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2 November 2012
AMERICA DESERVES BETTER
Next Tuesday 6 November 2012 voters in the United States go to the polls to elect the next President of the United States.
There are two principal candidates: the incumbent Barack Obama of the Democratic Party and his challenger Mitt Romney of the Republican Party.
Antigone1984 is not a US citizen and consequently does not have the right to vote in this election.
The question the world is asking right now, however, is this: how would Antigone1984 have voted if they had had the right to vote?
This is our answer.
Mitt Romney represents the billionaire class, Wall Street, small government, lower taxes for fat cats, and war on the poor.
There was once one aspect of Romney’s platform that we supported: his clarion call earlier this year for military intervention in Syria to stop the blood bath being visited on the people of that country by the butcher Bashar al-Assad. As might have been expected, however, no sooner had Romney voiced that demand than he retracted it.
So it’s thumbs down for Romney from Antigone1984.
In terms of personality, from what an outsider can see, Obama appears to be the nicer character.
However, we are talking here not about niceness of character but about the election of the commander-in-chief of the most powerful military machine in the history of the planet.
As US President since January 2009, Obama, has introduced a measure of medical insurance for the poorest Americans. This is clearly to his credit.
However, he has also been guilty, inter alia, of:
1. carrying on – nay, upscaling – the legacy of military aggression inherited from his predecessor George W. Bush by waging two unjustified wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – the latter still in progress – in which hundreds of thousands of people, most of them innocent civilians, have been slaughtered;
2. the flagrant and continuing abuse of human rights as a result of the imprisonment of suspects for years without trial outside the reach of US courts at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba in blatant repudiation of Habeas Corpus legislation outlawing arbitrary detention which has formed the bedrock of civil liberties in America and England since it was adopted by the English parliament in 1679;
3. the infringement of Pakistani sovereignty by sending pilotless drones into Pakistan, against the wishes of the Pakistan Government, to bomb suspected terrorists and in the process slaughtering numberless innocent civilians. Leaving aside the massacre of the innocents, we are talking here about the execution of suspects without their being tried in a court of law.
These are but three glaring examples of the way in which Obama, after talking the talk – symbolised in his pre-election campaign by high-sounding but vacuous slogans such as “the audacity of hope” and “Yes, we can!” – failed egregiously to walk the walk once he had obtained the presidency.
Those slogans Obama shouted from the rooftops when he wanted the American people to elect him president. They did so – and he let them down.
“No, he couldn’t!” is our verdict on the Obama presidency that is now drawing to a close.
Whatever his other achievements and merits, Antigone1984 would never vote for a mass-murderer and a chronic human rights abuser.
Consequently, as far as we are concerned, it’s thumbs down for Obama as well as for Romney.
If Antigone1984 had the right to vote in America next Tuesday, we would vote for neither Obama nor Romney. We would abstain.
America deserves better.
Ironically, even if we had the right to vote in these elections, our impact on the outcome, given our intention to abstain, would have been just the same – zilch. Hence, in practical terms, it is of no consequence whether we have the right to vote there or not.
Some may criticise us on the grounds that, of two bad candidates, one (Romney) is worse than the other (Obama). Hence, one should cast one’s vote for Obama, if need be clamping a clothes-peg on one’s nose as one does it.
However, if the less bad party is unremittingly assured that left-inclined voters, in the absence of a genuine left-wing candidate, will, by and large, vote for them rather than for the candidate who least represents their views, then a genuine left-wing alternative will never emerge.
Such a scenario enables essentially conservative parties, such as the Democratic Party in the United States or the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, to cajole voters into voting for them on the grounds that if they do not they will end up with something worse.
If we allow this state of affairs to continue, the we can be assured that no left-wing movement or candidates will ever see the light of day.
Those who support the left, if they want a leftward swing in politics, have no alternative but to ignore the siren calls of the less bad party and build up a genuine leftwing movement of their own with a view to obtaining electoral success in the medium to long-term, holding themselves ready to take advantage of times of crisis when the electorate, tired of the old two-party diarchy that has failed them, finally decides to look for something new.
That is in fact what has happened in Greece this year. Shaken out of their chronic fatalism by the crisis in the Eurozone, former supporters of PASOK, a long-established party purporting to be socialist but which in reality for decades has been part-and-parcel of the political status quo, defected in droves to a tiny leftwing party, SYRIZA, which as a result, virtually overnight, became the main opposition party in the Greek Parliament.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
5.Ladder (21 June 2012)
6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.