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So, I came home and discovered I was in a new United States...

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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:25 PM
Original message
So, I came home and discovered I was in a new United States...
Wow! This feels damn good!
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. From across the water, it looks the same to me.
Yes, people got their carthetic illusion of democracy and the masses are pacified, but in the long run, I continue to wonder at what cost. This may be just another bust cycle in the great unfettered capitalistic experiment that is the US, or perhaps we may see something new if Obama can seize the opportunity. For those waiting for Universal Health Care since Truman, it may seem no closer today than yesterday. For those waiting for a reformed militaristic foreign policy since Eisenhower, will it actually come at this moment and last? Or is now simply a time to throw some scraps to the populance, to the masses, pat them on the head, make them feel proud and empowered, without dramatically shifting the social paradigm? Is now simply a time for the fascist and the corporatists to hide in the shadows, rebuilding, and plotting a long term return that may be more damaging than if they were to allowed to continue to hang themselves? As far as I can tell, it is still the same United States that voted for Bush, twice, and walked pacified while their rights were being stripped away. Its the same America that has for decades, stood idly by, silent, while their tax contributions paid for scouring and exploiting the third world. As long as they were left alone, they played along.

But this time they were not left alone. The consequences hit hard, and the results were drastic. But are we waking up to a new America, or the same United States, but just filled with people who are responding as children who have had their chocolate cake stolen from them at a birthday party? Yes, they (barely over half) made a correct choice, with their backs against the wall. How much more would it have meant if they had an alternative choice, and chose correctly? Because the reality is, they didn't. Obama was the only answer for a halfway sane person in the ballot booth this time around.

Im not meaning to be negative, but realistic. I am hoping Obama can succeed in making some ground. But when I am 90, and I look back at all the presidents since, and look at the two new jackasses battling for the crown, am I going to think, I am sure glad I am now in a New United States? Or will it, over such a time, by average, look relatively the same with a divided people who are so busy waging warfare against each other over gay marriage that they are losing the class warfare being waged against them?
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NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Were you the guy I saw at the mall last December?
The one telling children that Santa Claus was a lie?
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Haha....I love to ruin a good time.
No, not really. But are you equating Obama, and the perception thereof to Santa Claus? :)

Look, I know people there are giddy and excited. I guess thats part of how I see the model in the US. Every 4 to 8 years, half the population gets giddy and excited, forgetting their desperation and frustration. Many times, forgetting their core motivations that drive them into an interest in politics. I guess this is a good time for people to smile and forget they are bastard capitalists whose lifestyle depends on exploiting those less fortunate around the globe. I guess its a good time to chill before we kick it into overdrive the next cycle.

Im not looking to rain on anyone's parade. But maybe encourage perspective. If the left doesn't become Obama's best critic (not enemy), I don't see much progress being made period. As of now, most of the needed critics are drinking off their hangover with Grandma's special sauce. Its good to be a little grounded now, I would think.
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. calling people 'bastard capitalists' sure doesn't give the impression....
that you don't want to rain on anyone's parade.

It's the day after the inauguration. What are you expecting to happen this soon? :shrug:
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Im not expecting anything to happen soon....
Maybe not at all. My concern is more about the attitudes of the desperate motivated masses, who are now completely pacified and elated. And the more they perceive this is a "New" America, the less motivated they may become. But my original question is: is this truly a new America or the same one that can do the worse in the best of times (and just now they chose the best option in the worse of times, without much alternative)? Is this just part of the natural carthetic cycle that ensures a stable political situation, without changing the long term status quo? 50 years from now, will this still look like Obama's America, Bush America, or like a Pendulum America, swinging side to side, destroying in one cycle what it builds in the previous?

From the rooftops I hear shouts of the Utopia of tomorrow. But if one were to descend to the streets they will still see the slums of yesterday, and as such, they look away. Now is an opportunity to not look away and embrace the truth about America, and change it. We need people who will admit they do not love America as it is, but rather hate it, and strive to change it for the better. As of now, in this new America, there seems to be few takers among the pacified masses. Is that an attribute of the overall cycle which ensures it to be self-sustaining?

