Obama, Kucinich and Class Warfare: civil war in America or democratic renewal – these are the choices at hand
“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
– Thomas Jefferson
“There is a class warfare, all right,….but it’s my class, the rich class, that is making war….. and we’re winning.”
“Our country needs renewal — not just of particular policies or of people, but of democracy itself.”
– Mike Gravel
I just came across an online petition on the most venerable Congressman Dennis Kucinich’ website – the petition reveals muuch about the state of affairs in the U.S., what should be done about it, who is on which side, and who should lead. The leadership is not coming from the President, and I would state flatly that efforts to woo him into becoming an authentic democrat or populist, or to actually side with the people and not the rich and the corporate elite – rhetoric aside – are woefully naive, and dangerously misguided. Time is running out. The U.S. is a powder keg. (The CIA announced over a year ago that according to its own assessment, the United States has a better than 50% chance of erupting into civil war within five years.) If serious leadership does not arise from the grassroots, and for the grassroots, aligned with the grassroots, then the country will explode, and martial law will follow suit immediately thereafter, leaving the nation in tatters, with a class-warfare civil war raging, in long, bloody, protracted battle and stalemate. We need leadership now, or this will be the fate of America, and the future of its people will be dark.
The wording of the petition, I would say, conveys a wildly hopeful, unduly diplomatic presentation to Obama. Dennis Kucinich is no dummy. He knows what’s going on, and where Obama stands. I must assume that he is presenting this petition as a way to rally people to press their president to serious action in defence of the people, which Kucinich, I am sure, knows very well to be a long shot at best. I think such moves are worse than a waste of time: they lure people into false hopes which therefore misdirect their energy, and waste precious time. Stop it Dennis. This is not leadership: petitioning a president who is criminally negligent, and also guilty of serious breaches of human rights, civil liberties, constitutional law, international law, the Geneva Conventions, the spirit and the letter of democracy and basic ethics. You are capable of far, far better and greater leadership than this my esteemed fellow friend of the people: stop leading the people to petition a dead horse president, and lead them instead into revolution.
The United States was founded upon certain fundamental principles, and however flawed the founders may have been, and were, the most essential founding principles, principles that were the bedrock of The Enlightenment and of democracy, still ring true in the hearts and minds of the people today: the principles of freedom, justice, constitutional democracy, human rights, government of the people, by the people, for the people, and, most significantly here, the right of revolution. When the existing order becomes too oppressive, and has abused the people for too long a time, it is their right to alter, amend or abolish that order, and to begin anew. Now is that time.
Let’s be blunt. The system is broken. It is time for a popular insurrection. Gandhi style. It is time. At least do not lead them into further fairy tales about how their great and glorious president is going to ride in like a shining knight on horseback, and save the people from the terrible nasties that they face. This president is the servant of the nasties – and the people know it! Be more bold Dennis! The time has come.
Congressman Kucinich does clarify, implicitly, the significance of the class war that is ongoing and escalating, and the fact that Obama is sitting on the sidelines and not with the middle class and poor – actually, Kucinich is requesting something from Obama that is extremely unlikely to happen, because Obama is not on the sidelines: he stands, as he has from the beginning, with his Wall St. backers and the corporate elite and super-rich who own and run the country. Instead of petitioning Obama, Kucinich himself and all his supporters, should be far more bold.
Obama is not the hope of the Democrats, nor of the American people – he has been treasonous to both. The sooner we stop daydreaming and deal with the reality at hand, the better. Dennis, call the people to be more bold, to reclaim their democracy and their land, and do not lead them further into fantasies about a President who has demonstrated his firm and unyielding commitment to Wall St., imperial warfare, the military-industrial complex, and to the super-0rich and the ruling corporate elite. Stand up now, and stand with us. This is a message to all who have heart, and not just to a most honorable and venerable Congressman. Stand up now.
Obama could have lived up to his rhetoric and stood with the people – he chose instead to stand with Wall St. and the corporate empire. He could have fought to abolish the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, torture, extraordinary renditions, CIA black sites and a general slide into corporate fascism, to call it as it is, and defended democracy, civil liberties and human rights, the Constitution and the foundations of a free and democratic society. He did not. He defended torture and extraordinary rendition, voted to make 14 of the provisions of the Patriot Act permanent, has remained silent and complicit in regards to the systematic abuse and deconstruction of civil liberties, human rights and the Constitution and the undermining of democracy. This man cannot be called a democrat. He is a member of the Democratic party, but he is no democrat.
