In this election, Americans will choose between presidential candidates pre-selected by the owners of the two major parties.
It is a pairing unprecedented in our history: One, a war criminal, and the other, a greed-driven corporate predator.
Voters argue over which will get the job done, forgetting that the would-be emperors' ideas of the job are vastly different from theirs. As a people, it appears that we have succumbed to blatant manipulation of our hopes and fears -- to demagoguery made more scientific than heretofore since key words have all been focus-group tested.
Obama appears to be looking for a repeat of his 2008 Marketer of the Year Award from the Madison Avenue boys while Willard M. is honing his message to appeal to those who no-longer-believe-in-the hope-and-change offering of yesteryear. It brings to mind the maxim that Dubya once mangled: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
At their convention Democrats held aloft blue placards imprinted with "FORWARD," the new slogan that calls out for the tag word "MARCH." As the party out of power, the Republicans predictably offered "A Better Future."
It beggars belief that smack dab in the middle of the proceedings the Democratic leadership caved -- again! -- to Republican criticisms and gaveled through a motion, opposed by a voice vote of the delegates, that the word "God" needed to be inserted in the platform along with the definition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. What did it matter, as Professor Juan Cole pointed out, that this pissed off 1.5 billion Muslims? Furthermore, what does it tell us about "sheepism" that delegates didn't walk out? Just sat there.
Our "good-guy" war machine is almost through the list of "bad-guy" rulers, revealed by General Wesley Clark, among others, on Democracy Now, that the neocons determined must be taken out: Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria, and Iran. Around the southeast rim of the Mediterranean and part way down the east coast of Africa.
Will a future generation trot out coffee-table books with a photo of screaming, flag-waving partisans cheering their nominee with the caption: Democrats at 2012 convention in Charlotte, N.C., just weeks before war on Iran was declared ?
No matter who "wins," millions more are slated to die in the next presidential term as wars go "FORWARD," led by new, and not so new, colonizers, namely, the UK, the US, Israel, Canada, Italy and France. The riches of the African continent to be divvied among them and their allies.
The Democratic Party platform claims that "Osama bin Laden"was brought to justice." Bin Laden wasn't brought any place -- alive. On orders of the US President, he was murdered in his home by a US kill team that violated numerous international laws as well as our Constitution. If this is "justice," then none of us is safe.
The needle on our moral compass spins wildly, unable to register due north . We don't know where we're headed. Is it to resurrect an economy whose flaws, we are told, were responsible for bringing us this disaster? Or perhaps, just perhaps, will we think about living on this planet in a drastically different way? Is it too late to contemplate calling off our dogs of war and living in peace with the rest of the world?
Maybe, just maybe, we should listen again to the words of Mario Savio, a leader of the Free Speech Movement, as he stood on the roof of a car, addressing hundreds of students gathered at Sproul Plaza in Berkeley, California, in 1964:
"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free the machine will be prevented from working at all!"
As the young might ask, "Seriously?" Yes, seriously.