Monday, November 15, 2004

Political horrors!

Political Horrors

I was reared in a very idealistic world, not at all like the world of
twenty-oh-four. In that idyllic cosmos, America was founded upon high
and noble principles. In that world, things ran on honor and integrity.
In that far distant world, there were things, and people, that could not
be "bought."

One of the most important impurchasables was the American Presidency. In
those bygone days, that office had to be earned through intelligence,
integrity, honesty, and straightforward openness with the public. A
robber-baron could not become president. Neither could a person who
lived in a solipsistic cloud, without a clue. Neither could a "keystone
cops" bumbler, or fool.

You could not become president "by inheritance." You could not steal,
lie, or cheat your way into the office by pulling strings, pulling
favors, promising everything to corporations, or by other forms of
economic blackmail.

I treasure, if only in nostalgia, the days when honesty and wisdom were
more important, and more potent,than mere greed.

Foreign policy was based on compassion and justice, not on the gaining of
immense, enormous wealth for a few oil-tycoons. Americans then would
never have gone to war for a pipeline in Afghanistan that promised a ten
trillion dollar profit! Americans would never have shed the blood of a
hundred thousand innocent Iraqi men, women, and children for "free" oil!
Thus, the U.S. would not have become the Number One motivation for
becoming a terrorist! This greed, at this level, was only a dream,
anyway. If U.S. leaders thought that it was going to be "easy" to use
the U.S. military as a source of "free labor," to obtain and sustain
"free" oil supplies, they were rudely awakened by the murderous, bloody
reality on the ground.

However much the president is "in debt" to corporate interests, he does
not have the right to ignore and neglect the welfare of the American
people to pay down those debts. When the corporate representativessay to
him, "Give us everything that we want, and we will give you the
presidency," he still has the option of decency; he can still say,
"No;the interests of the American people must come first."

But this requires enormous courage of one's convictions. In an
energy-bill, it is still easier, and much more personally profitable,to
give billions to the energy-companies. And in a bill that ostensibly
helps seniors, it is much more profitable to give billions to the
pharmaceutical corporations. In dealing with corporate
America, it is much more profitable for the one man who is president to
relax laws against pollution-- sacrificing, and damning, the health of
all asthmatics, and of future generations, for the quick, convenient, and
dangerous "buck."

Greed knows no practical limits. A billionaire will never learn to say,
"Enough!" For him, there is not "enough" mony in a trillion universes to
fill his greed. For this sickness arises from a deep sense of personal
worthlessness. But if a president has this disease, we need to
reconsider his qualifications for office. For a president, in wrecking
himself, also takes down the entire country with him. He steals from
children (education), seniors, veterans, and many others to fill his own

Enormous greed leads to inexhaustible thievery. It leads to fascism--
defined as sharing power between governments and corporations. This is
not good government; in fact, it is rotten to the core.

Now, as never before,this country needs women and men of honor and
integrity to step onto the stage of national politics and to take back
our country for democracy. An undemocratic country cannot "democratize"
countries of the Middle East, and, in fact,does not have the right to
claim to be any kind of "model" of democracy.

Ironically, progressive liberals are now more "conservative" than the
cons. For while the neocons want to establish an Orwellian order in
which the U.S. is imperial ruler, many of us progressives long for a
country more like that which we knew in earlier times. Then, we had some
values worth preserving and conserving. We must return to honesty in
government, kindness and generosity towards the people, and the full
renunciation of greed as the great evil of corruption that it is. Only
after that do we have the right seriously to suggest that the U.S. is a
light to lead and guide the rest of the world.

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