I voted for Obama, hoping that he would change things away from the Neocon fear-based politics to something better.
But as I warned right after the election in 2008:
I - like most Americans - am relieved that the trickle-down emotion du jour has shifted from fear to hope. It feels nicer.
But it is no more real than switching from watching the tv from the horror channel to the feel-good-movie channel.
They are both fiction. Neither the Neocons or Neolibs deliver on their promises.
The Neocons drummed up fear of terrorists, but actually made America less secure, and stomped on our liberties in the process.
The Neolibs promised hope, but gave none ...
Hope is just an emotion. Admittedly, real hope for fundamental and lasting change is important.
But false hope ... is less than worthless . . . it is dangerous, for it lulls people to sleep so they won't demand real change.
After the Honeymoon is Over
When the honeymoon between the voters and Obama is over, people will judge him on who he picks to lead his cabinet and what he actually does.
After the honeymoon is over, the only questions will be whether Obama:
- Protected our liberty and restored the Constitution and the rule of law
- Restored the balance of power
- Ensured justice
- Kept us out of imperial wars
Whether or not Obama does these things - and not whether he administers the hope drug - is the question.
- Stopped the looting of our treasury and pockets ...
Unless the fundamental tyranny, injustice, imperialism and economic foolishness are addressed, then America will have one heck of a hangover when the drug wears off.
Well, it is now clear that Obama did none of those things, and our country does have a hangover. The bailouts and hand-holding of Wall Street has continued, without any help for Main Street. None of the biggest financial fatcats who committed criminal fraud have been brought to justice. We've gotten in yet another senseless war in Libya. The TSA, Homeland Security and other government agencies are becoming more repressive than ever.
As I noted last year:
Virtually all of our politicians are corrupt. See this, this and this.
The giant banks are running the show.
The healthcare bill being rammed through Congress "is just another bailout of the financial system", and law school professors say that it is unconstitutional.
America is on a permanent war footing, when the people (and soldiers) are sick of war.
Our civil rights have been eroded, and yet we are not being made any safer.
Obama has sold us out.
Indeed, the American people understand that we're in trouble. As CNN Money pointed out last week:
Just 22% believe the country is on the right track, Rasmussen tells us. According to a new Gallup poll, more than half of us say the economy is in recession or depression, despite the fact that output has been expanding since the summer of 2009. In fact, more of us (29%) say the country is in a depression than say the economy is growing (27%).
From Hope to Fear
Many have accused Obama of being Bush's third term. Even McClatchy asks whether Obama is morphing into Bush.
Obama can't sell hope anymore. So he's switched to the Neocon fear card.
For those who think that the heightened fear of terror is solely due to Osama being taken out, remember, as I noted in February, long before the Osama raid story broke:
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security - Janet Napolitano - just told congress that the U.S. might be facing the greatest threat of terrorist attacks since 9/11:And in some ways, the threat today may be at its most heightened state since the attacks nearly 10 years ago.
Do you remember when Japan's nuclear accident was in the news? How about the war in Libya, or the Federal Reserve document release showing that a lot of the money went to foreign banks (including Libya), the wives of Wall Street titans, and other elites? These stories have been pushed off the radar by the terrorism hype.
Remember, the father of the Neoconservative movement (Leo Strauss), who tutored many leaders of the current administration, believed that a stable political order required an external threat and that if an external threat did not exist, one should be manufactured. Specifically, Strauss thought that:
A political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat . . . . Following Machiavelli, he maintained that if no external threat exists then one has to be manufactured"
And see this for background.
FBI agents and CIA intelligence officials, constitutional law expert professor Jonathan Turley, Time Magazine, Keith Olbermann and the Washington Post have all said that U.S. government officials "were trying to create an atmosphere of fear in which the American people would give them more power". Indeed, the former Secretary of Homeland Security - Tom Ridge - admits that he was pressured to raise terror alerts to help Bush win reelection.
Indeed, scientists have demonstrated that fear of terrorism makes people stupid and compliant. So if governments can scare people with exaggerated, shadowy threats, it can do whatever it wants.
Are we going go back from koolaid drinkers of false hope to mindless terrorized sheep? Or are we going to stand up as brave, independent, thinking people and demand real change?
Postscript: If you believe that Obama is less brutal than Bush, read this.