Call me naive, but the ‘Yes We Can’ chants and the overt messages of ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’ truly had me believing – really believing – that the United States of America had a chance to get back on track. Regardless of your party affiliation, the Obama campaign of 2008 was a sight to behold. For the first time in a long time the country was energized. As a people, we were involved, interested, and invested.
Young America, many of whom cannot remember a day in their life before Little Bush led the country into a massive game of ‘Find the Nukes’ in Iraq, was actually interested in politics. It was a great time to be the self-professed politics junkie that I am.
Now, in the early going of 2011, things have returned to business as usual. Far from the end of the war in the Middle East that was all but promised to us by candidate Obama in 2008, we are now fighting a four front war instead. In fact, as many writers and pundits have already pointed out, the Obama presidency seems to be nothing more than an extension of the W. presidency.
It should come as no surprise that policies seem to change little – if at all – from one presidency to the next. In my opinion, the office of the President of the United States of America is the very definition of a figurehead office. The man – and someday woman – who sits behind the desk in the Oval Office is no more in charge of this country than we are.
The dog and pony shows that are presidential campaigns exist solely to appease our sense of democracy. The people and corporations who run this country understand that the voting public needs to feel like they are choosing their president, that they are doing their duty. The fact is that by the time any candidate has come so far as to win the nomination for their respective party, they have been on the radar of those who will ultimately be making every decision for them for at least four years – if not eight – if and when they are elected to the highest office in the land.
After an exhaustive campaign filled with fantasy promises made to stupid voters who will fall for the same exact bullshit from the mouth of a different candidate the next time around, the election comes to an end and the newest president breathes a sigh of relief. They’ve done it. They’ve bucked the odds. Now, finally, they can truly make a difference. Right? Wrong.
Surely it is during this afterglow period that the president-to-be becomes aware of what is truly going on. It is then that the thuggish, shadowy figures from every corner of Washington descend upon the winner like a lustful 1,000-year-old vampire from an Anne Rice novel. It is then that they are made aware of the fact that their campaign – while certainly cute & contrite with all of those silly promises made to the people who actually work for a living to pay for all of the perks that the Washington gang enjoys – was all a bunch of crap. It is then that they learn what their agenda will be, who they will look out for, who they will bomb, who they will persecute, who they will “liberate”, who they will condemn, who they will condone, who they will pardon, and – quite frankly – who they will be for at least the next four years.
Do you doubt that this is a reasonable assessment of the whole situation? If you do doubt it then consider – like I have – the complete turnaround from Obama the candidate to Obama the president. For a man who campaigned on the promise of “real change” and hope he has brought about the least amount of change – some argue – in history. The Bush policies that spurred voters to storm the voting booths to vote for change were simply extended by the man who was supposed to deliver said change.
It is not Obama’s fault. He is just the latest POTUS in a long line of other “Puppets of the United States of America” to take their orders & do what they’re told by the corporate masters that truly run this country. It is our fault, the voters. We’re ignorant, and both of the major parties – the Republicans and the Democrats respectfully – have exploited that about us for generations.
The latest budget battle simply underlines that fact that. The Democrats had the nerve to gloat to the media that the $38 billion in cuts in the budget was “the largest annual spending cut in our history!” They brought this point up as though it was something to be celebrated. Why? Because – yet again – they believe that we’re too ignorant to realize that the “cuts” were actually against proposed spending. They also think that we don’t know they’re actually borrowing forty cents on every single dollar. Instead of celebrating a failure, the Democrats should be happy that nobody in the media has the stones to point out the fact that the dreaded Republicans are the ones who actually forced them to make any cuts at all. Oh yeah, they should also be ecstatic that people seem to have conveniently forgotten that they failed to pass a budget at all last November as their job actually mandates.
Then there are the Republicans. The GOP glosses over the fact that the $38 billion in cuts are only about one-third of what they “promised” the voters in October when they vowed to cut the budget and clean house. They also promised to balance the budget… Which they’ve done, so long as you’re rich and in good health, then the budget is balanced big time in your favor. Paul Ryan had the nerve to propose a budget that – regardless of the absurd cuts he proposed – would take THIRTY YEARS to balance out, and that is assuming – as the budget did – that the unemployment rate will fall to an all-time low, that the housing market will boom again, and that interest rates will stay at all-time lows. Surely those are reasonable assumptions to make since everything seems to be getting sooo much better these days. Plain and simple, the Republicans have no interest in balancing the budget. They want to take care of the good ol’ boys they’ve always taken care of, and they want a few sound bites to throw out there so the American people will think that they really do have a plan.
Both of these parties have had a hand in the downfall of this country. They are the main puppets on the stage, and the puppet masters in Washington have been laughing for generations. They’re laughing at us, and they should be. We’re the ones who keep voting in their hand-picked playthings.