We’re in a giant car heading for a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit -David Suzuki
Our country is not being destroyed by bad politics. It is being destroyed by a bad way of life. Bad politics is merely another result. -Wendell Berry
I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time–when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. -Carl Sagan, from his 1987 book, The Demon-Haunted World
There’s a problem I have here, a weird kind of something I can’t quite put my finger on in terms of knowing what word to put on it as a description. A dilemma? A conundrum?
As we are now right on the eve of the gigantic circus of the 2012 national election here in the United States, with much of the vote already in process because of early voting processes and absentee ballots, my problem sits before me, not quite knowing what terms to use to label it.
I reflect on the thought of wondering what I can say and how to say it that doesn’t get somebody belching out some vacuous dismissal of whatever I say as “angry guy ranting on the internet”.
And just as an aside, in the background of the passing day here, I’m battling with stupid annoying difficulties of a practical nature involving malfunction of Things That Are Supposed To Function And Work Properly. It’s one example manifestation of how much around us is supposed to be a representation of how wonderfully clever and just plain advanced we are, while so many things don’t actually work properly, and if the issue is raised, people who are supposed to deal with the stuff involved dance around with any and every possible way of diverting things to almost anything other than addressing the problem and fixing it.
So, where to even start?
I find that many things I write about here, or links I post on my Facebook page, end up being things that would be seen as political, but are mostly about the dysfunction of current American politics.
You can go to a short article collecting links pointing to commentary from pundit types, who say that the Republicans in Congress will undermine and sabotage everything the president wants to do, if Obama is re-elected, and we’ll have a completely dysfunctional government. So therefore, the arguments go, we, the citizens of the United States, had better hand over full control of the government to the Republican party, or else. We’re now at a point where this kind of extortion, of holding our government hostage, is actually presented as an argument for why we should vote for Willard Romney for president.
I fight off nausea just thinking about it.
The way a free country deals with people like that is not to vote to hand over full control of our government to them.
Many, many things I have to say I’ve already said, when it comes to matters relevant to national politics and the presidential election.
I can save a little bit of typing by simply quoting what James Howard Kunstler said on his blog earlier today.
Mitt Romney’s sickening insincerity was on full view Sunday night as CNN served up both candidates complete finish-line pitches to the Ohio crowds thought to hold the fate of the election in their fickle sway. Romney has consistently proved one thing over the whole, long, nauseating course of his campaign: that he will say anything to get a vote, no matter how hollow, fatuous, craven, or at odds with reality the utterance is.
The long trail of unreality and blatant dishonesty of Willard Romney has been on public display for years now, and has been tracked over the past year by Steve Beren in the series I have referred to many times now, Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, now up to installment number 41. Reading all 41 parts is a long and nauseating haul.
It fits perfectly, Mr. Romney’s constant and blatant dishonesty, with his party in general. One thing that turns out to have been squashed by political critters of the Republican party in Congress is a report by the Congressional Research Service that pretty much knocks down as the nonsense that it is what has basically been the long running defining economic policy of the Republican party since Ronald Reagan.
For that matter, speaking of Ronald Reagan, just days ago I took the time to point out to anybody who wants to know what the reality is of a mythology that maintains an image of “fiscally conservative responsible government” from Reagan as president versus “out of control Big Government wasteful spending” of Obama as president. Comparing the timeframes of what each president inherited in their first year in office from the budget set under the previous president, to the budget bottom line the year of the next election, Reagan jacked up the annual budget deficit by a large chunk, Obama decreased the annual budget deficit by a large chunk. That’s even while dealing with the mass of problems left to him by the previous president, and maintained with determination since then by the Republican party faction in Washington.
But that reality doesn’t make it through the fog of fiction, mendacity, and the confusion it generates.
We have, however, had candidate Romney saying, repeatedly, “Obama doubled the deficit”, which is, plainly and simply, false.
What we can believe is that Romney would be a devoted servant of plutocracy, not a servant of the people of the nation at large. That much has plenty of evidence to support it as being a credible and believable “principle” of the man.
This gets into serious questions. Do you want a proper representative government functioning as a democratic republic serving the people, or do you want a banana republic?
A quick bit of reading to review for your consideration:
Banana Republic : In practice, a banana republic is a country operated as a commercial enterprise for private profit, effected by the collusion between the State and favoured monopolies, whereby the profits derived from private exploitation of public lands is private property, and the debts incurred are public responsibility. Such an imbalanced economy reduces the national currency to devalued paper-money, hence, the country is ineligible for international development-credit, and remains limited by the uneven economic development of town and country.
Kleptocracy, government by thieves, features influential government employees exploiting their posts for personal gain (embezzlement, fraud, bribery, etc.), with the resultant government budget deficit repaid by the native working people who “earn money”, rather than “make money”. Because of foreign (corporate) manipulation, the kleptocratic government is unaccountable to its nation, the country’s private sector–public sector corruption operates the banana republic, thus, the national legislature usually are for sale, and function mostly as ceremonial government.
We know something about the reality of Willard Romney and his business practices at Bain Capital, the reality severely divorced from the promoted image of job creator and builder of prosperity.
In recent days, in regard to matters of the American auto manufacturing industry, Romney lied about GM, lied, in northwest Ohio, Jeep territory, about Jeep and Chrysler’s plans.
Involved in the GM matter, there was Delphi, a GM supplier (formerly a GM subsidiary), and it turns out that there is quite a long, extended, and ugly story of Romney’s involvement with Delphi, involving his wife and a business associate. Go read it. It’s complicated and ugly.
Let’s not even waste time on Willard Romney relating to the rest of the world if elected. Perhaps you can just recall his little world tour to, I don’t know, show himself being and international and stuff, and essentially just managing to say stupid things and piss off people in every country he visited.
I’ve tried my best to point people to the picture in the petroleum department. We haven’t gotten any signs of realistic dealing with that from either the current president or challenger Romney, but Romney’s proclamations about his “energy policy” plan are just completely deluded.
There’s certainly no sign among all the empty pandering about the state of the economy from Romney and surrogates that indicates that he would even think of getting to terms with the massive clusterfuck that is banking and finance. There’s no sign of honest understanding of what is really happening with the economy, including the phenomenon of financialization of everything as a illusory house of cards that crashed, with the only “wealth creation” going to a small cult of people raping everything while doing nothing of value, including the kind of “vulture capital” operators that include Mr. Romney himself.
It goes on and on. This might seem a little late in the game to be running through all this, but the thing is, none of this is new. You’ve already been warned.