What is a President? A President is a corporate talking head. He does funny tricks for the public while his staff does all the work. The staff doesn’t work for the President. The staff works for the party and is selected by the party. Since it is the staff who really run the office of the president, the party makes certain that the staff will work for the interests of the corporate sponsors. As there are only two significant parties in the United States, it has been very easy for the corporations to dominate both parties. This is why Bill Clinton’s administration was a continuation of the Reagan-Bush administrations, and was the perfect set up for the current trained monkey.
Jimmy Carter was the last President to actually try to do the job. We all saw what happened to him. Carter’s own party ignored him. The Democrats left Jimmy Carter slowly twisting in the wind over the Iran Hostage Crisis. Of course the Democrats knew that the Republicans were dealing with Iran to make Carter look bad, but nobody stood up to defend their President. Then the Reagan Republicans took credit for all the hard work and hard decisions Carter made to repair the economy. After Reagan’s election, the Democrats showed the world they were not going to stand for any more human rights nonsense. They joined with the Republicans to send our jobs overseas and to assure corporate profits. Liberal became as bad a word amongst the Democrats as with the Republicans, and the nation watched 50 years of social progress go down the toilet.
Television and the media have made it more important to look like a President than to be a President. Giving the devil his due, Richard M. Nixon tried to be a President during the 1960 campaign. Nixon ran an old fashioned campaign based on the issues, while Jack Kennedy ran the first modern campaign based on appearances. Kennedy posed for the cameras. Kennedy wore make-up during the debates. Kennedy was young and pretty, while even in 1960, Nixon looked like a blood hound who just smelled a skunk. Kennedy won on appearances. In 1968 Nixon was washed up and fallen so far into alcoholism that he was hopeless after twelve noon.
Quite often it is neccessary to tell the public what they want to hear in order to get a candidate elected. After eight years of Reagan and four years of Papa-Doc Bush, America was burned out on deregulation. The voters were scared of NAFTA and wanted the government do something for them. Clinton came along and promised national health. That’s what the public wanted to hear and that’s what got Clinton elected. We are still waiting for our national health. Clinton set us up for our present financial crises instead.
After Clinton’s outright lies and open collusion with the Republicans, I cannot understand why anybody would believe anything any Democrat would tell them. Yet there are still people who make excuses for Clinton. They forget that the “prosperity” under the Clinton years was simply a stock market bubble that would have been illegal before the deregulation of the Eighties. They seem to forget that Alan Greenspan started under Reagan and continued through the Clinton years until Greenspan himself chose to retire under Baby-Doc Bush. They ignore the fact that Clinton turned homelessness into a national crisis by signing NAFTA into law and then cutting the social safety net. Clinton created his paper surplus budget surplus through his treasury department investing in valueless tech stocks.
There are customs about the Presidency that have to be followed. One such custom is that the incumbent Vice President gets to run for President at the end of the two terms. Al Gore, the last of the presidentially viable, pro-ecology Democrats ran for president, but the Republicans cheated to keep him out of the White House. Gore’s own party made no great effort to challenge the obvious chicanery. Having Gore in the White House would have been an embarrassment. It would have been like Carter. The president would have said one thing while the party was busy colluding with the oil, mining, and lumber companies. Gore was also pro-labor and depended on the auto industry for his support base. As we see today, the auto industry was another American industry due for outsourcing.
The parties no longer even compete for the Presidency. Both parties get together with their PR and marketing people to see who the voters are most likely to accept. When the public got tired of Republican rhetoric, Clinton got into the White House for eight years with no real changes in policy from the Republicans.
Obama is surrounding himself with Clinton’s criminal family. Obama has already come out in favor of illegal wiretapping, promised to continue and expand the faith based initiatives, and backed away from ending the Bush tax giveaways to the rich. If Robert “The Surge” Gates is selected, that will be a pretty good indication that we can expect a continuation of the last 28 years. If you, like me, find this totally unacceptable, it is time to act. We can start by getting on Obama’s website and letting the president elect know that we are not pleased. http://change.gov/ It might not make any difference but at least we will not be silent accomplices to our own abuse.
