Popular Myths in the Presidential Race

Share this post...

Submit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn
YOU MUST BE HIGH: Popular Myths in the Presidential Race
by Jack Random
A friend of mine keeps me honest when, in my passion for politics, I go over the top in criticism of candidates or praise for independent allies. He listens to my point of view, rolls it over in his mind, and pronounces his conclusion:  You must be high!  

In general, I am compelled to reconsider my analysis.  

In my observations of the unfolding race for the White House, I am often reminded of my friend’s pronouncement. If you think Barack Obama is a closet Muslim with a secret plan to destroy America from within, you must be high. If you believe Obama is the most liberal member of the United States Senate you must be high.
Wherever he ranks on the liberal scale, it is behind Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, Barbara Boxer of California and fair trade champion Sherrod Brown of Ohio.  

Isn’t it curious that some hack conservative think tank comes up with a ranking system that places the Democratic nominee on the top of the liberal scale every four years?  

If you believe that Obama is the most liberal senator then the San Diego Padres are the strongest team in baseball.  If you believe that you must be high.  

If you believe that John McCain represents a significant change in economic or foreign policy from that of George W. Bush, you must be high.  McCain’s economic mantra is tax cuts for corporations and the elite.  His foreign policy is a full court embrace of the Bush Doctrine.  He is a charter member of the neoconservative policy group.  He has embraced the religious right he once chastised as intolerant.  He is an unapologetic proponent of “free trade” globalization.  He is an enemy of union organization.  He advocates privatization of education, health care and social security.  He is a champion of the deregulation movement that resulted in the Enron scandal, the technology bust and the home foreclosure crisis.  

Where is the change?  

If you believe there is no substantive difference between Obama and McCain you must be high.  We are rightfully critical of Obama’s centrist tendencies.  We are disappointed that he has not embraced fair trade with the passion we believe it deserves.  We are worried that his foreign policy pronouncements reflect an undue bias toward Israel and are less diplomatic than we hoped but compared to his opponent he is the Dalai Lama.  

If you believe that McCain will do anything beyond beating a drum to alter the course of history on global climate change or oil dependency you must be high.  He offers the gimmicks of off shore drilling and a gas tax holiday when not a single expert outside the circle of corporate lobbyists that surround him will testify that they would have a significant impact.  He offers the myths of clean-coal technology and safe nuclear expansion when neither can be made safe at an affordable price.  

For those who cling to the nuclear solution, take a look at what is happening in France in the age of global warming.  The rivers required to cool their plants are drying up and boiling over with radioactive waste seeping into the drinking water.  Nuclear advocates continue to pretend that a solution to the waste problem is at hand but as yet the only “solution” is a monumental crime against the planet and its inhabitants:  using spent uranium in munitions.  

If you believe the media is biased in favor of Obama you must be high.  A recent study revealed that while there were more references to Obama than McCain, the great majority of those references were negative – disproportionately so.  

If you still believe that McCain is an expert in foreign policy you must be high.  The elder senator has misconstrued the borders of the Middle East, repeatedly confused the Sunnis and the Shiites in Iraq, referred to an Eastern European nation (Czechoslovakia) that has not existed for fifteen years and referred to Russia as the Soviet Union (the Russian led confederation that broke up during the Reagan administration).  His response to the crisis in Georgia was so over-the-top bellicose that even the Bush administration could not abide.  

It is a reminder that taking your seat on the Foreign Relations committee year after year does not necessarily mean that you have kept up to date.  

If you believe that Obama is an elitist and McCain is a common man you must be high.  Thanks largely to his success as an author Obama has risen to affluent status but McCain, the son of an Admiral, left his first wife to marry elitist wealth.  With an estate valued at well over a hundred million dollars, McCain belongs to the club that has most benefited from the policies of the Bush administration he has consistently supported.  

I am not a partisan Democrat.  I am not a Democrat at all.  I believe that the greater hope, the revolution yet to come, will happen when a third party or independent movement wins control of our government.  Because money dominates our political process, because wealthy international corporations are allowed to buy influence and because our Supreme Court has defined money contributions as protected free speech, that dream of saving American democracy remains remote.  

Nevertheless, I cannot go along with the notion that there is nothing at stake in choosing between this Republican and Democratic candidate.  

If you truly believe there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two, you must be high.  




Share this post...

Submit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn