The End of Hope, the Beginning of Change

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)


We’re in a bubble of false hope. The last bubble.


Unless you’re a diehard idiot, there is no vestige left of the Obama Hope for Change campaign. We should have recognized it early. The mixed message of the campaign. Hope and change are opposites. Talking out of both sides of the mouth. That’s what politicians do.

We hoped for better. We prayed Obama was a different type politician. But he’s not. In fact, he’s worse.  He’s the other side of Cheney’s coin. Cynical. Devious. Cool, calculating, triangulating, and blameless. A tool of the Power he promised to change.

Lots of talk now about Obama’s freefall approval rating in the polls. But where is the drop coming from? Not from the racist, fascist, xenophobic, nutjobs on the right. They hate anything to left of the far right edge of the whole fucking otherwise limitless universe. No, Obama’s fall in the polls is from the massive tangle of hoodwinked Americans who gave the two-party system one more, one last chance to live up to its mythological hype of freedom. And the sad thing is, yes folks, we’ve got to belly up to the bar of self-recriminating “I told you so” and admit we were fooled again – for how many times now? (And to be honest we’ve got to give a hat-tip here to those who weren’t fooled and held out and voted against or would not participate in this sham called the “Two-party-system.”)

I remember as a kid how we teased with our naïve patriotism, “Yeah Russia has elections but they only have One Party.” Ha-ha-ha.

But aren’t both sides of the same coin One Party as well? Come on, isn’t the coin Totalitarianism? Isn’t that what we called Soviet/Mao Communism?  Fidel.  Saddam.  Noriega.  Government by diktat.

The majority of us want health care for, of and by the people, but instead our Two-Party system plays spin the bottle with The Problem and not only does the problem win big but now the rules say you are a slave to the problem.  

The Problem is Profit.

Why have our inalienable rights been sold out to Gordon Gekko and the cult of greed? Isn’t health a part of life? The problem, though we still live in communities, is that our common wealth has been expropriated.  Over time, and perhaps this is why Jefferson thought we needed revolution (or at least a little rebellion) more than once a century is because the further power is from the people the further the people are from power. And in that vacuum, what rushes in? Same as it ever was. Lust for power by those least qualified to wield it.

This is why our Founding Intellectuals stressed the idea of Virtue. Because in a Republican government, the power of many is imbued into the One. The Representative.

And if we follow the logic of thinkers we revere then we must understand their belief system of virtues and vices and the power of free will. We choose who we are through our understanding of Life. And through some strange witches brew of nature and nurture some of us choose to be bad. Very bad. Always. Perpetually, continually and habitually. Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride.

I mean, yeah, for a lost week or two in Vegas, but really isn’t Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility a much better way to go on our way to our last inalienable right, Happiness?

You know what buys happiness? When you look around and experience a common understood and agreed upon human dignity and everyone is more or less in the same boat. It’s when people separate themselves from others by luxury without all floating to the same more or less level, which creates division amongst a people. The more the top rises the more the bottom must rise.  Because the more the abyss between rich and poor the more humanity is betrayed and belittled. We all know in our hearts no human is better than any other. All which separates us is what we each make of ourselves- not in socio-economic terms but as Humans.

There is an idea about vice and virtue. One is something to strive against and the other is something to venture toward. One set of words is about reaching out to others and one set is about the worship of one’s self. I remember lying in bed as a kid and thinking nothing exists in the world until it comes into my consciousness, like a cosmically organic Truman Show. The Universe is made for me. That’s fucked up until you understand the Universe is made for each one of us and each one of us is the universe. We are both the one and the many. But the glitch is not evolving past the child’s egoist philosophical rumination. There is a difference between a child and an adult. Though most of us don’t become adults until well after the legal age to drink, vote and die for your country. A child takes; an adult gives. Children are taught giving by being given to. But how many children never learn the necessary lessons toward virtue because they are raised by stunted adults?

Which brings me back to our newly elected shiny, happy President. Who the fuck is he?

Is he a man? A human being venturing toward virtue or is he a just another in a long line of beady-eyed kids who love the game of power – self aggrandizing power. Brilliant does not equal Good. Likeable does not equal Good. (See George W. Bush or anyone in that fucking family.) The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.

Obama has shown not an inch of independence. His staff is filled with The Problem. He’s escalated Afghanistan into another Vietnam: Fighting a foreign war thousands of miles away against an enemy who just wants foreign invaders off their land. And this time we fight an enemy made up of CIA ghosts.

There isn’t a fucking question where Barack Obama was born. You might as well question where any George Bush was born. Obama is Bush with a hook shot. We could use a Manchurian Candidate right now for god sakes.

Obama says “no more settlements” Israel says go fuck yourself and Obama says Yum.

Honduras? Say it ain’t so. The Fourth Reich of the Latin American Oligarchy and Obama says, uh, umm, uh, what, Honduras, uh, well check with the State Department and Hillary Clinton is giving blowjobs to Joe Biden in the Cold War Revival Movement. It’s not Oligarchy, it’s a bastion against, uh, well, uh, um, yes my elbow is doing much better now thanks for asking.

Yada. Yada. Yada. Audit the Fed? We don’t have the power to. Stop the wars? Nope. Stop unconstitutional breach of power between the people and its elected government? LOL. Stop the corporate takeover of every aspect of humanity? Dude, where’s my ROI? Stop the Slip ‘n Slide toward totalitarianism? Killjoy. Party-pooper. Pinko.

The hope is gone. The change is naught. So what do we do? The first thing we do is withdraw from the power we want to change. Counter-intuitive? What if the power of power is drawn from the people’s even passive participation? Then the less people the less power. As we accrue to ourselves the more power we accrue. It’s not rocket science though that’s what some want you to believe – those who want to usurp your power. – but the truth is we have free will; we have the power to do as we like. We have, as Nancy Regan said to, “just say NO!” to power.

The second thing we do after withdrawing from them is to connect with each other. Virtually for now across the wire. In person in whatever community we have left. We make our connections globally as fast as we can before the official Cyber-911 and then after the Cyber 911, when our freedom is finally and truly gone, we must develop our own Underground Railroad on the WWW and over and under the barbed-wire checkpoints and satellite surveillance.

Finally, we must plan for the counter-attack. They will attack us. As they lose power and we gain ours they will see the writing on the wall and they will try to erase it. The beauty of humanity is our diversity in talent and our breadth of genius. Argument based in honesty and engaged with dignity and purposed toward human progress is bound to succeed.

Argument based in deceit, engaged with rancor and purposed toward diktat is bound to fail.

Obama says the right things but does the wrong things. He says he was a community organizer but he’s more the disorganizer. He doesn’t lead as much as sell. And he is selling more-of-the-same-business-as-usual snake oil in the guise of change.

We’re a nation in freefall, though there is a short respite as was enjoy the RALLY for Bankers while the people continue their spelunking the abyss, but, as Rumsfeld said ‘what about all things we don’t know we don’t know.’ How many Madoffs on a biblical scale? Is AIG a tip of its own iceberg. Can there any longer be any doubt in any puny mind after trillions of reverse Robin Hood economics who runs the world?

It ain’t the people.

So, freefall, as death, is a process. You can think about how you got there or the eventual hard landing or the afterlife or not. I prefer to believe in eternity and eventually we’ll get it right and ultimately life on earth will be the ultimate universal Club Med. And we’ll have tiny but important credits in the official history of heaven on earth.

In the meantime it’s virtue over vice and us over them.


Skip to comment form

    • gottlieb on August 3, 2009 at 4:18 pm
    • Edger on August 3, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Bullseye, gottlieb.

    • ANKOSS on August 4, 2009 at 1:31 am

    Like Blair, Obama is smart, witty, charming, and dead wrong on the most important issues. At least you can hear him speak without wincing, but this is not the leader America desperately needs. Obama is just a smooth PR man for the corporations when we need another FDR.

    • Diane G on August 4, 2009 at 3:25 am

    But an excellent essay, as always.

  1. Just appeared yesterday.

    Thank you, Tom Tomorrow.

    • publicv on August 4, 2009 at 5:15 pm
  2. and no strategy for attaining power.

    Since the Michael Dukakis nomination back in ’88, the so-called “left” in this country has pretty much sold its soul for the prospects of a victorious Presidential candidate, who at any rate was going to do all of the things the Republicans said they were going to do anyway.  This is, of course, a strategy for ceding power, all power, to the Right.  This is why Ralph Nader spent three long, fruitless Presidential campaigns (four if you count ’96) complaining about corporate domination.  The fact that the Democratic Party ceded two stolen elections in this decade should have revealed its intentions to all and sundry.

    The only thing stopping the Right from its totalitarian dreams of power was the general haze of “prosperity” under conditions of dollar hegemony, and the fact that too many fast moves by a power-hungry Right would alert the public to the general impression that it was time for a revolt.  Nevertheless the bottom fell out at the end of ’00 with the Supreme Court’s appointment of Bush hijo to the Presidency.  It’s amazing that he’s not still in power, given how far the window of opportunity for positive change shrink during the first half of the Zeros.

    Nevertheless several events have changed things in America.  It is no longer Ronald Reagan’s “morning in America”; more like sunset.  The global economy contracted last year, and is expected to contract this year as well.  Neoliberal capitalism is now in its 1930s phase.  So nobody is under the illusion that everything is great.  Meanwhile the Republican Party is undergoing a severe meltdown, which makes the Democratic Party excuse of “triangulation” no longer credible.  You don’t bargain with political hacks whose popular base fled them; you outflank them, and you wait until they’re deposed from office, by election or by scandal.

    Of course, nothing is still going to change.  Why?  Remember that for two decades the so-called “left” in this country sold itself to the highest bidder for public office.  You don’t seriously think that a new historic bloc is going to spring up overnight, do you?

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