Saturday, June 12, 2004

Forces of evil in a bozo nightmare

Godwin's Law or no, the parallels between the US now and Germany in the 1930's are frighteningly numerous. The strongest correlation lies in the personality of the rulers: they each responded to world events by appealing to rhetoric, flag-waving, and the basest desire for revenge, so abstracted that it doesn't matter who you attack as long as you attack *someone*. They both used the nominal cause of freedom to systematically destroy freedoms. They both felt that their authority to do so derived from On High.

It doesn't even fucking matter if you are Republican or Democrat... just think for a minute about what this country was like some years ago, and compare it to now. I'll even keep one analytic hand behind my back and allow the Reagan years to be valid for the sake of this discussion. Reagan felt he was above the law, so he tried to do all the dirty work in secret. Nixon too. Bush, on the other hand, feels SO above the law that he does it right out in the open, and it shames us all in the eyes of the world. Many Americans might think "so what, we don't *need* the world" - but what happens when you do? (And you already do.) When you've alienated everybody? A little humility could go a long way here.

The 'real' America is still remembered here in Berlin for the enormous contributions of the Marshall Plan and the Berlin airlift -- America at its best. It is time to return to that generosity and grace.

The strongest criticism that the administration levels at Sen. John Kerry is that he changes his mind. In fact, instead of a president who claims an infallibility that exceeds that of the pope, America would be much better off with a president who, like John F. Kennedy, is honest enough to admit mistakes and secure enough to change his mind.

I don't think Kerry is the end-all answer to our problems. But I don't think he's got as much cocaine-addled determination to turn this country into a police state as Bush has either. Bush is obviously insane with power. I *want* a president who thinks before he acts, even if the thinking makes him change what he was going to do. Especially then.

If Kerry wins, they'll pin all the fallout from Bush's term on him... there is a momentum to things, and he is going to need to apply a negative force to reverse that. The flagwavers aren't going to like it. The old guard isn't going to like it. I don't think it's going to be pleasant at all. Kerry must be fucking insane to even want the damn job right now. But on the off chance that he's just willing to step up to the plate and take one for the team, I hope like hell he wins. Heh - 'wins'. Like when you 'win' an eBay auction. All that means is it's now time for you to pay for your 'winning'.

But it's better than making the whole country pay.

2 Comments:

Blogger krishna said...

This is quite an incisive comment! A change of guard in U.S would augur well for the world. It is nice to see that the public opinion in U.S is building up against the dangerous policies of the present administration but one has to wait and see if that is powerful enough to defeat jingoistic sentiments. This is the first post, I read of yours and I find it educative. I hope to read more.
Krishna
 

Blogger Foobario said...

Yes, it is *so* time for a change. I hardly recognize this country now. Years ago I travelled the world a bit to get some perspective on things, and came back worried about US isolationism - hah! I had no *idea* how bad it could get. With the 'Patriot Act' and our rejection of the Geneva Convention (!), we're like the noisy drunk that ruins the party. But then again, we don't learn much about the rest of the world here, so the average American doesn't know how bad the problem is.

The thing that scares me the most is this: what if the current US administration really did represent the will of the American people? I feel reasonably sure they don't (we didn't even vote the guy into office, and if 9/11 hadn't happened we'd have probably kicked his ass out by now... all he's got is the 'rally around the flag' factor. But if the people did back him up in everything he is doing, we'd be looking at 1940's Germany all over again, but with a 'superpower' instead of a country ravaged by sanctions from the previous world war. This scares the hell out of me - I thought I lived in a freedom-loving democracy.
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