Thursday, August 21, 2008

The new tomdispatch features an interesting bit on predicting the future.  I rather think that this look back from 2016 after two Obama terms in the White House will be fairly accurate.  The future will be neither as rosy nor as gloomy as pundits predict.  I suppose that is why I am a pessimist about the promises of change that have become a stock part of Obama's campaign.  I think we do need serious change but there are very powerful forces in our society and world that benefit from what the Bush Administration has done over the last eight years.  Those forces will do all they can to make sure what they have gained is not lost and, if possible, are enhanced.  I am most pessimistic when I think about the loss of our traditional freedoms and civil rights, about the augmented security state we live under, and the high probability that the first will not be restored and the latter increased.

Elaine Meinel Supkis provides another reason to be pessimistic.  We have had an orgy of debt for almost as long as I can remember. Until about five years ago I was as enthusiastic a participant as most others.  At that time I lost the last relatively high paying, full-time job I had.  For the almost a year and a half I had that job I concentrated on paying down my debt, especially my credit cards.  All my efforts were wiped out in less than three months of the marginal employment that followed and has continued since.  Over the last couple of years I have had a strange sense of having been through this all before.  Not personally, because I refuse to have credit cards now.  On a national level, our government has generated the largest deficit ever in our history.  The city of Chicago is trying to plug a deficit of nearly half a billion dollars (if I remember the figures rightly) while the city of New York and the state of Illinois are struggling with $2 billion deficits each.  The piper is playing (has been for a long while) and, sooner or later, whoever is in the White House come next year will have to pay him.

The above may make it sound like I either have no hope or have no interest in voting this year.  Not so!!  For the reasons why just take a little jog over to Rain at Rainy Day Thoughts.  I do not under any circumstances want to continue unfettered the Bush Administration for another term.  We don't need any more Presidents swaggering around the world on testosterone overload.  I want to see someone who has a brain to engage and a willingness to engage it.  I want leaders whose diplomatic tool box has more in it than military responses or sanctions.  A couple of my favorite fiction authors had characters who noted that when your only tool is a hammer all problems look like nails.  When your only option is coercion all problems look like ones amenable to coercion.  Our tragedy is that most are not.  Correction, our tragedy is that our leaders don't recognize that most problems are not best handled with coercion.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

Well I certainly hope you're right that Obama has 2 terms in the White House, right now I'm a little worried. I do agree with you however it's not all going to be rosy. Like you said the powerful that benefited under the Bush admin., will fight change every step of the way. It's not going to be easy. I'm extremely worried about the debt as well. I was talking to my 81 year old Father recently about the election/ our country/ our debt and he said pretty soon we won't be called the USA, we'll be the USC, United States of China.