Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Change Do We Believe In?

     The United States has gone through an amazingly difficult decade. The Clinton years, although he managed to do things to the American people that the Republican party at that time couldn't  have pulled off, came to an end and the people were left with an overall good feeling about the direction things were headed.  In general, people became complacent and after what may have been one of the grandest thefts of all time, George W. Bush was handed an electoral victory and would come to impose himself on the world through the partisan decision of the Supreme Court.
     Downright negligence and arrogance led the Bush administration to ignore signs from its own intelligence community and one of the most visually powerful and horrible terrorist attacks struck one of the most famous metropolises in the world on live television.  Panic, confusion, and a rush for revenge managed to give the cowboy president Bush the support he needed to invade Afganistan in order to get the terrorists "dead or alive".  Equally twisted was the president encouraging people to go shopping so that the terrorists wouldn't destroy our way of life.  Stuck in a war that likely couldnn't be won, the administration orchestrated a performance based on falsified documents and distortions to play on people's fears so that it could launch a war in an oil rich country, Iraq.  He deployed tremendous nubers of troops, many of which would never return alive, and many more thousands of merceenaries that are commonly referred to as "contractors".  He was basically wasting away what was left of the public's money after giving massive tax cuts for the richest minority in our society.  By the end of his presidency he had us involved in at least two wars and had created a record debt.  The American people were ready and looking for someone to alter the terrible direction our country was headed.
     In comes Senator Obama.  He shot onto the national scene after treating the previous Democrats' national convention to a fantastically inspiring speech which was refreshing after hearing the verbally challenged Bush speak almost incoherently for a few years.
     Senator Obama decided to take advantage of the people's readiness for someone so positive, so hopeful, and he announced his candidacy with a slogan of change you can believe in.  He captured the hearts of the good people, both young and old, in a campaign against the establishment's favorite Hillary Clinton.  By beating her for the nomination of the party, he had under him a wave of momentum with a base of support rooted in the people.  He continued inspiring, and took tough stances for any politician, and spoke on the side of just causes. He believed in a healthcare system for all and bringing home the soldiers by ending the terrible wars.  His mission would include restoring the country's reputation which was so damaged by the cowboy administration's abuses of human rights and its arrogant dismissal of opposing views from other countries.  He was promising that our country would be a better one basing itself on just priciples.  That is why we had to close down our torture prisons and never be responsible for such atrocities again.  A President Obama would stand with workers here at home and also abroad saying that he would even march side by side with them if necessary.  All of this and much more was what he seemed to be.  He was elected president on November 4, 2008 and got his chance to take office the following January.  His victory was felt to be a victory for the people.
     Things got off to a great start when he signed an order to close down the prison the we created in the base we shouldn't have on Cuba's soil.  Amazingly it seemed that we had elected someone who was really going to do what he had said.  But for whatever reason, little by little he began stepping back from his promises and twisted his fancy words in ways meant to explain why he was bargaining away all of the desires of those who had voted for him.  The wars dragged on and were intensified.  He shifted his focus away from Iraq and towards Afganistan.  He left thousands of soldiers and "contractors" in Iraq but the media left so we as a society wouldn't have to be bothered thinking about it too much anymore.
     He then moved his support for healthcare for all to a position of supporting what amounts to a give away to the insurance companies that are at the heart of the problem.  He extended the outrageous tax cuts implemented by his nearly discredited predecessor but gave assurances that he would not allow that to happen again.  The in the wake of uprisings in the Middle East and Africa, American workers from different states decided to defend their rights which were being robbed by the politicians who do the work of the rich and powerful.  As the protests became some of the strongest and largest in years, the people's president stayed quiet.  Quiet even though a governor was caught saying that he was contemplating bringing violent thugs to sabotage the peaceful protests.
     Now we are getting ready to enter the campaign season, which seems to last as long as the amount of time that the government actually conducts business, and Pesident Obama has kept almost none of the significant promises that he had made during the historical campaign.  He we find ourselved again in a similar situation except that this president's speeches, if nothing else, remain inspiring.  We will once again be faced with the dilemma of having to choose between a candidate that represents the values of the rich and powerful not only in action but in speech and the one that will certainly dress himself up as the people's champion once again.  We will have to choose "the lesser of two evils" and try to find ways to survive at least another four years once he is elected and puts his costume away.
     Looking in on this from the outside, it must be a bit comical hearing us suggest thaat this is the greatest form of government men have ever created.

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