God knows that I am no fan of Obama. In my personal opinion, Barack Obama is simply another sleazy Chicago Machine politician, and his presidency is going to be as big a disaster for the country as eight long years of Baby-Doc Bush. This has everything to do with his policies and nothing to do with his funny name. When you stop and think about it, Obama’s name is common in Kenya. Here in the United States there is still an element that considers funny names to be frightening. Traditional British names such as Bush or Clinton are still considered to be “American” names. Once Irish names, like Reagan were considered to be foreign names. People forget that back in 1960 John F. Kennedy’s name was as scary as Barack Hussein Obama.
Kennedy was an Irish Catholic. Back in 1960 that was as scary as being a Muslim. There was a strong anti-Catholic element within the Democratic Party who opposed his nomination because they did not want the Pope ruling America through our president. Former President Harry S. Truman made a better assessment of a Kennedy presidency when he quipped “I’m not afraid of the Pope; I’m afraid of the Pop”. Truman was referring to the fact that Kennedy’s father was part of the very financial industry that is ruining this country today.
An honest assessment of the Kennedy presidency may never be written. He became a 20th Century martyr. Possibly because he was Catholic, and that revolting closet case, J. Edgar Hoover, was determined to hide his homosexuality by oppressing all minorities. We will not impartially study the Bay of Pigs outside of Kennedy’s Martyrdom, nor will we honestly asses his part in the Vietnam war. Conservatives certainly did blame Kennedy’s reluctant support of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement to the fact of Kennedy being part of a religious minority. The fact was that Kennedy had no choice in the face of a massive uprising of oppressed citizens. v Nixon would have done the same had he been president.
Giving the devil his due, Richard M. Nixon was the last president to campaign on the issues. Kennedy avoided the issues entirely and answered with slogans and vague promises for a bright future. I do think that Kennedy was the better president for the times. Regardless of his motivation, Kennedy did the right thing when he supported civil rights. At the same time he supported big business’s priorities in technological and industrial advancement. Despite that there were still conservatives who claimed that Kennedy won because he was better looking than Nixon. I even had some teachers who credited Kennedy’s success to women’s suffrage.
Today we are looking at a revival of the original Kennedy campaign. We have a dark-skinned candidate with an African name, and we have idiots claiming that he is a Muslim. He is being linked to black radicals and to washed up, wannabe terrorists from the Sixties. Those who claim that he’s a Muslim forget that he used to go to a Christian church whose pastor told an uncomfortable truth, that racism is alive and well in the United States today. This is proved by the fact that Obama’s name and skin color are issues. If the Republicans were really serious about winning this election, they could do it on race alone.
The fact is that the Republicans don’t want the election. The next twenty years are going to be spent trying to get America out of the hole that the Neocons dropped us into. It would be more profitable for the Neocons to step aside and to blame the Democrats for all the misery we are going to be seeing for the next two decades. This has been the Republican strategy since Carter was president. The Neocon strategy has been to own both parties. Bill Clinton was just as much a Neocon as Ronald Reagan. Look at the way Clinton tore the social safety net to pieces and set things up for Baby-Doc Bush to take over. Bush would have had a hard time if Clinton hadn’t paved the way by signing NAFTA and McCain’s financial reform bills.
The fact that Obama went to Rev. Wright’s church and associated with Sixties radicals is the only hope I have for the next four years. When you look at Obama’s actual policies, they are almost identical to McCain’s. Obama has maintained the illusion of being a liberal by abstaining from voting on key bills and laws. Obama’s health care reform is worse than McCain’s. McCain is pretty much going to leave things as they are, while Obama is giving a massive cash giveaway to the health corporations. Obama is even going to expand Faith-Based Initiatives. I have absolutely no hope that Obama is going to end the wars. The differences between McCain and Obama are purely cosmetic. Yet there are those who insist on making race the issue.