America’s states, fifty stars orderly represented over a background of blue in our flag, may be said to be united . . . but the folks who populate them certainly are not. We may claim to be the United States of America, but rest assured that we are definitely not the United People of America; never have been, and likely never will be, no matter what the pledge of allegiance might deceitfully say, or the colorful fantasy-pens we utilize in writing our history . . . or the misinformation in which we, fat-dumb-and-happy, live.
For generations, Americans have been touting the nation’s economic success, making such outcome a product of our diversity, and the exceptionalism granted from “Above.” Never mind that the economic reality, if studied in depth, tells us our economic success was attained not because of diversity in our population, but in spite of it. Now that globalization is tearing away Americans’ past advantages involving economies of scale in a unique, super-size market, the very negative aspects of diversity are coming home to roost. As a result, economically, things are likely to get uglier and uglier during the next decade or two as we come to accept our new, unprivileged place in the world.
Last congressional elections finally gave the United States of America its true nationalist, neocon or “neo-fascist” colors; an America which has economically disenfranchised one-fifth of its population . . . neatly placing them in the gutter . . . keeping another three-fifths waiting in the “you-next” wings. Yet, Barack Obama, a political pleaser but no neocon, commands a positive rating by as much as half of the nation’s population, according to current polls. How can that be?
No mystery or great dilemma here. It’s all a matter of disunity, and the fact that Americans are for the most part one-issue people—clearly reflected in how they vote; the priority needs of society either relegated or skipped altogether. If you are black, you vote your blackness; if you are brown, you vote your brownness which all too often involves immigration policy; and that holds true in the many other aspects that separate the citizenry, from sexuality identification to professional identification (teachers, police, military, etc.) and all other groups in between carrying an agenda. Selfishness has always prevailed, but its negative aspects were never profoundly felt because of the coat of wealth that separated the so-called middle-class America from much of the labor class in the third or even first worlds. As that coat slowly melts away, physiognomy of America—socially, economically and politically—opens up to show its disunity.
This American president, Barack Obama, has tapped the disunity (polarization) which exists today in the United States on immigration, wealth distribution, health and gender issues, to create a contingent of ragtime minorities which afford him a luxury which he does not deserve . . . that of a president with an acceptability rating of about 50 percent. A figure that would likely be considerably higher if the color of his skin were white. Amazing that this disunion is able to place Obama center stage as an almost successful president, when he is a bigger failure than his two predecessors: Clinton and Bush 43!
Bill Clinton still needs to be summoned by history for the damage he helped create in the self-demolition of industrial America and quick-acceptance of globalization without a metamorphosis-plan to get us there with a more sedate pain. It won’t be long before his credit for creating millions of minimum-wage jobs, which party-faithful Democrats idiotically brag about, is replaced with the appropriate deserving blame . . . and he is seen for the political, self-serving scoundrel he turned out to be.
As for George W. Bush, little can be said which hasn’t already been said. A politician not just ignorant and incompetent, but one shamefully pushed by his mentor (and yet to be tried as war criminal), Dick Cheney, into unnecessary wars of choice in both Afghanistan and Iraq; wars that accentuated an unneeded anti-Islam portrait of America.
History is not likely to be kind to these two former presidents . . . but its fury and harshest judgment will truly be unchained when it judges the deeds the current occupant of the White House has performed when declaring economic war, via sanctions and pressure on the European Union to do the same, on Russia. De facto, imposing such sanctions on Russia was just a notch below a preemptive nuclear attack extending from Moscow to Vladivostok. Then, proudly claiming to have placed the Russian economy in tatters during his state of the union speech! Yes, incredibly abhorrent, as was the holocaustic infanticide caused by American sanctions placed on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
Perhaps, saddest of all was the acclamation Obama received after his “Russian economy in tatters and America’s resolve” remark from an audience representing all our three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. Add another couple of points to Obama’s popularity courtesy of a neo-fascist government and its belligerent attitude towards a Russia that is no longer communist but remains being Slav. Are we to add Slavophobia to our existing Islamophobia; and will Sinophobia come next?
© 2015 Ben Tanosborn
Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.