Friday, October 31, 2008

The Global Vote and the End of the Conservative Era

This is a very interesting and enlightening Gallup poll of nations around the world on the US Presidential election. I don't know which is more humbling: the fact that so many of them choose Barack Obama over John McCain by staggering numbers, or the fact that large regions of the globe don't care. Heck, you'd think India would be interested. We've outsoursed all of our tech support there.

It's also interesting to read the global news media to get a sense of what this election means. There is a sense emerging in many circles, here and abroad, that this election marks more than a change of parties or the rejection of George W. Bush. The election of Barack Obama represents the final and complete rejection of American conservatism as practiced since Ronald Reagan.

Is that really what is happening? Is the Conservative Era finally closing? I sure hope so, but I'm sober enough to know better than that. That political machine is far too large, far too powerful, far too entrenched to merely fade away into history. That conservatism and the Republican Party is a broken brand in 2008 is obvious. But it will not disappear anytime soon.

The cynics will say that Obama is merely a caretaker, like a housemaid who cleans up the hotel room after your rock band completely trashed the place. The maids come in, fix up the place, replace all the broken furniture, and leave just as the band is rested and ready for another blistering tour. No doubt this is what movement conservitism is thinking, and much of Bush's final weeks in office will be geared toward setting as many landmines as possible, and tying Obama's hands as much as possible. They simply cannot allow the return of the New Deal, of the successful Liberal State.

For Obama and the Democrats, simply fixing the financial mess and passing some reforms here and there won't be nearly enough. The Republican Right has built a terrifying machine, one that threatens American democracy and the world. It must be destroyed, completely and totally. The Bush Doctrine must be discredited and dismantled, in all its forms. The rush towards privatization of government must cease. The rise of the private corporate military must be stopped, its leaders held accountable for their crimes.

The Milton Friedman Shock Doctrine must be dismantled and hurled into the dust. Anything less will mean the Age of Obama will be a waste. It will only be a holding pattern, while the far right builds up strength for the next assault. And, like all things in nature, these cycles are self-repeating, but at ever faster speeds. The mad rush towards corporatism and fascism will be accelerated. This time we witnessed the Patriot Act, the doctrine of Preemptive War, torture, indefinite detentions, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Graib, domestic spying on a grand scale, Blackwater. Left unchecked, what will come from the next conservative wave? Death camps? Disappearances? Nuclear war? The end of the Republic, surely, in all but name. America, as a reality and an idea, would be bound and thrown into the grave.

America is seperated from Orwell's 1984 by a thread. Don't be a fool and pretend otherwise. The doctrine that gave rise to this, and the criminals responsible, must be prosecuted and removed from the stage of history. I'm one who still believes Bush and Cheney must stand trial for crimes against humanity. The temptation will be strong for Democrats to let bygones be bygones, to look the other way, to just let the crimes of the past quietly disappear. Bill Clinton made that very mistake when he became President. Look where that got us.

Movement conservatism is weaker now than it has been since its ascendence 40 years ago. We must strike fast and strike hard. We must defeat this menace, this most dangerous threat to the Old Republic. President Obama has the opportunity to seize history, and revive America to its lost greatness, a greatness born of the New Deal. I suspect he may have this in mind, a New Deal of the 21st Century. I suspect he holds many cards close to his chest. Obama is a brilliant mind, perhaps the smartest political figure of our lifetimes. He will not be a fool or a patsy. This is my great hope.

With the November 4th elections, America can begin to finally dig itself out of that grave. We can still save the Republic before it's too late, before greed, corruption, and corporatism destroys it forever. Humanity doesn't have any time left on the clock. Our pollution of the earth will render the verdict of God and Mother Nature. We need to radically change course and change it now; for ourselves and our grandchildren.

No comments: