Monday, November 05, 2012

Four War Years

The sense I'm getting from the polls is that Obama is ahead but only just.  Two to three points seems to be the lead, a gap that can probably be easily erased by voter suppression and minor tinkering with the electronic voting system.

Eyebrows will be raised, sure, but that's now standard fare for any election in the self-proclaimed, albeit undeserved Greatest Democracy on Earth (TM).

Yet I'm far from sure that a Romney victory will be the worst thing for America.  It may in fact be what's needed to spark the sort of upheaval without which the United States, and the world, would be worse off for decades to come.   Something needs to break the corporatist hold on the United States and it's hard to imagine that an Obama administration held hostage again by a Republican House and an obstructionist Republican minority in the Senate would do any better than Obama did in his first term.

Romney might just be the straw to break America's back and rouse its beleaguered working classes, white and blue collar, from their stupor and steer them back into defending their collective self-interest.

Romney might be the stimulus required to re-energize the Occupy movement.

It's sad to say but I think the future of the American people, if they're to have one, lies in some sort of popular revolt.   The oligarchs are close to cementing their hold on the country.   American democracy is already reeling from the impacts of a hopelessly corrupt, "bought and paid for" Congress and a similarly corrupt and decidedly corporatist judiciary, aided and abetted by a corporate mass media. 

Imagine what Romney will do, not for America but to it.   More tax cuts for the rich made up for by new taxes on the middle class and the slashing of benefits and assistance for the working poor and the extremely poor.   No action on climate change and an extreme form of austerity that will leave the federal government unable and unwilling to provide adaptation initiatives.   Romney even wants to offload emergency services to the much more cash-strapped state governments.

America seems primed to explode or implode, one of the two.   The status-quo is no longer a viable option.   It will either implode under the crushing pressure of corporatism or explode from the fury of progressive populism.  Romney seems to be the burning fuse that will reveal the outcome.


Troy Thomas said...

Considering the challenger, a deeply unpopular Republican, named Mitt Romney, one would think this election would be a cakewalk for Obama, just like his campaign against John McCain, a deeply unpopular Republican.
Yet, Obama is having to fight for every vote this election. Why? Perhaps because he is a deeply unpopular president.
I've mostly tuned out the pundits from the election, and have decided to look at it all, cynically. The only real difference between the two is abortion and same sex marriage, and that's only because Obama is afraid of losing woman's and lgbt votes.
Neither are good for the USA (neither are good for the world, as a matter of fact), and both should be opposed, equally.
But the Occupy protests, which are probably the only major group right now that opposes the USA political system regardless of the political party in charge of the election hasn't gotten any traction, for whatever reason.
Can it grow? I certainly hope so. There's a hell of lot of room for Occupy to grow. It's looking like it'll need to, in order to oppose whoever becomes President, because either will govern unchecked by any institution.

Al said...

In Canada, one Green Party elected nationally as the only alternative to the corporate parties. I think there's a good chance we may not see another election here.

The Mound of Sound said...

Troy, I think if you could strip Romney of the racist vote alone, Obama would win in a landslide. Yet when Clint Eastwood gets Repugs "lynching" lawn chairs from their front lawn trees you can get a sense of how bigotry is back in the U.S. on a massive scale. Look at the race baiting that's gone on in the Republican campaign. Even Sununu had to play the race card against Colin Powell.

I agree that neither are good for the U.S. or the world. That said, something needs to be done to shake working class America out of their stupor.

@ Al - don't even think that

The Mound of Sound said...

@ P.M. Sorry, Paul, but your comment didn't seem to make it through Blogger. That said, I did get it just fine via my e-mail so at least I can respond.

Yes I've been reading about the unrest that's growing in China. It's given the central government fits. About a year ago a leading Chinese economist tried to identify solutions to the inequality problem. There's a post about it somewhere on this blog.

The best idea he could come up with was based on accepting that China's economy could not ascend to dominance without a privileged core of entrepreneurs, industrialists, scientists and engineering types and similar key personnel who would insist on themselves being rewarded with upper-level Western standards of living.

But, and here's the rub, he pointed out that the Earth cannot provide nearly enough resources to make Western standards of living open to the remaining 1.2-billion.

He argued that, out of necessity, China would have to structure itself to accommodate an island of affluence, as Bush Jr. would call them, "the Haves and the Have Mores", floating atop a sea of underprivileged masses.

Curiously absent from his discussion was the myriad environmental challenges that Beijing cannot ignore forever and that are certain to increasingly degrade its hold on a discontent public.

This does not appear to be a civilization that can entertain meaningful democratic reform without slipping into chaos. It does seem to be nearing the edge already, doesn't it?

Some, including this writer, see the 21st as the Century of Revolution. Even in the affluent West, the forces of inequality up the prospects of social unrest and upheaval.

Good to hear from you, Paul. We do live in exciting times.

Anonymous said...

I think Mitt would be a very bad thing. I don't care about the american economy. I know Obama isn't opposed to war, but perhaps he wouldn't be as eager as republicans... How long do you think it would be if Mitt won before the USA and Canada invade Iran? How many extra people would have to die?

Deno said...

It does not matter who wins, the POTUS is nothing more then a puppet of the Fed.

Count on a war with Iran something after the election.

Check this out


The Mound of Sound said...

Deno, I sincerely hope you're wrong about war on Iran. The potential for that to backfire in any of several ways is huge.

Iran can't defend its nuclear installations from attack, especially an air war by U.S. forces. Indeed it has one prime means of fighting back - blocking oil traffic in the Persian Gulf, especially the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran has a stable of anti-shipping missiles in portable batteries that the Pentagon rates as highly effective. These can be air launched, fired from small fast attack boats or launched from mobile shore batteries, any of which can blanket the tanker lanes of the Gulf.

With the global economy already wobbly, it's believed that cutting off the Gulf could easily trigger a deep global depression.

Worse yet might be the opportunities such an attack would create for China and Russia to consolidate their influence from Pakistan into Iran,on to Iraq even potentially linking into Syria.

If the past decade has taught us anything it's the All the King's Horses and All the King's Men have consistently failed to deliver results for the White House. Iraq was a blunder of enormous dimensions. Attacking Iran could be much worse.

kootcoot said...

An attack on Iran would make Iraq truly look like the cakewalk Rummy said it would be.

Also I fail to see why either legalized abortion (which will happen anyway, only in back allies if illegal) or same sex marriage are bad for the world, unless your values are dictated by some religious tract that promoted propagation at a time when humanity (especially various small sects of humanity) was a small number of people facing possible extinction from all kinds of enemies and natural hazards. Today anything that leads to increased population is not so desirable unless you got a spare planet or two in your pocket that we can relocate some folks to easily!