Our time has come!

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by Gin Ichimaru, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Gin Ichimaru

    Gin Ichimaru New Member

    I am speaking for my own generation. Those of us who remember the 60s and 70s. We who grew up with television and saw the Vietnam War televised. We remember the '68 Democratic convention in Chicago. Some of us also were lured to the right by Reagan and his promises. "Vote for the Democrats if you want welfare. Vote for the Republicans if you want to work." Well we believed it all. But 8 years of George W. Bush proved this fallacy.

    Unlike many of my counterparts, I never really liked Bill Clinton. I saw him a s poser. He talked the talk but was he really a true progressive? He was the governor of a right-to-work state and hardly a friend of working people. He supported the death penalty and even executed a man who was mentally challenged. His appointment of Janet Reno was possibly the worst offense he committed. Reno was a right winger who led some of the worst assaults on civil liberties ever. Her heavy handed massacre of US civilians at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco was just one of many crimes committed by this wolf in sheep's clothing.

    The eight years of Dubya were hard for many Americans. The economy was decent at first. For a short while it actually seemed like we could live with this guy.

    Then came the 9/11 disaster. It took all of us by shock. Like most Americans I felt a sense of shock. Things like this occur in other countries. It could happen in Lebanon or Bosnia perhaps. But in the United States, in the largest US City?

    America was soon at war. We trusted our leader because, like the guy or not he was still the commander and chief. But there were whispers from some people. Some said that a cautious approach was in order. "Lets not get so gung ho for war until the facts are in." But caution was not in order here. The national security of the US was at risk and something had to be done.

    The US led war in Afghanistan was supported by and large. But then came an invasion of Iraq. Why was it necessary? Well, so we were told, there were links to Al Quida and Saddam Hussein. Could this be proven? Of course it could, we were told. Would our leaders lie to us? If you cannot trust the President than who can you trust.

    Some of us, including me began to start questioning the administration. I remembered Vietnam, after all. Did that not seem like a good idea?

    The 2000 election, we learned was stolen from us. It was engineered by Fox News and Karl Rove. Now we faced the 2004. Bush appealed to all fringe elements in the US, the gun rights/second amendment crowd, the gung-ho militarists, religious zealots and, of course the 20% of Americans who would actually benefit his presidency: the corporate executives and CEOs and others making six figure incomes.

    We saw more manipulations in 2004. We saw people turned away at the poles. We saw long lines. Even cases of fraud. Bush won. But at what cost was his victory?

    Soon he faced a hostile congress. More and more people began questioning the war in Iraq. Would there ever be an end?

    Then came financial chaises. Bush deregulated all sectors of the economy. Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae, once established as government agencies to loan to people in need had become privatized. Banks did as they pleased. They lent money to people who could not afford it. Mortgage brokers hustled and made millions. Sometimes committing fraud in the process. In some cases brokers would entice borrowers to sign contracts which would force the signers to pay thousands for not doing anything other than apply for a mortgage and nothing else. The wicked prospered and the suckers paid.

    2008 saw the beginning of a new era in America. The Republicans found their champion in John McCain. McCain had a reputation for independence, He often went against his own party. Yet he was still a conservative. He did not want a social revolution but simply reform. And by wearing the armor of his party he was forced to accept the party platform which included a lukewarm, almost non-existent health care program and more tax cuts. It was really George W Bush with a human face. He also brought on board Sarah Palin. Palin, he thought would enlist the support of women who were betrayed at the Democratic Party's rejection of Hillary Clinton. She was also a diehard social conservative with a folksy populist persona.

    Barak Obama, meanwhile emerged as the leader of the Democratic party.

    Being from the state of Illinois I was long familiar with Obama. I once supported him when he ran for US Senate. I was somewhat disappointed with his lukewarm opposition to the war in Iraq. He also supported many issues which I fundamentally opposed. Yet after my candidate, Dennis Kucinich dropped out there was only one place a progressive like me could go to.

    We now have our candidate Obama elected. What will happen next? Where do we go from here?

