Monday, September 6, 2010
The Morass of Our Modern Times
I have been politically active all of my adult life. From Viet Nam to Afghanistan I have opposed war. From Shulamith Firestone and Betty Friedan to Hillary Clinton I have been a feminist. For over four decades I have passionately supported Civil Rights, Gay Rights, Union Rights, the Right of the Planet and Her Creatures to live in peace and dignity. I am absolutely committed to the precepts of social and economic justice. Further, I refuse to believe that unfettered and unregulated Free Market Capitalism is anything other than a slaughter house for the Working Class and the poor.
It would seem that some people have confused the President of the United States with individuals like me. They call him a radical – he isn’t. I am a radical. He is accused frequently of being a Socialist – he isn’t. I cut my activist’s teeth on Socialism and still stand very close to that line. I have yet to see President Obama in the vicinity and resent the hell out of the misinterpretation of my philosophy. After all, I have walked picket lines in the blazing heat, stood in the cold to demonstrate, raised hell where hell needed to be raised and more than once been carted off to jail for my politics. In view of all of this I demand and have earned the right to define my political doctrines and will not cede the privilege to some corporate funded, sub literate, shady apparatchik of the social emesis known as the Tea Party.
The real problem for President Obama isn’t any resemblance to old Lefties like me. His issue is that he is a black man in the Oval Office and presiding over a nation with a fair number of resentful, intellectually necrotic white people who are furious after suddenly realizing that they are no longer in the majority. This crowd firmly believes that they have a Divine right to rule this country. Their God of rage and wrath, misogyny and murder told them so.
Simply stated Obama’s difficulty with the Right is an acute, old fashioned racism and nothing more. Anyone who isn’t clear on that needs to pull their head out of their ass. The media’s so-called experts facilitate the hallucination of a nonracial political world by prophesying the President’s defeat purely at the hands of a people angry over a failing economy. They have been talking about his losing the House and Senate this November since twenty minutes after his inauguration. Their thesis is always based upon the premise of a deep moral and ideological divide between Obama and the Republican right. Horse crap! In my estimation the disingenuous blubbering of the media is to be taken with a grain of salt since they live only to serve their corporate masters and long ago forgot the public interest.
In addition to the racism, President Obama has the added burden of being an enigma. He has allowed his supporters, particularly those of us on the hard left, to know him “but slenderly,” as Shakespeare said of Lear. That has left the foul mouthed Rohm Emanuel and the rather pathetically snide Robert Gibbs to fill in the blanks – usually by insulting us. This and the watering down of liberal legislation, the loss of the Public Option, the refusal to prosecute Bush and his henchmen for war crimes, the failure to close Gitmo, the seemingly open ended war in Afghanistan, a country that no one has influenced since Genghis Khan, are all so very puzzling.
I have Liberal cronies who call me at least once a week and scream, “Who is this guy? What did he do with Obama?” They are bewildered, stunned and befuddled. Could it be that all the angry, disaffected Liberals the media is constantly bleating about are just really, really confused?
A friend of mine, Max, called the other morning and asked without a greeting,“What in the hell has happened? We elected a Liberal Democrat. We got a Moderate Republican. All the other Republicans hate his guts. Change died in the filibuster. What happened to us?”
I don’t know what happened. I don’t know anybody who knows. There isn’t anywhere to find out. Yellow journalism is the law of the land. Our politicians behave like vote whores (although most whores work for a living) pandering to anyone or any group that will help them get elected, peddling their influence to the highest bidder and lying about it. Lies are produced in mass quantities and never challenged, distributed in bulk in the blink of an eye, shot over the internet on streaming electrons, repeated over and over again until they become gospel.
Our world is enveloped in an oppressive stain of deceit and malevolence. In all the years that I have studied politics I can’t remember a political environment so toxic as to render truth meaningless. Some days it feels as if we are burying the truth so deep that we will never find it again.
Shakespeare said,“Truth is truth, to the end of reckoning .” Experience has taught me that like one of Carl Jung’s Archetypes, it is pure in essence and can’t be destroyed. No matter how long it is shut out of the world and forced into a corner of the abyss it will return. Perhaps when it does we will look back at the first two years of the Obama administration in honest mortification and shame, realizing that gang rape and slander were the rule of the day, and damn few people who could did anything about it. We may even appreciate with integrity and candor that a decent and honorable man who just wanted to help people was stonewalled and crippled by a bunch of opportunistic, grandstanding bottom feeders who had no interest in serving anyone but themselves. It is my hope that we may further realize with sincerity and meticulousness that those Americans who now bear him the greatest malice will suffer the most by what he wasn’t allowed to do.