Well amigos, y'all need to have a look at Chris Hedges' column at truthdig.com today, on America yearning for Fascism. The disintegration of America continues apace, and the real dummies are not especially the Palin-Beck crowd, but the Democratic establishment and those who support it. As Hedges points out, the forces that are now lining up, and the way they are expressing themselves (gun imagery, targeting of minority groups), follow the classic fascist pattern. How intelligent is Mr. Obama, really? In the wake of the crash of 2008, did he move to rescue the (by now nearly 20%, in real figures) unemployed? Or the millions who were/are losing their homes to bank foreclosures? Nah...start with an $800-billion bank bailout, quickly up it to $12 trillion, and now, apparently (figure estimated by Nomi Prins in It Takes a Pillage
), $17.5 trillion. What will that do for the angry Americans who are now searching for scapegoats? Will they target the Bernankes, the Geithners, and the Summerses, who are (stupidly) seeing to it that the cash goes to the rich? Will they go down to Wall Street and rage against Goldman Sachs or AIG? Will they rail against Mr. Obama in the right way--i.e., not as a 'socialist' (what a joke that is), but as the man who delivered 32 million uninsured Americans into the hands of corporate health care? Will they be angry at the president for scuttling the 'public option', which would have by-passed obligatory corporate control of the health-care system? I'm guessing not. And all of this is working together with the Tea Party crowd, really; they and the 'power elite' are doing a synergistic, downward dance, reinforcing each other as they go.
Of course, a lot of our continued spinning out of control is due to the absence of any moral center in this country--as the Right has argued all along. The problem (or one, anyway) with the right-wing argument is that you cannot simultaneously decry the lack of a moral center and exalt corporate market (or even true laissez-faire) capitalism, whose only philosophy is 'more!'. Money is necessary, but it's not a value system; and 'more' certainly isn't. An article by George Packer in the March 15th New Yorker
("Obama's Lost Year") argues that Obama is failing because he has no narrative of where the country ought to go. Nobody knows what he wants, writes Packer; we don't know who he really is. But I would add that Mr. Obama himself doesn't know what he wants, or who he really is. True, he is not the creepy, eerie, near-psychotic hologram that was George W. Bush; but is he all that
different? It seems to me he's just a chic version of Nowhere Man. In that sense, however, democracy does work: he is us. We have no values, we have no goals (beyond 'more'), and we certainly don't think a whole lot. I used to point to the .00001% 'Kucinich vote' as the only hope we had, but as you all know, Mr. K has sold out as well.
How could this scenario possibly have a positive outcome? This is precisely how civilizations collapse; this is exactly, Dark Ages America.