    I honestly do not know how the next four years will play out. I pray that Obama gets busy and gets some desperately needed reforms in place right away. I want to see health care reform so that all Americans can get their most basic needs met.

    Sarah Palin once accused Obama as being a socialist. But in my opinion he is not enough of a socialist. He really is not anti-free market. On the contrary, he wants to support the interests of businesses. He wants to enforce anti-trust laws which were neglected under Bush.

    I do know one thing, Obama's job for the next four years will be difficult. There is still a war going on. The economy is in shambles. The deficit is out of control and people are in pain. It will take years to repair this mess. Can he really pull this off? Can we have a strong economy and also provide for the most basic needs of our citizenry? Can we get off this dependence on foreign oil like an alcoholic can rid himself of his addiction?

    I do not know the answer to any of these questions. But I can tell you that when I heard Obama speak I did feel something I had not felt in many years. I did feel a certain pride in being an American. I felt like the eyes of the world were on this man and all were nodding approvingly. The US will persevere and be a great nation once again.
  2. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I fit that description and you certainly don't speak for me.
    I strongly and emphatically agree with John McCain in favoring "reform" in place of "social revolution".

    Progress is difficult to achieve and it's incremental. As Isaac Newton once said, the reason why he was able to see farther than other people was because he was standing on the shoulders of giants. Those who came before us achieved great things. Our best chance to achieve even greater things today is to build on those accomplishments, not to sweep everything away in a fit of hubris and start over from the beginning.

    The United States isn't perfect. Nothing that was created by human beings will ever be perfect. We aren't gods and America will never be a secularized answer to religion's promised Kingdom. But that doesn't mean that we should recoil from everything that inevitably falls short. We need to be tolerant of imperfection while at the same time never ceasing in making things a little better than we found them, in adding our own small contibutions to the world that our ancestors made.

    We need to be builders, not breakers.
    Again, you don't speak for me. Obama wasn't my candidate. But yes, that's the question that everyone is asking.

    Unfortunately, most of the rhetoric from the left so far has been long on anger and short on intelligent vision. Well, Bush will soon be out of office, and the Republicans with him.

    The country is in your hands now Gin Ichimaru, yours and people like you. If the expectation is that America will soon be moving in some entirely new direction, it's you who will have to define what that direction is and then lead us there. I don't have a clue what wonderful new future is in store for people like me and for the rest of the planet.

    But something about the cult of personality already building around this new President, his outdoor rallies and the messianic expectation that the whole world is about to... change, reminds me faintly of Europe in the first half of the 20'th century. I have to confess that I'm scared right now and have little confidence in the future.
  3. raristud2

    raristud2 New Member

    "But in my opinion he is not enough of a socialist"

    - I hope he steers away from socialist policies. The soviet union was a socialist republic. Afghanistan, China, Cuba, North Korea are current examples of socialist republics.
  4. Gin Ichimaru

    Gin Ichimaru New Member

    You give me too much credit Bill. I have am just a guy with a computer and nothing else. But I do think you should give the new guy a chance. You might be surprised. ;)

    Well its not that bad. I saw shades of that kind of Fascism/Stalinism that you so fear in the last administration. Especially after 9/11 and the militarism that followed. Personally I detest hateful rheteric.

    You see, revolution is necessary as Thomas Jefferson said. I believe that this is a revolution but not one like the French Revolution where heads rolled. Rather its about justice and a new kind of government which puts people ahead of money.

    Well the examples you cited are not really socialist economies. The Communist Revolutions like in Russia, China and Cuba occurred in nations which were pre industrial. And when Stalin imposed his will on the captive nations of Europe, the industrialized societies such as Czechoslovakia or Latvia had a great deal of difficulty adjusting to the Russian style of Marxism. Mainly because this was not done with the true nature of socialism. Now we do have examples of Social Democracy which do work in reality. Scandanavia, especially Denmark and Sweden have very successful economic societies. Even Isreal has successfully built a mixed economy.

