Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Jake's Word


[Note: These thoughts were offered in response to “Clinton’s Revenge & The New Democrats.” Noting that the Democratic response to the Katrina crisis has been less than inspired the commentary calls for independents to rally and organize an electoral alternative.]

My thoughts exactly! Eloquently stated. And we do desperately need an outsider. But who? Who can stand up to corporate media scrutiny that will inflate every mistake? You were divorced from your first spouse? Why? Does that demonstrate faulty judgment? You took illegal drugs? Did they destroy your ability to make sound judgments now? You take prescription drugs now? Why? What is wrong with your body or mind? Will you be incapable of withstanding the stresses of office.

It will require a real populist - a devout one - with no allegiance to either party, or any major sources of funding. He or she will have to be someone we've never heard of, but with conviction and charisma, and most of all, a coherent, rational vision for the nation based on constitutional principals. He or she would also need the ability to adapt quickly, to admit mistakes quickly, and change course to what works. In other words, a chief executive with enough intelligence to grasp issues quickly and penetrate to the heart of those issues and make decisions based on a deep and broad knowledge of American and world history, on the origins and development of constitutional law and a passionate devotion to the Bill of Rights. Such a candidate could speak directly and plainly to the populace and back his arguments with history and precedent of what works and what has failed and what is most likely to work in the present system of information nuclei and corporate greed. Step on the big guy who is destroying competition and help the little guy who expands and increases competition and innovation.

And finally, we have to have an end to this political and media propaganda of America as the last remaining super power. How about no more superpowers? How about making the idea of a superpower anathema? Replace it with mutual cooperation among nations to resolve global problems. And leave national problems (like tyrants of economically destroyed third world countries) to be taken care of by the citizens of the nation. Tyrants can be contained by the global community and undermined from within by the local community, and the ultimate result of all tyranny - either cease tyranny and join the world or die in your hole.

Where is the individual who has the courage to embrace these positions and the populist appeal to draw the millions to the cause? I don't see anyone like that in the Senate or House - Robert Byrd is too old and Ted Kennedy is too stigmatized.

Ultimately the solution lies with the middle class. Will it feel the threat to its own survival acutely enough to move beyond Washington theatrics? Or will it be satisfied with new gadgets and other forms of escapism until it vanishes into a kind of third world groveling for crumbs as if they were jewels? The greed of the last thirty years, the pandering of Clinton to the right wing, and the managerial catastrophe of neo-conservative idealism have all dealt a severe blow, as you say, the worst since the great depression. And a global war would not save us now, it would sink us.

Always before, just when it seemed too late, the breaks went in our favor or the popular discontent grew so loud that things changed just enough to keep us moving forward. We're close now. About two years - four at the most. If we don't get one of those breaks soon, America will begin a descent from which it will not return. Consider England 100 years ago. Now they are (the government I mean) tagging along in hopes some American glory will rub off on them and allow them the illusion that they are still one of the great world powers. Another four years, without a break in the favor of democracy and America will be irrelevant to democracy. And I mean a real break. Not Kerry or Clinton or some other mask.

Thanks for your provocation and compassion. Keep it coming.

Jake Berry
Author of Brambu Drezi

[Postscript: Here is a beginning list of possible candidates. Note: If you're not against the war and occupation, if you're not for bringing the troops home in short order, you're not a candidate. In fact, I believe we should start a unity party for all candidates against the war. In the lost language of irony, it should be called The War Party.

For Congress: Amy Goodman, Arianna Huffington, Medea Benjamin, Norman Soloman, Robert Fisk, Robert Scheer, Cindy Sheehan, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Danny Glover. For Senate/Governor: Christianne Amanpour, Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader, Ray Nagin, Warren Beaty, Robert Redford. For President: Jesse Ventura, Colin Powell, Robert Kennedy Jr.]

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