By John Kusumi
October 30, 2010
American politics in 2010 can be characterized as stark, but interesting. There have been two years of “Barack Obama’s America,” and we’ve seen this movie before. I believe that election results will be similar to a movie audience, getting up and walking out of the theater.
Most commentators, pundits, and analysts are hobbled by “inside the box” thinking. They rehash stale debates between “the left” and “the right,” and somehow their commentary pleases the bosses enough so their paychecks keep coming.
A generation raised with the internet should rightly be impatient with a U.S. political system, and a U.S. educational system, that has scarcely changed since the 1940s. The left / right paradigm itself is a stale relic. What was relevant in the 1940s is not necessarily so now.
An entire generation of American young people can report that, “I went to college, and what I learned was that 9/11 was an inside job.” Elsewhere, I published a review of the Alex Jones film, The Obama Deception. White House insiders may have shrugged it off as a snarky movie and an attack from the other side. –Aren’t attacks from the other side simply normal, run of the mill, and routine in the course of “how it goes” in U.S. politics?
The capacity of political types for denial and self-delusion seems to be the norm, the routine, and the standard among the powerful. Seemingly, America has become a place where lies stick without challenge, and the truth is without standing.
To be a politician, it is only necessary to “stay crispy in milk.” Dress sharp; wear a power suit, plus any poker or game face; talk a good game, and hem and haw your way to the end of day. That’s the entirety of the job description. Do not bring any morals, scruples, values, or ethics — if you do, then the likes of CNN’s Candy Crowley and Bill Schneider will shut you down, and keep you from winning elections (as we know from the cases of Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, and Cynthia McKinney.)
The Obama Deception cannot be merely shrugged off as a biased movie. For a new generation of Americans, that and its ilk have become educational. Youth have learned that legacy media outlets basically display “the corrupt, flacking for the corrupt,” and that the “national narrative” or “public discourse” they maintain is basically a game of “let’s pretend and make believe,” reflecting the aforementioned capacity for denial and self-delusion.
If we think back to simpler times of innocence in youth, there used to be comic books (and cartoons) with superheroes who would fight for “truth, justice, and the American Way.” Apparently, there is a job description for the Obama administration: Shrug off truth. Shrug off justice. Shrug off the American Way. These are the standards of contemporary American politics!
I believe that in recent decades, most terror attacks have been false flag operations by shadowy groups linked to intelligence agencies. Compared to the war on terror, there are high school drama productions which have higher production values, more elaborate sets and props, better script writing and plot lines, and more plausibility. In street parlance, to “flip the script” means to make a change. Barack Obama promised change, but he’s sticking to script — thereby offering only the very most fakey and contrived type of non-substantive change.
Is there a vast and enormous game of “let’s pretend and make believe” in progress? Yes, and it’s nothing new in our government. The powers-that-be would still have us believe that a single lone gunman assassinated JFK, the former President Kennedy. They have maintained that fiction for 47 years, but the public opinion on the street is 90% certain that there is more to the story than a lone nutcase. (And the public hasn’t even seen some recent revelations of more evidence that points to LBJ as the perpetrator-in-chief.)
Do I believe that we should fight terror? Yes, but to do so means investigating and reforming the CIA. Also, to get to the bottom of 9/11, I would ask hard questions of our allies and their intelligence agencies. I would question Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Britain for what they know.
Meanwhile, the powers-that-be live in their denial and self-delusion, and they won’t even entertain suggestions to re-investigate 9/11. Very arguably, to participate in a cover up is to become accessories after the fact. I consider the U.S. news media, and network TV especially, to be accessories after the fact to the crimes of 9/11. At the U.S. news media, to rig elections and to cover up crimes is their daily bread (and when it’s time to start a war, they’ll be all in on that, too).
Meanwhile, the globalization of free trade was not a public-spirited initiative; it was entirely a gift to the private sector. It was Christmas morning for outsourcers. It de-industrialized America; it widened the trade deficit with Communist China; and, by adding to unemployment and removing jobs, it was a crime against the American worker.
Barack Obama has approached this corruption (and hence, the unemployment problem) by leaving it in place. He says that we should “export more,” while in truth we should really import less. Even if he can reach the target of doubling exports, that’s not enough to close the trade deficit with China, which will remain ruinous even if Obama can crow about exports.
While this election may be about “jobs, jobs, jobs,” the Obama administration simply is not about jobs. If it were, then we would balance trade. It’s like this: for certain people, the war on terror is a cash cow. Likewise, for certain people, trade with China is a cash cow. Both are hurting American society, but a timid and fearful President will not blow the whistle and stop this rot of society. Barack Obama will not challenge the big boys with the cash cows. He’s no FDR.
Obama did not reach for the obvious solution to unemployment. He’s not seriously trying to solve the problem. His only tactic or strategy is to “stay crispy in milk.” He wants to talk a good game, and hem and haw his way to the end of day.
This article opened with my note that American politics are stark, but interesting. In 2008, the American people were sold malarkey, and the sales pitch worked. This year, America is offered the warmed over, stale version of the same malarkey, and the sales pitch has lost its magic for Barack Obama. Too many people see through this, and will vote against the Democrats in the upcoming Congressional midterm elections.
What will be interesting is the inconsistency of the results, and the nuances which are thereby expressed. For example, Connecticut and California are likely to buck the trend, and to go Democratic. Republican CEOs are flashing the cash to buy those elections, but the voters seem to be unimpressed.
There is also a Tea Party, which will have mixed results itself, but which deserves credit for arriving on the scene and having any results at all! I hope that the Tea Party will call for a re-investigation of 9/11, and when cutting government dramatically, I hope that it will include defense cuts. There is no way to have a smaller government if we keep the bloat of the military-industrial complex.
As I have worked for the pro-democracy China Support Network, I’ve decried the trade deficit by saying, “If someone gave you a quarter trillion dollars a year [as we give to China through the trade deficit], you too could have your own army, navy, air force, and space program!”
That’s my line to put the trade deficit into perspective — and it’s true! There is no other nation that spends more than that on its military, so even if U.S. defense spending were cut all the way back to $250 billion, that amount would be larger than our next nearest competitor. In other words, we should have the finest military in the world because we would still be spending the largest amount in the world.
Since our starting point is roughly a trillion-dollar-per-year military, my suggestion is one of a very drastic cut, to the bone. But, I believe that Tea Partiers cannot say they are for small government — while continuing to waste $750 billion extra dollars per year on the military! The only true way for the Tea Partiers to do their program is to include defense cuts. For that matter, our $80 billion CIA could be reformed to become an $8 billion CIA.
The wretched excess of such waste is overkill. I would agree with the Tea Party and fiscal conservatives — I no longer think we can afford the monumental waste of such an overgrown U.S. federal government. If you could obtain national security at two different price tags, $1.1 trillion or $258 billion, which would you choose? Today, America pays the larger number for itself, and the smaller number effectively covers China’s national security, at the expense of the U.S. economy.
As this election concludes, I will also be watching the reaction of such people as Candy Crowley and Bill Snider. How will the pundits react to this array of results? They may grudgingly admit that maybe, getting elected takes more than flashing the cash. (That, because I expect that California and Connecticut will reject Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Tom Foley, and Linda McMahon.)
I conclude as I began. This year, American politics are stark, but interesting.
In 1984, John Kusumi was the independent, teenage candidate for U.S. President, turning 18 during the campaign. This item was cross-posted from The Nolan Chart.