    The US will probibly never become a People's Republic and I would not want to see one here anyway. But maybe we should make a society based on social justice where poor are cared for. That is my vision.
  5. raristud2

    raristud2 New Member

    Modern Denmark, and Sweden are good examples of countries where socialism is successful but are deemed in need of change.
    Here is an article that discusses sweden's current economic condition.

    "Sweden endured a deep financial crisis in the early '90s, with sluggish growth and high unemployment, but this provided an impetus to new approaches
    in fiscal policy. As a result, the central bank became independent and set a low inflation target of 2%. Centralized salary negotiations were abolished
    and the labor market developed into one of Europe's most flexible. Large companies have long been the major driving force behind the Swedish economy,
    but attention is now focused on the lack of small and emerging companies."

    "The non-socialist alliance's main goal is to lower taxation on labor and wealth, but it seeks to abolish unnecessary rules and regulations for those who start up their own company. Easing the path for Swedish entrepreneurs is a key issue on both sides of the political spectrum. Since the peak years between 1997 and 2000, the number of entrepreneurs has gone down dramatically with 20,000 fewer people starting up their own company in 2005."

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2008
  6. raristud2

    raristud2 New Member

  7. raristud2

    raristud2 New Member

    Here is an article that discusses the economy of Denmark as it was in 2006. Part of this report was authored by the current foreign minister of Denmark, so this information may place Denmark in better light. However, it is informative.

    "Broadly speaking, the Danish government has made three defining decisions. First, it prioritized education. All public education is free. In effect, 80% of the population has attained at least upper secondary education.

    Second, as a welfare state, the government takes care of its citizens through strong pensions, public health care, unemployment benefits, and long vacations. Contrary to the trend in some countries, Denmark has refused to compromise its social welfare system in order to compete on low taxes. By vigilantly managing a fiscal policy that targets budget surpluses while concurrently ensuring high levels of public services, Denmark has achieved a favorable investment climate without resorting to drastic public spending and tax cuts.

    Third, the Danish government has focused on globalization, the increasing integration of economies through trade and financial flows. They have formulated a Globalization Council chaired by the Prime Minister Rasmussen and business leaders, academic representatives, global experts, and labor union spokespersons that has deliberated, for a year, a comprehensive strategy for Denmark in the global economy. "It is the goal of the Danish government to maintain and further improve on the business environment."

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2008
  8. raristud2

    raristud2 New Member

    I noticed your interesting photo of a women dancing around a fire. Did you take this photo yourself?

    We share similar visions of that society. I envision a society that provides greater opportunities for the poor to earn a living through educational assistance, tuition waivers, and job guarantees.

    If assistance is provided to the poor, I would also like to provide assistance to working families who have large student loans and are struggling to pay their bills.

    Should the government offer free health care to all citizens? Are we willing to pay higher taxes for free heath care? The following author of a student newspaper offers his opinions on socialized health care.

    "The United States pays more in taxes (excluding private health expenditures, we're talking about just what the government pays on health care) per capita than does Canada, Great Britain and Sweden. As a percentage of our GDP, this tax burden outranks those of both Canada and New Zealand, who have socialized health care systems. And this doesn't even take into account the fact that our per capita GDP is astronomical.

    This is because the government already covers a lot of the most costly medical cases. Forty-nine percent of all health care expenditures in the United States are spent by the top five percent of all health care spenders, and these tend to be people with chronic diseases and disabilities, and the elderly. The government often covers these people either through Medicare or Medicaid, state health care plans or Social Security disability payments."

  9. basrsu

    basrsu Member

    Funny Statement

    The 2000 election, we learned was stolen from us. It was engineered by Fox News and Karl Rove.

    That's laughable. I assume you made such a ridiculous statement in jest.


