Monday, January 14, 2008

An Embarrassment of Politicians

The entire world, and especially right now, America, suffers from the blather of its politicians.

Mr. Bush continues his tour of the Middle East, though I suspect folks over there are think of it as his Meddle East tour. His rosy outlook – “I believe we can achieve peaceful and normal neighborly relations between Israel and Palestine by the end of this year.” – is received there about like his “Heckuva job, Brownie” went over in this country.

He actually spoke a few truths about Iran along with his usually over-the-top hyperbole, but then he laid the solid lead egg by saying that Iranians must beware of the exercise of power without the consent of the governed. He should have prefaced his 2002 State of the Union address with that line. At least then the people of the United States would have had fair warning of what he was about to do.

Lying the country into an unnecessary war wasn’t just an inappropriate exercise of power without the consent of the governed, it was an act of hoodwinking the governed into supporting that exercise. It was an act that not only divided the country, but led us to the brink of the moral and economic abyss into which we have since fallen.

If Iran wants to observe the effects of inappropriate exercise of power, they have no further to look than the United States which, under Mr. Bush’s excuse for leadership has gone from a strong budget surplus to the deepest debt in its history in the shortest possible period of time; gone from being regarded as the free world’s savior to becoming its most feared member in that same record time; slipped from being the world’s sole economic leader to being an also-ran in the race for dominance; gone from being a reluctant but fearsome warrior to seeking war and failing to follow through; and sunk from being the world’s moral compass to becoming an evil purveyor of torture, abuse and lawlessness in its relations with other nations – all with an aura of truthlessness, ruthlessness and disregard for the its citizenry unequaled in history except for the likes of the Spanish Inquisition and the Soviet Union.

Of all the American politicians I have observed in my sixty five years on the planet, George W. Bush takes the prize for most arrogant, most ignorant, and most dangerous, but the other side of this year’s ledger hasn’t been doing much to elevate itself in my eyes lately either.

The spat over the week-end between Hillary and Obama with John Edwards hanging on the fringes has been nearly as disgusting though thankfully not nearly as cataclysmic as Bush’s nonsense.

Hillary started it all with what I thought was a pretty well reasoned statement that it takes cooperation to get things done which she illustrated by saying that while M. L. King’s leadership made the issue of racial discrimination clear, it was the action of President Lyndon Johnson that accomplished the passage of laws that directly addressed the problem. Obama responded by characterizing her remarks as defamatory of Dr. King and Edwards jumped in (speaking in a black church) by saying that she had said that it was a white politician and not Dr. King who led the civil rights fight.

It is sickening to me that we cannot openly discuss such issues openly and objectively (as I thought Hillary did) and that a political campaign must always turn to the kind of baseless sniping engaged in by both Obama and Edwards when another politician tries to simply speak the truth.

Hillary is right. Dr. King pointed out the horrors of American apartheid. In the early days of the protests, both Bobby and Jack Kennedy and also Johnson himself stood rather quietly on the sidelines in fear of losing their political status if they joined the courageous Reverend King in his fight for equality. It was only after the protests became battle grounds and Dr. King had demonstrated the justice of his position to the world that vigorous support began to come from Washington, D. C., but when it did finally come, it was strong and it was vital to the cause.

Dr. King himself knew that unless their efforts resulted in changed laws of the land, they were futile. It was the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that put teeth into the effort to bring this country to its racial senses. The job has not been finished, but it will never be finished unless we work together to achieve it.

That’s what I think Hillary was trying to say, and that’s why the in-fighting among the Demorats as a result of her statement is so disgusting. How will we ever solve problems while politicians are unfairly attacked by other politicians for trying to speak the truth?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

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