Ground Zero by mine
I've been reading Conservative websites for the last day or so, curious
as to how the Republicans viewed the outcome of the Presidential
election. Probably the funniest or the most curious statements were made
by Donald Trump. "This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are
not a democracy!" quickly followed by "More votes equals a
loss...revolution!" To me at least, it is a clear sign that America
needs to be more careful about to whom it gives a reality television
Many of Trump's minions quickly aped their leader bringing up the whole
birther scenario and even Obama's college transcript gate. Of course,
the usual racist remarks were woven into the subtext along with claims
of Obama being a Socialist. I guess, that is what I find most appalling
in this maelstrom, the inability of millions of otherwise sane and
normal individuals to discern one political philosophy from another.
Cap" i" tal" ism, from Dictionary.com
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of
production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained
chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted
to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.
So" cial" ism, from Dictionary.com
1. A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting
of the ownership and control of the means of production and
distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2. Procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
These are general descriptions, but good enough for our purposes. Under
these guidelines, is Barack Obama a Socialist? Obama care is called
Socialist, but Obama care mandates were backed up by the Supreme Court
of the United States. The decided legitimacy of a mandate on the
general public declaring they must purchase a product from a private
corporation under penalty of law. It doesn't sound very Socialist to me,
millions of government tax dollars being filtered from public coffers
to private hands?
What's more, Obama care places insurance corporations in full control.
Provided the insurance companies stay inside the law, there is no
appeal. Under Medicare, the US government is charge and private
insurance companies must conform to Medicare in order to participate. So
Obama care then becomes the antithesis of Socialism; maybe it was
Obama's bailout of GM and Chrysler which convinced the multitudes of
Republican voters that this President was a Socialist.
During the GM bankruptcy, General Motors was allowed to pick and choose
which assets to keep and which to discard. Among the discarded assets
was an aluminum casting plant along the banks of the Hudson River. The
State of New York and the Environmental Protection Agency had listed the
plant as a super fund clean up site and estimated the minimum cost of
cleaning the site was between $900 million to a billion dollars.
When the auto executives came to Capital hill hat in hand, they were
excoriated by our representatives for flying to Washington on board a
private jet. They received a very severe tongue lashing, then they given
everything which they had asked for. Not one word was uttered during
the process, about General Motors being the second largest auto
manufacturer in China. Nor were GM's profits in China exceeding $3
billion annually considered. Over ten thousand white collar employees
were let go at Chrysler and GM, their pensions and benefits vanished
like a mirage at the hands of these" Socialists?
Thousands of pensioners woke to find their pensions had disappeared as
well, GM's pension obligations were largely eliminated, pushing seniors
over to the public trough of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation =
(You & I). There were no strings attached to this agreement, GM was
free to take the money and if they so chose, to lock the door on every
domestic manufacturing plant and laugh about it all the way home.
Clearly, if this is Socialism, Obama is not very good at it, but
likewise, this isn't really Capitalism either.
"GM now has about a $2,000-per-car manufacturing advantage over its
Japanese and European rivals, a swing from a similar-sized disadvantage
before the restructuring," said David Cole, chairman emeritus of the
Center for Automotive Research. I guess that's why GM has reduced prices
to reflect their more competitive stance in the market place " not! An
August 2012 report to Congress from the White House stated if the US
government were to sell its remaining stake in GM, it would result in a
loss to tax payers of $25.1 billion dollars. This was a government beat
down of workers, young, old and retired.
In Obama's $787 billion dollar stimulus, one third of that total went in
the form of tax cuts to private corporations. With approximately 30,000
firms in the US that works out to an average benefit of 8,743,000 per
firm. You and I, well, let's see, we received an estimated benefit each
from the stimulus of $1,668. No one is arguing over the need for a
stimulus, what I'm saying is that this was neither Socialism nor
Capitalism. The original idea was to stimulate the economy, but a
disproportionate amount of the money went to the top of the economy
instead of where people were hurting at the bottom, kind of like
fighting a forest fire by hosing down the tops of trees.