  10. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I have searched for the information but not found it yet (maybe I will have to estimate it someday).
    What is the total of people in the US whose health insurance is paid by fed, state, or local governments?
    [My heatlth insurance has always been paid by the US federal Govt since I work exclusively on DOD and NASA contracts. ]

    Everyone pays "taxes" for health insurance - when you buy a car, fly on an aircraft, shop at a supermarket. A percentage goes towards health insurance for the suppliers of those products and services.
  11. Ike

    Ike New Member

    Yes, your time is hear and the future is in your hands


    Yes, I concur that your time has come. However, I disagree that a social revolution is coming because it’s never part of Obama’s manifesto. Nonetheless, all Americans and indeed all citizens of the world should be cheerful for witnessing one of the greatest history-making moments in our time. Obama’s win will echo down the generations as the moment that American resolutely decided to break away from the past and ultimately and rightly opted to base their judgment of fellow American on the contents of their character rather than the color of their skin. We should congratulate one another for giving history a big push.

    Those who are angry must know that they will soon become extinct because the polluted generation of Americans (my humble self included) can now be considered an endangered species (Americans who are 45 and older). American youths have spoken and they spoke very loudly. The country belongs to them. They are the leaders of tomorrow. On November 4, 2008, American youths (white, black and brown) proved once again that this country is the land of opportunity for all. The unpolluted generation, especially the white youths, have decided to break away from the past and move in a different direction.

    One member of this unpolluted generation is the daughter of late Gov. George Wallace. Mr. Wallace once uttered these words: “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever”. Mr. Wallace’s daughter worked indefatigably for Obama during the just concluded US Presidential election. Her work paid off. The rest is history. Americans from all works of life, creed, social orientations, and political persuasions should be very proud of that young lady for what she did to see that Barack Obama will be elected President of the United States of America.

    :D Now…..you should eat your excrement if you are still angry.:D

    God bless America
  12. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    It seems like you are assuming the people that are unhappy with the results are racists...or am I misunderstanding you? Perhaps they are just not happy with Obama's policies and views just like every other election where you have a different viewpoint.
  13. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    and in that same speech Governor Wallace also stated:

    "And my prayer is that the Father who reigns above us will bless all the people of this great sovereign State and nation, both white and black."

    Wallace was a democrat.

    Your final statement is rude and unprofessional. Why would you assume anyone is angry with the outcome?
  14. Ike

    Ike New Member

    I am not implying that all of them they are racist. After all, John Kerry and Al Gore lost their bids to become the President of the United States. I am saying that Americans should be happy for making what seemed impossible possible and that every American should be glad about that. If Obama's policies are bad, what are the alternatives? The alternatives are certainly not "good" but failed policies of President Bush that McCain was espousing. Doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same result over and over again will be tantamount to lunacy.
  15. Ike

    Ike New Member

    Perhaps, you missed the smiley….. :D . That was a jocular statement. I separated it from from the rest of my statements for a purpose. Please lighten up and cherish Obama’s victory.
  16. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I do have my concerns with certain things but I will wait and see how things play out. I hope I am wrong in my thoughts.
  17. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck


    I never viewed electing a black president as impossible, or any other minority for that matter. I have always voted based upon the candidates positions important to me and my family. However, I think it would have been interesting if Colin Powell or Condoleeza Rice would have run against Obama. Race would not have been a discussion, experience would have been. I view Obama as untested and perhaps coming into one of the worst episodes of American history. And while it is a moot point now, I would rather have a tested veteran (and not necessarily John McCain) than a rookie.

    There are over 1.6 million federal workers (lead by about 7000 executives), what exactly is going to change? Initially, only the political appointees. The reason the government is so slow to change is that we have to wait for policy decisions to be made and ratified before we can move an inch forward. The same career folks who have been here for many presidents are still here. If we were as inept as many would have us believe how is Obama going to make us competent? We are still waiting for specifics, we didn't see any during the campaign and to date haven't seen any. 2009 should usher in the plans and policies. I hope that the plans and policies are more effective than many of those gone awry and in place now. The question is how quickly can we make these decisions and how quickly can we implement.

    So all in all, while I can appreciate the historical perspective, race was completely unimportant to me. We have to move past the race issue (historical notwithstanding) and get to the problems undermining our country. The sooner the better.
  18. I for one am much better off than I was 4 years ago, or 8 years ago. I may or may not be better off 4 years from now, but if I am, it's because of hard work, not because of a handout. McCain lost for many reasons, one of the key ones being that nobody could figure out why someone should vote FOR McCain as opposed to AGAINST Obama. The party bereft of a good message and strategy will always lose, which is what happened to Kerry and Gore in elections past. Major kudos go to David Plouffe for keeping the message and the strategy consistent even when others attempted to derail them.

