After having been part of the American electoral process for the past 12 presidential elections, I have made a vow to make my contribution count this 13th time around, and not gift my vote once again to one of the two political parties which duopolistically keep the American voter subservient to powerful interests which corrupt America’s legislative process through their lobbies. During the next four months my columns will follow a consistent theme: why the reelection of Barack Obama will be detrimental, in the long run, to the political and social well-being of the American citizenry; not all its citizenry, that’s true, just the impoverished, or soon to be impoverished, 80 percent majority.
America’s so-called middle class has already been trashed economically, even if half of the people in the trash pile, or those who are on their way there, are unaware of their status or simply blind themselves to that reality. And it is that reality, not accepting the truth of the present socioeconomic conditions, which keeps many Americans in political chains to the two ruling parties. Harriet Tubman, the humanitarian African-American abolitionist, faced that same reality one and a half centuries ago as she claimed: “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” True progressives in America are battling these days that very same ignorance.
As in every past election, progressives of all varieties are courted by the Democrats for their vote. After all, most of them live under that huge political umbrella where they do have a muffled voice, which they are constantly reminded it’s better than no voice at all. And so, it’s back to that quadrennial reminder from the Democratic leadership: “Hey, we are the lesser of the two evils . . . what are you going to do, throw away your vote or give it to the military-corporate ruling class represented by the Republicans?”
Yet, the Democratic leadership, masked with a gentler more benign face, is nothing but the other side of the same evil coin. No matter how Americans flip their political coin during election time, the landing—heads or tails, Tweedledum or Tweedledee—will result in the same type of non-democratic, non-representative government that we’ve had for two generations: a government of the, by the, and for the military-corporate ruling class. To think of it any other way is a tribute to either amorality or ignorance.
In 2008, much of that bandwagon which helped elect Barack Obama did so hopeful that a fresh new politician, yet uncontaminated by a poisonous Washington, would have the valor to confront the Cerberus guarding America with its three heads: the Pentagon, Wall Street and Hypo-Christianity. It wasn’t long after assuming the presidency that Obama made it clear that he lacked both valor and leadership to tackle the tri-headed monster guarding the Hades where 80 percent of Americans are held. A firecracker-to-be president that turned out to be just a dud! An absolute dud . . . whether dealing with the war in Afghanistan . . . or (not) addressing the Palestine-Israeli situation . . . or failing to provide economic light—not bringing justice to the sacking of the American people by Wall Street . . . or dealing with the problem of immigration . . . or even dealing with Gitmo and the sanctioning of America’s widespread abuse of human rights.
From the 1960s to the 1980s, an American company which packaged and sold tuna, StarKist, used a cartoon mascot, Charlie the Tuna, to promote its product, and did so very successfully. The television ads depicted Charlie, a tuna hipster wearing a Greek fisherman’s hat and coke-bottle glasses trying to get caught and be part of the premium product sold by StarKist. After all, it was Charlie’s contention that he deserved that since he was a tuna of “good taste.” But he was always thrown back to the water with a “Sorry, Charlie” . . . since StarKist was not looking for tuna of “good taste” but for tuna that “tasted good.”
Just like Charley, our president of good taste—articulate, educated and likeable—lacks the attributes that are needed for the American diet: vision; determination; resolve to confront the problems of the Middle East; economic knowledge; and valor to face an imperial military whose raison d’etre is ongoing conflict somewhere in the world.
And just like StarKist, the corporate brand, told Charley the Tuna, “Sorry, Charlie,” my advocacy will be to have Americans say, “Sorry, Obama,” on Tuesday, November 6. We’ll be expanding on every reason why during the coming weeks to election.
© 2012 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.