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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

US Elections, a tiny beacon of hope

Screw the Democrats, and screw the Republicans. As Gore Vidal has famously put it, America is a one-party state with two wings. For the true cause of freedom, of individuals becoming the masters of their own destinies, it makes no substantive difference if a Democrat or a Republican is elected to a government position. Both are pro-business, pro-free market, in the pocket corporate interests, anti-peace (Bush isn't the only president who's bombed the innocent, Clinton took out Sudan's single pharmaceutical plant), quite willing to imprison large segments of the US populace, corrupt, and deeply opposed to citizen democracy. They are the mouthpieces of a violent, repressive, military-industrial complex that is the real power within America. In terms of foreign policy, it swings between two narrow extremes, attempted (and often successful) domination of other nations via hard or soft power, cluster bombs or Levi jeans for children. Take your pick, but the result is the same; nations' policies are set in Washington.

However, there is hope. The people of Vermont have elected the first openly socialist US senator, Bernie Sanders (ran as an independent). One can only pray, for both the people of the US and rest of us, that he is not the last. During his several terms as a socialist Congressman, he took on Alan Greenspan, showing in hearings that Saint Alan was actually a neo-liberal vulture feeding on the carrion that the American people had become. Here's an excerpt from
one of his encounters
:

SANDERS: ...You [Greenspan] talk about an improving economy while we have lost 3 million private sector jobs in the last two years, long-term unemployment is more than tripled, unemployment is higher than it's been since 1994.

We have a $4 trillion national debt, 1.4 million Americans have lost their health insurance, millions of seniors can't afford prescription drugs, middle-class families can't send their kids to college because they don't have the money to do that, bankruptcy cases have increased by a record-breaking 23 percent, business investment is at its lowest level in more than 50 years, CEOs make more than 500 times of what their workers make, the middle class is shrinking, we have the greatest gap between the rich and the poor of any industrialized nation, and this is an economy that is improving.

I'd hate to see what would happen if our economy was sinking.

...Does any of this matter to you? Do you give one whiff of concern for the middle class and working families of this country? That's my question.

GREENSPAN: Congressman, we have the highest standard of living in the world.

SANDERS: No, we do not. You go to Scandinavia, and you will find that people have a much higher standard of living, in terms of education, health care and decent paying jobs. Wrong, Mister.


And, here's Sanders on Katrina:

Sanders: What they were seeing on television was people dying because they’re poor. And they’re dying because they don’t have a car they can get into and go to a hotel. But what you don’t see on television is people dying today because they can’t get to a doctor and they can’t afford prescription drugs. That’s why they are also dying. They are dying in Iraq because they are poor and they have gone into the military because they can’t afford to go to college. They’re dying because they’re living in communities where asthma rates are extremely high because the air is filthy. The suffering of the poor and working class people is a virtual nonissue for the media. But that is the reality.

Obviously, you were seeing it incredibly starkly in New Orleans. You’re poor, you can’t get out of town, you die.

Now, sing along everyone, "I am a socialist, I am a socialist, I am a socialist."

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