Well, Chris, I disagree that "under Obama we have a chance." I believe, in fact, he may be worse than Romney because he does or wants to do the same things - like "Obamacare" - while pretending they are from necessity. In this way, he legitimates policies that Bush and probably Romney could not legitimate, even if he, Romney, adopted them. Besides all we have is Romney's rhetoric and as was evident while governor of Mass. Romney's rhetoric means nothing when it comes to his governing. He does what he thinks will cause him the least resistance. He is no more committed to what is called "conservatism" these days than he is to dressage!
But, for me, the bottom line is that I have concluded that our political regime today - and it is the same regime whether Obama or Romney wins, with some minor differences - is as corrupt as it was in the mid to late 60s - the Vietnam War - and early 70s - Watergate. But since the 70s, the powers that be have gutted the impeachment provisions of the Constitution via Nixon's resignation [and Congress' decision not to pursue impeachment after he resigned], the farce that was the Iran-Contra hearings [even Ollie North has admitted that the Congress deliberately did not pursue actions by him and the Reagan administration that were far worse than those they did pursue - I am assuming he was talking in part about the CIA helping drug smugglers bring drugs into the U.S. among other things], and finally by the farce that was the "impeachment" of Bill Clinton [one way to destroy an institutional check on the powerful is to abuse it, as the powerful did not only with the obviously concocted and asinine impeachment of Clinton but with independent prosecutors as well]. So our presidents are, for all practical purposes, unaccountable to us or the Congress, which has been part of the Progressive agenda for quite a few decades now [and here by the "Progressives" I include those who pretend to be "conservatives" - e.g., the "neo-cons" - as well as those who are labeled "liberals"] and of course includes a government that is unaccountable in any significant way. [You may throw in the "Citizens' United" decision too if you wish to as that is part and parcel of this project to render government unaccountable to the people as it allows our elections to be bought and sold.]
Both Romney, despite his rhetoric, and Obama, with his rhetoric, embrace a pervasively powerful and essentially unaccountable national government, a government that is essentially lawless and rabidly militaristic [for example, the Patriot Act is only criticized by those like Gary Johnson who have been marginalized]. Faced with a consensus like this, I choose to play golf, drink with my good friend "Jack Daniels," and enjoy my retirement, while sympathizing with those your age and younger who are, plainly, getting screwed. Oh yeah, I also reread "No Country For Old Men" every so often in order to relish Sheriff Bell's wisdom and try to figure out "what's coming" or what the order under the control of Chigurh will be like. "A Quiet American" helps too, along with some Mark Twain on U.S. imperialism.
On Nov 2, 2012, at 7:14 PM, Kessing, Christopher wrote:
I think there are two major things at play.
1. Our country is getting worse, so it stands that our presidents will need to get worse. We sell out more jobs, make more honorable jobs obsolete, go after natural resources to feed our moribund economy, deny science and interrupt climate justice, do crazy things in foreign policy and how we secretly treat prisoners, and we run a police state to ensure "security." This is why in a lot of ways Obama is indeed the "worst" president we've ever had, despite inspiring rhetoric--he has to be the worst to keep the imperial, oil-driven equilibrium.
2. Romney's rhetoric is considerably worse, which would normalize a lot of the anti-democratic/imperialist avenues Obama has upheld or taken on his own. This would further the shift to the right, I think. Obama is no progressive but a lot of his worst offenses have been out of necessity. Romney would seek those options out.
So under Obama we have a chance, if we fight. Just like under FDR who was a moderate but had to cave to the populist sentiments of the age. I think Romney would resist the populist uprising at all costs. In that way I think he would be worse than Bush, who didn't fundamentally change a lot of automatic economic stabilizers like food stamps, unemployment insurance and Medicaid.
With that said, I voted for Rocky Anderson, a helluva good man, and would have voted for Dr. Jill Stein if she was on my ballot (I don't believe in write ins because they are generally not counted.)
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