Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Unlikely Anti-War Candidate and his Colleagues

The fact that Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who wants us to stop being the world’s policeman shows how schizophrenic our political system has become.

Paul’s motives appear to be mainly related to his crusade for minimal government.  But even so, why is it perfectly all right for a Republican to campaign for an end to our imperial policies, while no ‘Democratic’ candidate would be allowed to do likewise?

The two oceans that spared us direct implication in Asian and European wars - other than for the purpose of steering these areas in directions beneficial to us - have, sadly, isolated 100% of Americans from any notion of social progress. Not even ‘progressive’ pundits dare to break the taboo against socialism.

Green Parties exist all over the world, and are influential in many European countries. The American Green Party espouses the same progressive policies, but like other third parties, it continues to be marginalized. The idea that the United States could benefit from systems that have been time-tested elsewhere is anathema. The Euro  crisis is a handy scapegoat; but it was largely caused by participation in our financial capers. Nor are Americans told that the European 99 percent are better protected against its social fallout.   (German industry has people working shorter hours instead of laying them off, and the French are determined to see through a tax on financial transactions which we can scarcely imagine.  European demonstrations do not indicate that European workers are worse off than ours, but that they have a vibrant tradition of protest.)

American news of police brutality toward Occupiers in dozens of cities across the country<http://occupywallst.org/, is relegated to brief news crawls.  The public can be forgiven for thinking the movement is over, when in fact it is part of the worldwide movement for radical change that has built on that tradition.

Appearing to ignore the growing strength of the 99%, both Democratic and Republican candidates claim ‘compassion’ while denying that in a country of 300,000,000, government must see to it that compassionate policies are implemented.  (Some will say this is easier to achieve in small countries with homogeneous populations.  Whatever their failings, the former Communist China and the former Soviet Union belie this myth.)

Republican candidates in Florida are out of touch with second and third generation Cuban-Americans, who see that Cuban socialism is evolving peacefully.  Would any sane person disagree with Fidel Castro’s description of the Republican race "as the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been", as Haiti continues to flounder under our auspices, and Puerto Ricans can only dream of independence?

Rick Santorum called loudly for us to take back the Southern Hemisphere, even as four of its leaders welcome Iranian president Ahmedinejad. Brandishing the threat of Islamic terrorists entering the US through Latin America, he fails to understand that Iran/Latin American ties represent a logical common anti-imperialist stance, since both Shi’ism and socialism represent a defense of the underdog.

The bottom line is that contrary to the President’s blustering assertions, both parties know that neither hundreds of overseas bases nor leaner, meaner drone warfare will prevent this from being the Chinese century.

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