First, a little “I told you so.” In August of 2008, I wrote the following words:
the Repugs probably are not going to steal this election, because they would rather let the Dims be the ones to fumble around and make idiots of themselves trying to clean up the mess that eight years of out-front pillage has made of the country. It’s much easier to criticize than it is to govern, after all…I should know that!
A great many of my liberal friends are totally thrilled that a dark-skinned man with the middle name of Hussein is going to be our next President. But I think the “Hope Honeymoon” will be over mighty fast, and the next four years will be no love feast for Barack Obama or the Democrat party. While I agree that he will be a better President than John McCain, I think we are in for a long series of increasingly bitter disappointments. Let me tell you some of what I see coming down the road.
First of all, there is the misperception that Barack is a populist candidate. He makes every effort to portray himself that way. His demeanor and delivery are disarming and informal. He does not come across like a stereotypical politician, but when you read the fine print you discover that he acts like one.
He is getting the bulk of his support from Wall Street. It is good that the banking gang has recognized that the Bush Junta is not acting in their best interests, but the fact that they have settled on Obama means that he is unlikely to do the things he should to reign in big money’s influence on this country. Obama has already signaled his willingness to play along with the bankers by his support of the so-called “Class Action Fairness Act of 2005,” which severely limits the ability of private citizens, or even States, to sue corporations. The NAACP, the ACLU, and the National Organization for Women, as well as fourteen state attorneys-general, all pleaded with Congress not to pass this Republican-sponsored legislation, but Obama spoke out for it….
Well, the only part of my prediction I would disagree with at this point is the speculation that Obama is a better President than McCain would have been. It looks to me like the Repugs are so out of touch with reality that if they had taken the reins of power, we would be a lot further off the rails by now, and further into creating whatever is going to come next….yes, I know it would be draconian and tragic, but think of it as the political equivalent of ripping a band-aid off a hairy leg….do you want to go slow and agonize over the pulling of each and every individual hair, or just feel all the pain at once and yelp and get it over with?
And, certainly, the Repugs are totally stark raving batbleep crazy. The fact that so many people have fallen for the ludicrous charge that Obama’s healthcare plan, which proposes to bail out the for-profit insurance business to the tune of sixty billion dollars, is “socialist” is a symptom of serious malaise in the body politic. Obama’s proposal is basically the same plan Republican Mitt Romney instituted in Massachusetts, although Mitt drank the kool-aid and claimed in his Presidential campaign that making everybody buy private insurance was ““European-style socialized medicine.” Tell it to the Europeans!
Can you say “lacking integrity,” boys and girls?
The Romney/Obama plan does nothing to lower the exploitive rates charged by insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, or doctors who think their M.D. is a license to become a millionaire. It ain’t “socialism,” it’s a feed trough for capitalist pigs! but I digress….
I am simply amazed at how many people in this country are ignorant enough to label a corporate shill like Obama “socialist,” not to mention that many of these same people believe climate change and peak oil are fabrications for the purpose of introducing “one world government,” and are obsessing over whether Obama is really an American citizen and whether his mother was married when he was born and what they will do when he orders in UN troops in black helicopters, instead of seeking real solutions to the very real problems we face. If just a few people were babbling about these fantasies, they would be considered insane. Unfortunately, there are millions of people who share these paranoid delusions, and they are a serious political movement. This fog of unreal and groundless accusations completely distracts these people from identifying the true sources of misery and oppression in their lives, whether that’s our corporate overlords or the demons in their own heads.
Yes, the demons in their own heads. I know, this is a political rap, what am I doing talking about demons, for cryin’ out loud?
OK, demons, in this case, means neuroses, misperceptions, faulty programming like, “if you can’t control yourself, control someone else,” “the most emotional person in the room gets to run the meeting,” and other axioms of psychological power play. Does that make sense to you?
We like to pretend that we are polite and civilized and ruled by our intellects, but for most of us, that is a sham. When the pressure is on, as it is now, all that outer husk stuff blows away in the blink of an eye, and all too many of our fellow citizens revert to their inner two-year old, screaming bloody murder and falling flailing to the floor because Mommy won’t give them titty, or their favorite toy, or because it’s nap time and they’re fixated on what they’re doing but too tired to keep doing it happily. It’s no way to run a country, but it’s what we’ve got to work with.
In spite of the fact that, at least as recently as November of 2008, a sizeable majority of Americans knew that the Repugs are the problem, not the solution, the Dims have been dim enough to discourage a lot of their former supporters, who now seem amnesic enough to return the Repugs to power, in which case they will screw things up even more. Here and there, where an election is local enough so that face-to-face contact can win out over media barrages, the Green Party will make some inroads, but neither we nor anybody else with sense and solutions is likely to come to power in this country.
It’s sad and poignant. We are not only poised at the close of the American Empire, we are poised at the decline of human civilization as we have always known it. We will never again be this wealthy and this powerful. We are about to run out of cheap oil and the weather is about to go nuts, but nearly everybody is partying like the good times are going to go on forever. They’re not. The last two hundred years have been a deluded dream. We are about to be rudely awakened, and will have one mighty hangover when we come to our senses.