    With respect to any sort of "manifesto", here are a couple of good Thomas Jefferson quotes to ponder:

    “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”

    “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

    I sincerely hope that Congress remembers that 52% voted for Obama, while 48% didn't, and that the Democrats improved their position in Congress but didn't totally dominate it. If they forget all of this and decide to spend their political capital in a way that drifts too far from the center you will find that 2010 will bring in its own message of "change", with many Obama supporters (such as students) back to their traditional level of apathy for a midterm election.

    If the incoming President and his cabinet decide to raise taxes to pay to improve the nation, with the needy contributing to this work (and benefiting from it), that is a worthy notion. But merely "spreading the wealth" through "redistribution" is not a noble cause if it's unearned.

    I personally believe that President Obama will be more centrist than many Liberal Democrats hope for, and if not, there are the Blue Dogs that will hopefully keep spending on a leash until the economy improves. Taxing the "haves" to fund the "have nots" is not what the USA stands for. Equality doesn't mean the right to own a home or to get a job handed to you, but the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - and the opportunity to succeed.
  19. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    At this point it isn't clear what Obama's policies are going to be. During the election he promised many different and sometimes inconsistent things, but it remains to be seen what ultimately becomes reality.

    More fundamentally, Obama and his supporters have straddled the distinction between revolutionary radicalism and pragmatic moderation. In the primaries he was the champion of the party's "progressive" base, attacking the more moderate Hillary Clinton from her left. Then in the general election Obama quickly redefined himself (with the media's willing help) as a responsible and non-threatening moderate.

    It's reflected in Obama's own history and circle of associations. Who and what really has his ear and his heart? Rev. Wright, Fr. Pfleger and the Weather Underground? Or Joe Biden and the Democratic party's pragmatic grownups?

    The man's been something of a sphinx so far, a human ink-blot in whom other people see precisely what they want to see. The country's elected him, but I don't think that anyone really knows very much about him. All that's mattered so far is that he wasn't George Bush. But Bush is gone, beaten, swept away, and who Barack Obama really is will start to matter very much.

    That's what this thread is about. Gin Ichimaru obviously thinks that Obama is some sort of revolutionary. I've seen other people writing the same thing - that what we've just witnessed has been some kind of bloodless revolution that will usher in a new and radically different age. My fear is that it's not all triumphalist hyperbole, that there may actually be some truth to it. Hence my remark about European politics in the first half of the 20'th century.

    So everyone should shut up and just cheer Barack Obama because he's black?

    I don't think that black Americans will have truly arrived in the mainstream until they can move in the mainstream simply as a matter of course, without any special significance being placed on their race. That's why Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell might have been the more truly progressive figures, Americans first-and-foremost who just happened to be black, as opposed to blacks first-and-foremost who just happen to be American.

    There's this idea prevalent among the race-class-gender militants of the left that the only real black leaders are those individuals who promote some kind of black agenda. Black leaders without the agenda are "oreos", black faces with white hearts. The Rev. Wright episode seems to have reassured that part of the base about Obama. Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell never communicated anything similar, so they were never accepted as black in the same way.

    I think that prejudice against older Americans is every bit as evil and reprehensible as racism. Declaring older people "polluted" and cheering the prospect of their coming deaths reminds me of very similar things that Adolph Hitler once said about the Jews.

    Well, I guess that I know what you think of me.

    It might be cathartic for you to cheer the cleansing of America of its polluted inhabitants. But revolutionary sentiments like those do nothing to put to rest my own dark worries about the future.

    Only the progress of actual events will determine whether my worries are verified or whether they quickly evaporate in the face of a positive and successful Presidency
  20. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Very well said and I could not agree more. I have tripled my income in the past 8 years through hard work and continuing education (that I paid for).

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