Diary of an Ex Pat
13 February, 2012:
In his book 1984 George Orwell presciently described constant warfare as a way of maintaining control over people by diverting attention from the true machinations of their masters. Our world has realized Orwell’s fantasy. There are wars or armed conflict in or between Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Now we can add to Orwell’s formula the mind numbing babble of incessant electioneering and its constant stream of bilge water from empty headed politicians and their equally empty headed script writers. Coupled with war, a true double whammy.
It seems the US of A has been in election mode for a very long time. The last beginning I can clearly remember was the contest between Clinton and Bush Sr. and now I cannot imagine an ending. A continuous war, not of ideas, but of words.[1.]
During 2011-12, a record number of Republican party candidate debates were held. I’ve listened to a few of them and though I can’t imagine any of the participants as President of those United States, I have been amused by their attempts to drape themselves with the mantle of Conservative while denying it to their opponents. As the debates glacially wind their way, what I have long known has been reaffirmed, conservative has no meaning in politics and its usurpation by politicians has deprived the English language of an otherwise useful adjective.
While the candidate’s monotone romp through the states continues, their media expendatures soar. Predictions on total spending by both parties during the 2011-12 campaign including the presidential run off range from $2.6 to $2.8 billion. So far, the republicans have spent about 40 million dollars on advertisements either promoting themselves or demoting their opponents. And the presidential election is yet to come.[2.] The candidates who complained about being outspent were considered whiners, a good old American pejorative which used to mean, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”, but now means, “If you don’t have the money, forget public service”.
The Republicans seek votes from those who were once middle class and are now poor, due to Clinton [3.] – G. W. Bush deregulations and still they clamor for more unfettered capitalism. Astounding. Perhaps in the future, sentient scholars, assuming they have a readership, will write papers to explain this conundrum
The candidates offer nothing substantive to relieve a society set upon its heels by the unpatriotic behavior of the financial community, and their political serfs. From the mouths of politicians there rains incessant screams of “I have a plan, Elect Me” bombs. The bombs do not explode, they’re all Duds, as are the politicians who drop them. During all the campaign speech-a-fying, I’ve yet to hear expressed a thought provoking or inspirational idea. (This morning on the BBC World News, February 18, a British columnist for The Times called all the Republican candidates, “idiots” and wondered what had taken hold of America.)
When attempts are made to launch ideas about education or relief for debts incurred by college students, the candidates become mute. (Just a few days ago I learned declaring bankruptcy does not insulate debtors from student loans and home mortgages. They must still be paid in full. Students are paying up to 18% interest on loans and the banks collecting those fees are paying 0% on the billions of dollars taxpayers gave them when they pleaded for help.)
Perhaps it is my age. However these past months have been filled with such inanity, hubris, ignorance, vindictiveness and exorbitant expenditures of money as to almost completely flummoxed my attempts to understand what has happened to the great Republic that was the United States of America just a couple of decades ago. These men demonstrate neither the intelligence nor creativity to confirm or guide the ideals of our Republic, they only want to be its president.
Why are these Peck-sniffs, as H.L. Mencken might have called them, not speaking about the Gulf coast and the city of New Orleans, the hurricane, tornado and flood riven towns, the crumbling roads, buildings and schools, the millions of non-working poor and semi-employed, the national parks . . . I have to stop. I’m not angry, but I am sad. The US of A is now a third world country and the haves seem content for it to be. Now even John Wayne couldn’t help.
[1.] By law Canadian elections must last a minimum of three months, but traditionally lasts no longer. The longest in history was 74 weeks in 1926.
[2.] To date, Obama has a $140,000,000 + “war chest” for the run against his expected Republican opponent Romney, whose stash is in the neighborhood of $57,000,000.
[3.] Clinton (President, 1993-2001) rescinded the Glass-Steagall Actt or Banking Act of 1933 which provided for the safer and more effective use of the assets of banks, regulated interbank control, prevented the undue diversion of funds into speculative operations, and for other purposes.
February 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm
Thank you, Robin. Wonderful, beautifully written……as usual.