This was the same path begun by Herbert Hoover when he initiated a
program with $2 billion to refinance the debts of banks and railroads.
Was Hoover also a Socialist or is Obama a Republican? Cash for Clunkers
was a program designed to help the big three automakers facing 30,000
leased vehicles being returned per month. With a crumbling economy this
spelled disaster for all automakers, foreign and domestic.
Disproportionately, the domestic lots saw returning Denali's and
Escalades, Explorers and Ram Trucks with Hemi's, yeah cool; Hemi's with
$4.00 a gallon gasoline. The same program had been tried by Henry Ford
back in the last Great Depression.
Ford's program, bought back Model T's and crushed them when the customer
bough a new Model A. Only, there were already so many Model T's out
there and only a few people who could afford a new Model that the
program was a failure. This time around, the program worked by
stabilizing the price of new cars by eliminating the supply of used
cars. Arguably, government intervention in an industry could be
considered a sort of left handed Socialism. Except that, in Socialism
the government moves to create the greatest good for the greatest
number, while with this program, it did the opposite, giving tax breaks
to those able to afford a new car, while punishing those who could not
afford a new car by raising the price of used cars, a sort of Socialism
Was Obama acting as a Socialist? Was Henry Ford acting as a Socialist?
Many on the political left were also greatly disenchanted by the
performance of Barack Obama in his first term. To me, I fall back on the
takes one to know one rule. The attacks on Obama from the left were as
loud as the attacks from the right; it was Rahm Emanuel who said "f*ck
the UAW" he did not say, "f*ck the UAW, comrade." Asked in anger by
Obama's press secretary if we, (the professional Left) wanted a Canadian
style health care the left answered resoundingly "Yes!" the right
answered, "Oh heavens, no!"
There is a disconnection here, a jumble of political philosophies and of
political rhetoric. The political right seems obsessed with chasing
non-issues or serving up tired political bromides of Socialist,
Communist or foreign born alien. On Election Day, I even saw NRA ads
claiming Barack Obama was going to take your guns away, despite the fact
that Obama couldn't be lured into a gun debate even in the wake of the
Batman massacre. The political right has attempted to paint Barack
Obama's first term as a failure and speaking as a Socialist, I have to
agree. It was a failure, so much so, that Michael Moore posted an
election day plea to forgive and forget Obama's Right wing
transgressions or else the sky would fall.
The left was pleading to the faithful to forgive Obama's Right wing
policies, while the Right was pleading to elect Romney. To return
America to the traditional Republican values of smaller government
except, Obama cut the size of government more than any president in
recent history. It doesn't seem to make sense, does it? Obama isn't a
Socialist but he isn't a Capitalist either, he is something else
entirely. A Right wing Democrat, corporate plutocrat with a license to
kill in his finger tips.
We've see a continuation of the Bush war policies and a continuation of
Bush Tax policies. We see our rights extinguished as the Supreme Court
becomes openly politicized and criminalized as well. Two major political
parties which agree on most matters of war and of rescue, of free trade
and of monetary policy, as an insane black curtain of world turned
upside down madness descends upon us. It is now a one party state, where
disputes are settled along the margins.
"The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the
people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes
stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is
fascism -- ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by
any other controlling private power.... Among us today a concentration
of private power without equal in history is growing." -- Franklin Delano
"Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to
democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money
and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to
evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic
Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to
capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the
power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in
They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution.
They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be
so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they
may lead." -- Henry A. Wallace
So, what does it all mean? It means Donald Trump is correct, but for all
of the wrong reasons. This country does need a revolution; there is no
other means of rectification. Your taxes will continue to increase; if
you have wages, they won't keep up with inflation. The public school
systems will continue to deteriorate and your children will fight
endless wars of aggrandizement until the eventual collapse comes, which
by the way, will be blamed upon you.