American citizens are now suing Donald Rumsfeld for authorizing the use of torture on American citizens. The Obama administration is not only fighting like hell to protect Rumsfeld, but is seeking carte blanche immunity from legal proceedings against any past, present or future military personnel, officers, contractors or politicians who have authorized, ordered or carried out, or who will in the future authorize, order or carry out torture, extra-judicial killings, or pretty much anything that is deemed necessary under the all-justifying pretext of a “war on terror.” Here is the statement by the court on the Obama administration’s stance:
The defendants are arguing for a truly unprecedented degree of immunity from liability for grave constitutional wrongs committed against U.S. citizens. The defense theory would immunize not only the Secretary of Defense but all personnel who actually carried out orders to torture a civilian U.S. citizen. The theory would immunize every enlisted soldier in the war zone and every officer in between. The defense theory would immunize them from civil liability for deliberate torture and even coldblooded murder of civilian U.S. citizens.
The United States courts, and the entire United States government, have never before thought that such immunity is needed for the military to carry out its missions.”
– Vance vs Rumsfeld, 2011
Immunity from all legal action for the executive branch and all who carry out its orders, making the executive branch and its henchmen above the law; extra-judicial killings, military tribunals, torture, “extraordinary rendition” – aka disappearances; systematic all-pervasive surveillance, warrantless searches and home invasions, arrest without warrant, wiretapping, limitless incareration without trial by jury or due process of law, the abolition of habeus corpus, the destruction of civil liberties, constitutions and charters of rights, the trampling of human rights and freedoms, the aggregation of vast and sweeping powers to the executive branch, the stifling of dissent and the undermining of democracy – these are the hallmarks of fascism: and not only the Bush administration, but also the Obama administration, has endorsed, ordered, justified, carried out and continued these unconstitutional, illegal, anti-democratic and flatly fascist practices. Anywhere else in the world, we would call this fascism. At home, under a Democratic president, we turn a blind eye. This is insane. Obama is no democrat, much less a populist, progressive friend of the people. Let’s try to get real here.
Obama could have brought the troops home, ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which are killing millions and bankrupting the nation, and saved over $250 billion a year which could then be put into a green energy and transportation infrastructure program, leading the country into energy self-reliance and true sustainability while massively stimulating the economy and creating millions of jobs. Instead, he expanded the wars overseas, further bloated the military-industrial complex and surveillance state, gave the facile and servile nod to a further transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury and the American people to the robber barons on Wall St., and then handed his Wall St. bankers a get out of jail free card, assuring them they will never be held accountable for swindling the American people out of trillions of dollars.
Obama has demonstrated his integrity: he has none. The people are not stupid: they have realized this fact. Polls reported by the Washinton Post show that just 17% of the American people believe Obama is helping the economy, for example. Obama’s credibility is shot, his legitimacy is destroyed – as it should it be. It is time for us to get on with the task at hand, and stop pleading to the servant in highest office to bite his master’s hand – he will not. Let’s be real. We must do it ourselves: we must stand, and stand from the grassroots, with the grassroots – leadership must now come from the streets. The highest office has failed us, and everybody knows it.
Here is a thought, a strategy which can actually work, and which does not lead the people into a fantasy land while their country is being burned to the ground and pillaged mercilessly. Unite the people in a popular coalition – left, right and centre – that brings the people together in common cause to take back their country and their democracy from the ruling corporate elite and super-rich. The left, right and centre, liberals, conservatives and progressives, will agree and come to rally, at the level of the grassroots, which is all that matters: the primary lines of division and struggle are not left and right, but the corporate elite and the people – and at the street level of the grassroots – party apparatchiks and talking head pundits aside – both right and left now understand this.
Of course the political elite and the party hacks are drones working for the same ruling corporate elite that dominates the economy, the political process and the media, as everybody knows. We are not talking about uniting the two big party machines and their servants or so-called “leaders” – we are talking about uniting the people at the level of the grassroots to take back their country.
The people are ready. Are you dear friend? Unite them. Bring them together, with leadership from yourself and Ron Paul, Naomi Wolf, David Sirota, Mike Gravel, Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky and others who are genuine small-d democrats, or authentic republicans who believe in power to the people, or independents who are authentic populist democrats: unite the populists, that is, the people who believe in power to the people, in government of the people, by the people for the people, the people, that is, who believe in democracy, whatever other opinions they may hold – the people who are the overwhelming majority – and take the country back. Now. Before the country explodes into violence and chaos, and civil war mires the nation for many years to come in protracted and bloody division. Unite them now. It is up to the grassroots. It is up to the people to save their country and proclaim their dignity and reclaim their future. It always has been.
More on this thought to come soon…
J. Todd Ring,
September 30, 2011
From The United States Declaration of Independence: the passage which clearly and boldly proclaims the right of revolution – the right of the people to alter, amend or abolish the existing regime under which they live, when that regime has become destructive to the people’s rights or happiness, or has abused the people too greatly for too long, and to begin anew. This is the avowal of the rightful power of the people to govern themselves. It is the fierce and uncompromising proclamation, in word and in action, of democracy: that the people can, should, and will govern themselves, and will throw off, alter, amend or abolish any order that has become oppressive or offensive to them. That right, the right of revolution and of democracy in true form, still exists, and ever exists.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”