Food for Thought
I have been on vacation the past week and the one question going through my mind as I sat on the beach has been: Is our eight-year-long national nightmare nearly over, or has it just begun? One thing is for sure, the Bush II era will end at noon EST on January 20, a massive failure by any standard of human history. The inheritor of the Bush Republicans’ terrible mess will be faced with the daunting task of pulling the country back from the precipice it has been driven to by the horrendous misjudgments of a shallow president, his deregulatory-feasting party of the wealthy elite, and international political theories of a small group of neocons led by a vice president who has hacked our Constitution and international treaties to bits in pursuit of empire and brutal, Roman-style dominance of the less powerful.
Our nation hasn’t been this dysfunctional since the election of 1932, when the American people wisely chose Franklin Roosevelt to guide the country back to stability. Capable of deep thought and surrounding himself with the best and brightest advisors then living, FDR was able to chart a course that brought America out of the Great Depression by devising the New Deal structure that served this country well until it began to be dismantled by Reagan Republicans—a process that continued under Bill Clinton and accelerated under Bush II. The unbridled deregulator fervor of the past eight years that enriched the few came at the expense of the many ordinary Americans, creating a mirror of the 1920s and its similar concluding crash under Hoover Republicanism that was small potatoes compared to 2008’s plunge.
We are now faced with a stark future unless “We the People” grab hold of the Jeffersonian spirit of the Declaration of Independence and assert our constitutional democratic authority to reverse the political insanity carried on in our name by a few devilish usurpers of the people’s power. It is our solemn patriotic duty as citizens and followers of the nation’s Founding Fathers to bring widespread and decisive change to the government that is mandated to be “of and by” us as a whole, not just robber barons, banksters and neo-imperialists.
As in 1932, we citizens are faced with a choice of who is best able to provide leadership in a time of great national unhappiness and economic and political uncertainty at home and in the world. The 2008 ballot is long and packed with important candidates to elect and state and local issues to decide. None of it reaches the critical importance of selecting a new president. If we don’t get that right, the rest won’t matter. Continuing the policies that have brought misery to millions and violated the trust of the nation and world cannot be a viable option.
Fortunately, we have an opportunity to elect a president who, like FDR and a few of our greatest presidents, is capable of the type of deep, innovative thought and active leadership that we must have at this time if we are to survive and prosper as a nation. Whether Barack Obama will be able to live up to the model presidencies of Lincoln, FDR and JFK, remains to be seen, but at least he has the rare abilities that would allow him to become a great president. I see no choice but for the American people to embrace his selection and give him a chance. We already know where the other road leads and the vast majority of us don’t want to go there.