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.
It’s astounding the lengths that the Democrats will go to in order to convince the rest of us that they are different from the Republicans. This is proved by the ridiculous health care reform plan that Obama is offering the voters. Needless to say, the Republican solution is simply bat shit crazy. The Republicans want to balance the budget by turning your insurance premiums into taxable income. Chevron will continue its free ride and the rest of us will have to pay for it by losing one of our remaining tax shelters.
Yet if you take a good look at what Obama is offering us, you see that he is not doing us any favors either. While the Republicans are simply giving the health insurance industry everything they want with a bag of chips, the Democrats are doing the same thing. The difference is that the Democrats are being sneaky about it. The Democrat’s plan will provide even more profits to the insurance companies with even less service to the consumers.
First of all, Obama’s health plan exploits the ignorance of the average voter. Few voters know that the government does not directly manage Medicare and Medicaid. They are managed by private health insurance companies as third party administrators. Medicare is managed by Blue Cross while Medicaid is administered by other health insurance companies on a state to state basis. So by expanding Medicaid, the Democrats are going to increase health insurance profits by billions of dollars. Another thing that voters do not realize is that Bill Clinton turned Medicaid over to the HMOs. This is the only thing remotely fair about the entire Democratic health care plan. The indigent poor will suffer as much as the working poor who will be required by law to give money to the HMOs. The poor can enjoy an equal amount of neglect by the for-profit health establishment.
The most obvious problem with the Democratic health plan is that it is totally unfair to everybody except the health care providers. It throws us a bone by eliminating pre-existing conditions. The health care providers can certainly spare that, considering all the money they will collect through federal subsidies. Otherwise there is no real benefit to the voters. The Democrats are not going to establish minimal standards of health care. They are not going to regulate the cost of health care. They are leaving that to the marketplace. We have all seen what that sort of non-regulation has brought us in the economy. Now the Democrats are doing the same damage to our health care.
The next thing you should notice is that the consumer is going to have to pay for his health care as well as taxes. Obama is going to create a mess of tax regulations to make the humblest of CPAs misty-eyed with gratitude for the extra work. Rather than simplifying an already impossible tax-code, Obama is going to make more work for tax-preparers and CPAs. That’s going to be more money out of the consumer’s pocket. It looks like everybody is getting something except for the voter. All the voter is asking for is to be able to get treated if he’s sick. Is this too much to ask for? Apparently Barack Obama thinks so.
All this can be avoided with a single payer health care system. Your insurance premiums are taken out of your taxes. As any insurance agent can tell you, the larger the pool you have, the more money you will take in and the less each person will have to pay. That means that by paying for health care on a national level, we will all get better health care for less. Being overseen by the government we can assure that everybody gets a minimum quality of health care. That means that a homeless person or Dick Cheney can come into any hospital and be assured of competent care for a hang-nail or for terminal cancer. Since Dick is rich he can pay for extra health care and get himself such luxuries as a private doctor or a private room. The important thing is that both get competently treated.
Health care providers will actually have to do something for their money aside from distributing it to their boards of directors. It will mean that health insurance companies will have to settle for multi-million rather than multi-billion profits and that CEOs might have to take a cut in pay. Poor babies, my heart bleeds for them. They should keep a stiff upper lip and remember that we, the voters, have sacrificed enough. Now it’s their turn.
This is still another reason that I am voting for Ralph Nader this election. I do not expect Ralph to win. I am not voting for the sake of winning, I am voting for the sake of making a point. If I cannot vote for a candidate who reflects my needs and values, I am voting to show my displeasure. I will be damned if I will vote for McCain and Palin, and the Democrats do not deserve my vote. I am voting for Nader because there is no other viable alternative.