Thursday, September 4, 2008
I have trouble watching the Republicans running down Obama. They never discuss the issues: the national debt, the financial crisis, the falling dollar, the decreasing incomes and increasing costs of living for most Americans, our overextended military. Instead, they talk about Obama's lack of experience, ignoring how he exceeds his jaded opponents in wisdom, compassion and insight.
Because young people, middle-aged and old people have responded to his decency and integrity in such great numbers, they deride him as a rock star and trivialize him with comparisons to Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton. Because he talks about the dignity of work, respect for one's opponents and encourages us to believe in ourselves and each other, because he encourages us to shrug off apathy and to hope, they accuse him of having a messiah complex and make jokes about him walking on water.
It is clear that Obama's Republican detractors have no idea how many of us are longing for a change from the deep cynicism, hypocrisy and mean-spiritedness that has characterized this administration and the Republican Congress that has given it unwavering support.
It is clear they have no idea how concerned so many of us are about how the Bush Administration has been so reckless and incompetent in its use of military power and how careless it has been in its stewardship of our economy.
There are substantial issues at the heart of the Obama campaign; his willingness to address these issues has led so many of us to recognize him as a leader.
It is not surprising that the GOP standard bearers are so intent on ignoring them, misrepresenting them, even lying about them.
It is not surprising that they choose instead to ridicule this unexpected leader who has surprised us all with his clear vision and his authoritative (because it is authentic) demeanor.
It is not surprising that they do this. But I have trouble watching them. Because they're really making fun of me. They are making fun of you and me. They are ridiculing us.
Earlier in the speech, Ruppert referred to the imminent financial collapse of the U.S. (which we are now beginning to experience) and to an article by economist John Kenneth Galbraith, published in 2002, outlining its fundamental cause, to wit, a state of permanent war.
This is the war to which, under false pretences, the Bush Administration committed our nation in 2003 and which John McCain has promised to continue for a long as necessary, even for 100 years.
This is the war which Barack Obama refused to support at the time and which he continues to decry. The idea of permanent war is the primary issue of the current presidential campaign. McCain is for it. Obama is against it. Ruppert's words rang true four years ago. They are deafeningly true today. So is Galbraith's analysis to which he refers below:
Ruppert (in 2004): "What we are witnessing now is a collision: a collision of a financial system relying on fractional reserve banking, debt-financed growth, and a fiat currency system with a planet and energy resources that are finite, limited, and running out. Infinite growth is battling with finite energy. One is not possible without the other and I have absolutely no doubt as to which side will win.
"In November 2002 James Kenneth Galbraith wrote an article titled "The Unbearable Costs of Empire":
'None of these problems will be cured so long as war remains our dominant political theme. But serious though they are, they pale in comparison with the larger problem of the international trade-and-financial order under conditions of permanent war.
It is a straightforward fact that if global oil production starts to decline but U.S. consumption does not, everyone else will be required to cut purchases and uses of oil. But how can oil prices be held stable for Americans yet be made to rise for everyone else? Only by a policy of continuing depreciation in everyone else's currency. Such a policy of dollar hegemony amid worldwide financial instability, of crushing debt burdens and deflation throughout the developing world, is perverse.
'It will make our trading partners' exports cheap, render their imports dear and keep their real wages low. It will price American goods out of world markets and lead to unsustainable dependence on foreign capital. It will be a policy, in short, of beggar-all-of-our-neighbors while we live alone, in increasing idleness and inside the dollar bubble.
'This is the policy that Bush and Cheney are actually imposing on the rest of the world. But they cannot make it last. It will make lives miserable elsewhere, generating ever more resistance, terrorism and military engagement. Meanwhile, we will not experience even gradual exposure to the changing energy balance; we will therefore never make the investments required to adjust, even eventually, to a world of scarce and expensive oil.
'In the end, therefore, that world will arrive much more abruptly than it otherwise would, shaking the fragile edifice of our oil economy to its foundations. And we will someday face a double explosion: of anger against our arrogance and of actual shortage and collapsing living standards, when the confidence of investors in the dollar finally gives way.
'Compared with this future, a new commitment to collective security, to a new world financial structure, to a rational energy and transportation policy, and to spending to meet our actual domestic needs would be a bargain.
' At the end of the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked what type of government the framers had given our new country. He famously replied, "A republic, if you can keep it."'
"In 49 BC Julius Caesar, fresh from a battlefield victory in central Italy ordered his legions to cross a small creek called the Rubicon. Under the laws of the Roman Republic, the army was not allowed to enter the capital city. As Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, the Roman Republic died and the Roman Empire was born. Our task, if we and much of human civilization are to survive, is not to keep our republic, but to take it back. Thank you."
A note from Artemisa's Granddaughter: Michael Ruppert, who used to publish a blog called A Voice in the Wilderness, along with oil industry insider, Matthew Simmons, has been writing about the oil addiction crisis for many years.(Another industry insider, T. Boone Pickens, is talking about it now.)
The economic fallout that he and the late John Kenneth Galbraith (along with many others) were warning us about several years ago has come to pass. Our financial system is experiencing shocks unheard of since the Great Depression.. The standard of living of middle class and poor Americans is falling. Our war debt is owned by China and heaven knows what other foreign nations.
More than ever we need clear thinking and the courage to change in our national leadership. This is what the Obama/Biden ticket is offering. John McCain and Republican Party with its confused social agenda and its commitment to "permanent war" are offering us more of the same. We cannot afford it. Our country cannot afford it. Our planet cannot afford it.
This photo graphic of Bush morphing into John McCain is from Buddy Stone's Flickr photostream.