Im probably rambling...abstractly. I guess, despite the election, I am still angry. And I also guess that I am angry about more than the last 8 years.
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Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Wow, you sound like Jerry Seinfeld in The Visa
"Well, birthdays are merely symbolic of how another year has gone by and how little we've grown. No matter how desperate we are that someday a better self will emerge, with each flicker of the candles on the cake, we know it's not
to be, that for the rest of our sad, wretched pathetic lives, this is who we areto the bitter end. Inevitably, irrevocably; happy birthday? No such thing.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I guess I should never have wrote that.
I really like birthdays and am a bit upset everyone thinks Im the birthday ruiner. Afterall, everyone brings you presents. What's not to like about presents?
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Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. LOL
I like the ones that require batteries, and then you think, "Damn, this would be fun to play with if I had batteries." Then, the person who gave you the gift goes, "Oh, wait a minute! I have some batteries for that." And you think, "Oh hell yeah, I get to play with it NOW!"

:D
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I should have clarified...
It wasn't that long ago we had a warmongering, knuckle-dragger leading the country. He had no empathy for others and cared more about his ideology, his sycophants and neo-con pals.

I came home today, turned on the TV and Obama was announcing his orders to begin a more transparent government that is answerable to the people.

Now, I don't expect miracles overnight. Health care reform and other important issues will take time. Everyone knows this.

It's just nice to have an intelligent president who lets it be known that he works for us...and not the other way around. It's a night and day difference from bush.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I agree he will run things differently, and better...
But as for a better America as a whole, I will hold my judgment for 20 years or more. Perhaps its just by some design that we now have a man that appeals and pacifies the 40% of the "liberals" +13% of clueless convincable. Will it dramatically change the trajectory of not only the US policy, but the people? We have yet to see. Will it produce a new populance who will not, in the best or worse of times, vote again for someone like Bush? Time will tell.

By not being there, it gives me a bit of a break and allows me to separate a tad from the general hype and good feelings people have. On one hand, I guess I am not experiencing that fully (but my cynical nature never lets me partake regardless). On the other hand, I may be able to judge this all a bit more objectively without being too emotionally involved.
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Having an emotional stake doesn't mean one can't be objective. n/t
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. I really cannot fully agree with that. n/t
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Wow! I like your rant, on the whole. But there is one critical detail you got wrong:
"...it is still the same United States that voted for Bush, twice, and walked pacified while their rights were being stripped away."

I think it is very, very important to understand how this fascist junta came to power, how it stayed in power, and what this means as to the restrictions on Obama and real reform.

An important item from the recent past: Nearly 60% of the American people opposed the invasion of Iraq--Feb '03, all polls. Shortly before that, in Oct '02, Congress passed two resolutions: The Iraq War Resolution, guaranteeing unjust war, and the 'Help America Vote Act' (HAVA)--a $3.9 billion e-voting boondoggle--that provided the means for shoving that unjust war down the throats of the American people. HAVA resulted in the fast-tracking of voting machines, all over the country, run on 'TRADE SECRET' programming code, owned and controlled by rightwing Bushite corporations, with virtually no audit/recount controls. 80% of the country's votes, in 2004, were completely unverifiable, as a result. Combined with the filthily corrupt Rove political machine--within the Department of Justice, and in Ohio, Florida and other states--this is how the junta retained power in 2004. And we only have to look at what the so-called Democratic Congress did, just after the 2006 elections--escalating the Iraq War in the teeth of huge (now up to 70%!) opposition to that war--to know that something is still VERY WRONG with our election system.

I happen to believe that Obama was actually elected--but neither he nor anyone else can prove it. The election system has been rendered almost totally non-transparent (100% non-transparent in half the states; 99% non-transparent even in the best states). One of the things that this means is that, after the caucus primaries (which are NOT counted by Diebold & brethren), Barack Obama became less beholden to the voters, and more beholden to the rightwing corporations that 'count' all the votes with 'TRADE SECRET' code. They could easily--EASILY!--have prevented his election. They DID shave his mandate (by about 5%) to deny him a huge landslide and further hamper any real reform (in addition to the Bushwhack Financial 9/11 in September and other handicaps). I think Obama knows this. I think he is a very intelligent man and well-intended. I think he made a deal with the DLC/Clintons (who work very closely with the Bushwhacks, war profiteers and corporate thieves) in order to be permitted into the White House, to do what he can for our democracy and our people, and the people of the world.

