who have been destructing and ruining everything this country was made on has been really unbelievably damaging to all of us spiritually, emotionally, monetarily.” — Rosie O’Donnell, Saturday

With the presidential election just days away, it’s time that we, the Artists for Anyone but Bush Again (A’s for ABBA), make one last pitch.

To put it simply, our rights and freedoms are at steak. If we do not act on Tuesday, Nov. 2, we run the risk of four more years of mischief abroad, oppression at home, the further destructing of our environment and Lord knows how many more religious movies from Mel Gibson.

But before we get to our endorsement — an urgent departure from the ABBA credo — let’s review how we got to where we are today.

With the partisan backing of five Superior Court justices, Rupert Holmes’ Fox News Channel and a cabal of neoconservative intellectuals who studied under professor Levi Strauss at Electoral College, President Bush was able to thwart the popular will and steal the election from Vice President Al Gore.

The Florida conspiracy, in our view, ran so deep that the Bush administration was able to fool the country’s major newspapers into reporting the president would have won the recount anyway.

This unelected puppet then had the audacity to behave like he actually was president, jamming through Congress a tax cut that disproportionately favored the rich — The A’s for ABBA donated every cent of our tax cuts to charity, or hadn’t you heard? — and withdrew from treaties on which our country was founded, including one with our oldest ally, the Soviet Union.

We, as environmentally friendly artists, were also deeply disturbed by the president’s failure to offer an alternative to the defunct Kyoto Treaty on global warming — so much so that we have sold our Lincoln Navigators and sworn off international travel on private jets, the better to conserve fossil fuels and reduce our dependency on Texan oil.

When September 11 happened, we rallied with our country and supported the war in Afghanistan. It was when our attention was diverted to Iraq that we began vociferously opposing the administration. It is our opinion that the focus of the war on terror should have been concentrated instead on liberating Tibetans from China.

More troubling still is the Patriot Act, the president’s hasty reform of domestic law enforcement. We have found it severely curtails our activities in public libraries and makes us think of pop songs by Lee Greenwood.

We are concerned, too, that the misguided No Child Left Behind Act will force public schools to drop artistic programs because of its undue emphasis on increasing student achievement in reading and arithmetic, basic skills that we have found can be taught conveniently, and at no extra cost, by our children’s nannies.

All of which brings us to President Bush’s opponent, Sen. John Kerry. It is true we are not overly fond of the Massachusetts Democrat. His campaign has virtually ignored the one thing for which we admired him most — his opposition to the Vietnam War.

Moreover, he still supports the Patriot Act and the No Child Left Behind Act and wants to send even more troops to Iraq when what we really need are more troops in Tora Tora Tora to find Obama Barak. In our view, this makes Sen. Kerry not much different from President Bush on these fundamentally important issues.

But the A’s for ABBA learned from the last election. Although our organization had not yet been founded, many of us supported consumer advocate Ralph Nader, thinking that “protest” votes weren’t officially counted.

We are forced by a lack of alternatives to throw our collective support to Sen. John Kerry and his handsome running mate, Sen. John Edwards.

They are not the ideal ticket but, in this election, they are the best choice.

And by the way, our hairdressers think so, too.

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