06 November 2009

A Rant of One Who Would Destroy America

No really, listen:

You know how Glenn Beck talks about liberal leftists destroying America. This is what one really sounds like. SPOILER ALERT: I am an elitist and cynical, lefty hippie.

I seems that maybe Obama charmed his way to the White House following in the steps of George W. Bush. The biggest difference? Obama was legitimately elected, and no one wanted to have a beer with him; they just hoped that he would bring some progressive action to the presidency.

Sure it's too early to judge him as a president but it's not looking good. Take something like healthcare, quality and affordable healthcare. It seems he would let his own party not only butcher the concept of a public option into some meaningless, impotent moderate compromise, but he would also watch members of his own party threaten to block the bill the even coming to a vote. If I believed in a god, I would invoke its name and beg it to make Obama take a stand. I've seen nothing but pandering and inaction. If one really wants to close a secret torture center, one simply needs to close it. Instead, Obama offers nothing but waiting. Same with waging war. He continues to support the killing of human beings and recognizes an illegitimate Afghan leader. If you hate murdering humans, then simply take a courageous step, walk away and face the shame and ridicule that we fucked up. No, really. Finally, Gay rights have taken significant blows recently and Mr. Obama, who looked to be a friend of the LGBTQ community, a president who felt the need to support democrats in local elections, said nothing of the referendums on gay marriage and civil union.

We are not on good terms, him and me. His administration has been consumed of late with a debate with the standing on cable media, laying wreaths and with pandering to the right, the very people who didn't vote for him and oppose anything with his name on it. Here's how it works. Leaders lead, which means making decisions and taking actions that will get you criticism from your foes and your sell-out party members. I believed that Obama believed in what he said he believed in. So far, it seems he's on a one way street to sell-out-ville. But I am just a disgruntled liberal.

So, what of freedom and democracy and capitalism. Lies. At least in this current country. Freedom and equality are routinely denied to some at the hands of pseudo-democracy and capitalism. Listen, capitalism ensures the success of the rich and necessitates the plight of the poor. And its no mistake that the rich are married (though philandering) white men and the poor single black women. The American Dream is a fantasy that addicts the lower classes to a definition of success that demands materialism; own more stuff, be hotter stuff. But, then the middle classes need to own more stuff to out-stuff the lower class. Finally, profit, for the rich anyway, who own all the stuffs that the stuff-wanters want. This is all inherent in a system that places import upon certain types of personal wealth. Add in a side of corporate corruption and you have an exploitative invisible hand that crushes the masses while the top one percent suckle at its teat. Hello cynicism!

Democracy would suggest that these masses might have some leverage. Nope. Politicians are in the pocket of the one percent, if they themselves aren't in the one percent. Obama, or Nancy Pelosi, or Olympia Snowe might have had meager, down-home beginnings but they've arisen to such a class and success that they have no personal stake in what the public wants. The public, the masses, support a public option. Yet, at the hands of insurance lobbyists, many politicians will press the congress to produce a bill that has exactly the opposite. But surely the masses could simply vote out these corrupt leaders. Except the masses mostly believe they have to choose between the lesser of two evils and not someone who represents their interests. Independent and progressive candidates are painted as left or right wing wackos who speak their minds, express exactly what they mean and make no concessions (for shame!). This has gone on for so long that the public does not take advantage of its right to elect leaders. For once, the decisions of the public matter, their apathy declares that contemporary politics and American democracy is dying.

And now I'd like to take a moment and criticize my favorite target: the media. That mostly electronic outlet that offers only lies, sensationalism and advertising under the guise of some perverted form of journalism. All the fair and balanced television media offer nothing of value except opinion, which the majority of people take as news. And yes, I am playing the elitism card, if that card is recognizing that those with independent, critical minds are portrayed as out of touch, ivory towerists. I'm not suggesting that I have a better perspective, but simply utilizing what my perspective gives me, an ability to recognize other perspectives.

Furthermore the media dupes us with stories of celebrity drama, "reality" shows, and a fetishism of death. Routinely, stories of import to the state of American life, stories that reveal the lies of politicians and stories that give indication to the worrisome and problematic state of the world are ignored for sensationalist reporting, empty accusations and "human interest" reporting which gives us a nice fluffy feeling in our hearts. In short, we are trained to ignore politics, realist perspectives and sad stories with bad endings and trained to consume and discuss sad stories with happy endings. The substance is left, then, to comedy shows which satirize the media and offer the only sane reaction to the state of things, laughter.

Also, people in the United States are routinely denied civil and human rights by a largely Christian, exclusionary paradigm. Gays cannot marry, gays are considered inherently sinful and shameful and somehow not normal, women are paid less, women are denied agency over their own bodies, immigrants are described as insidious invaders, Muslims are labeled as terrorists, blacks, by no coincidence, wind up most hampered by the capitalist system, state legislators routinely participate in state sanctioned murder, millions are denied rights to basic healthcare and I once got a parking ticket for parking in front of my own house. It's all fucked up.

And what is the solution? The collapse of capitalism followed by a humanist overthrow of the Christian, oppressive US government by the people. Realistically, I believe this would result in the dissolution of the United States and the establishment of new territories. Now, being the ardent and hopeless pacifist that I am and do not see violence as a necessary. I believe that the disenchantment of the people and a natural collapse of capitalism will throw these United States into such an identity crises that the current form of government and economic will be unable to stand. I believe it's happening now. Increasingly the wackos on all ends of the political spectrums are the only one's making sense. Even if their values conflict with my own, I find sanity in their ferocity to accomplish something in the face of the establishment.

Now I cannot predict the result. But I do believe that the America as we know it will fall and be remade. I believe that this will come down to a clash between secularism and religiosity. But, I hope, and here comes the utopia, that a state arises that promotes (in deliberate rejection of freedom and liberty and justice) tolerance and peace and humanism for all. This final thought, the naive utopia, is the only thing that gives me much hope these days as I become increasingly maddened and anxious and cynical at the hand of my overwhelming disillusionment.

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