So, to this extent I agree with you. Obama alone cannot proceed with real reform. WE the PEOPLE are the only force that can, eventually, reform our government, and our Priority No. 1 needs to be TRANSPARENT vote counting, and cleaning out all the corruption of our election system that we can, at the state/local level. (Congress will never do it.) That is the best thing we can do for the success of Obama's administration and for ourselves and our children. With 'TRADE SECRET' vote counting, we cannot guarantee Obama's re-election--no matter how many voters we register and get to the polls--and he is seriously hampered by that BALD FACT. We MUST restore vote counting that everyone can see and understand--the bottom line of our democracy--and rid our election system of private corporations (some of which have ties to far rightwing causes that would make your hair stand on end).

I think, on the whole, you underestimate the powerful forces that are oppressing the American people, and the subtle methods that have been devised to keep us powerless and disinformed. (Priority no. 2: The corpo/fascist 'news' monopolies--after we repair the voting system and start electing real representatives of the people.) In a sense, you are blaming the victims. We have our faults, as a people, and a lazy attitude toward our duties as citizens may be the fault of many. But--as with a battered wife situation--it does little good to keep criticizing, blaming and further harming the self-esteem of the victim. She needs to be empowered, not criticized. She needs to be praised for her steps toward wholeness and independence, not blamed for her oppression. Yeah, maybe she made mistakes, in putting up with abuse, in acquiescing to being dependent on an abusive spouse, in returning to abusive conditions, time and again. But what does she need now? Not more criticism; rather, encouragement for each step toward a healthy life.

In stating that the United States "voted for Bush, twice," you are leaving out very important elements of the story, and this turns your analysis toward the negative. When you look more broadly at all that has happened, you begin to see a quite different picture--of a people whose progressive values, belief in democracy and desire for peace and justice, are, in truth, still there, still in tact, and have been all along--but who have been manipulated in mindboggling ways to believe that they--we--are the minority! It simply isn't true. Yet many people believe it. And, in some ways, I think that the huge efforts to deceive us and to manipulate us, and, indeed, to destroy us as a progressive force in the world, are something of compliment. We are, potentially, THE strongest progressive force in the world. Massive corporate looting, war profiteering and the exploitation, torture and slaughter of other people cannot occur without massively deceiving and manipulating us. Not only did the great majority of Americans oppose the invasion of Iraq--even before it became well-known that there were no WMDs--with 70% opposing it by 2006, 63% of the American people oppose torture "under any circumstances" (NYT poll, May '04), and 60% to 90% of the American people oppose virtually every Bush policy, foreign and domestic (--review of many issue polls, 2003 thru today).

What's wrong with this picture? An overwhelmingly progressive people, with a lying, looting, murderous fascist government for eight years, and with many believing that it had majority support. I think "what's wrong with this picture" is stolen elections, and corpo/fascist media monopolies. So, in your analysis, don't leave out the struggle of so many--election reform activists, brave military jag lawyers, fired U.S. attorneys, outed CIA agents, rebellious generals, internet bloggers and news sources, political activists and others--who have fought so hard to lift the "Iron Curtain" over our country that has blocked our peoples' understanding of events and has sought to disinform and demoralize them. Don't ignore our failures as a people, but DO recognize and help further our efforts to climb out of this dark hole.

It took South America about a decade of determined effort at creating democratic institutions to create the situation of South America today, with peaceful, democratic, leftist (majorityist) governments all over the map (in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and most recently, Paraguay, as well as Nicaragua and Guatemala--and soon, next elections, El Salvador and possibly Mexico). Latin America has suffered worse oppression than we have ever seen, and has recovered, magnificently. But it took time and much effort. It cannot happen overnight. They not only had bad, bad, entrenched rightwing/fascist elites, they have equally bad media, but they stuck with the fundamental of democracy--transparent vote counting--and thus began to turn things around. That is what we must do. And I believe we WILL do it. But your caution about not falling back into IllusionLand is a good one. You just need to ask: HOW? Besides facing reality--the reality of our war profiteer, corporate-run empire--WHAT do we need to do to create a good, democratic country?
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