Educate. Understand. The Republicans will try and grab you on the issues they think are important to you while avoiding the issues that will actually effect you. Afraid your children might be forced to learn about sex in school? McCain and Palin will create a scenario–an untrue one at that–that suggests that under Obama, you will have no control and that your kids will be forced to learn things you rather they didn’t until you felt they were ready. Well, believe me when I say that the powers behind the Republican Party at this point in time are treating you like those children; they don’t want you to know about anything too early. So they’re keeping you happily distracted. Meanwhile, they’re in the process of destroying the government as we know it–and not by accident–for which the only solution will be privatization, which would leave us with a government under private corporate rule.
Actor John Cusak wrote for the Huffington Post:
McCain and the neocon ideologues won’t “reform” government, they will gut government and privatize everything in sight in the name of responding to the crises they helped engineer through Bush and Cheney. Their view of government is the reverse of the Hippocratic Oath: do harm and then when the patient is sick, give the wrong medicine, watch him die, and sell off the body parts.
They will destroy the Department of Energy, HUD and anything else they can get their hands on. With this crew, all you need to do is destroy government, privatize it and get out of the way, and then a magic utopia appears. Well, actually it doesn’t, but a lot of connected people get rich, and in the privatized war business, blood money flows and a fuck of a lot of innocent people die. The numbers and the misery are staggering.
The proof is in the pudding folks. Just yesterday our economy took another slam as Wall Street crumbled. As Barack Obama pointed out in his speech yesterday:
“We just woke up to news of financial disaster — and this morning [McCain] said that the fundamentals of the economy are still strong. Sen. McCain, what economy are you talking about?”
“It’s the same philosophy we’ve had for the last eight years, one that says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. It’s a philosophy that says even commonsense regulations are unnecessary, unwise. One that says we should just stick our heads in the sand and ignore economic problems until they spiral into crisis.”
Starting to see the bigger picture? Fear and distraction will allow this to happen if we don’t wake up now. This isn’t just theory, this is really happening. Today. In America.
Deepak Chopra had some interesting observations recently on the strategy behind Palin’s popularity and attraction among voters:
[Sarah Palin] is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities
we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of ”the other.” For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don’t want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind…
I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin’s message. In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision.
Look at what she stands for:
–Small town values — a denial of America’s global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.
–Ignorance of world affairs — a repudiation of the need to repair America’s image abroad.
–Family values — a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don’t need to be heeded.
–Rigid stands on guns and abortion — a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.
–Patriotism — the usual fallback in a failed war.
–”Reform” — an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn’t fit your ideology.
Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from “us” pure American types can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of “I’m all right, Jack,” and “Why change? Everything’s OK as it is.” The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness.
Yes, this country is being systematically bought and sold–as John McCain has been–and it is fear of real change that will bring it down. America has disastrously strayed. But it is through wisdom and a willingness to face our fears for what they are and recognize our mistakes, that will set us on the road to recovery. Anything less will lead us to ruin. And we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves.