Argggh … Politics!!

September 13, 2008 at 5:56 pm Leave a comment

It’s been so long since my last post.  I’ve been avidly following the U.S. election.  It seems so much more important than our own here in Canada.

The Republicans and especially McCain and Sarah Barracuda frighten the living daylights out of me.  That a party can be so disingenuously in the pockets of lobbyists and evangelical Christians and STILL be seen by 50% of the electorate as a viable choice to form a government is nothing short of evidence of mass psychosis.

Where Obama and his people are spinning and positioning but generally taking the high road, McCain and his people are outright lying.  In particular, McCain’s statement that Obama’s plan for health care reform puts a government bureaucrat in the way of the “average American” and adequate care would be laughable, if it wasn’t so blindingly, simplistically WRONG.  The strategy here is to deceive a huge swath of the U.S. electorate who have been conditioned to fear “socialist” policies:  tricking them into believing that health care reform will cost them more money and mean worse care.

As it is now, huge insurance companies, for-profit organizations, stand between the average American and adequate care.  And these days, that means a great number of the formerly middle middle-class, not to mention those who don’t have health insurance at all because they have lost their jobs and therefore their coverage.  That is, what, better?!?!

The Canadian health care system has flaws, for sure.  But we don’t regularly have people being denied care or going bankrupt because they can’t afford private insurance premiums. People bleeding to death after being shuttled from one emergency department to another because their credit cards were maxed out or the hospital they stumbled into had already served their quota of uninsured.  Or people simply dying because they couldn’t get the proper treatment as it wasn’t on their HMO’s approved list.

“Big government”, “socialized medicine” and the potential of higher taxes are like waving a red flag in front of a bull for so many Americans.  Brains turn off, and fears take over any kind of logical or critical thinking.  Combine that with raising the spectre of unpreparedness or weakness in terms of facing down the “terrorists,” and it’s a lie that quickly turns lethal.  Lethal for Americans who are living in poverty.  Lethal for those who are fighting a misguided and illegal war.   Lethal for those who can’t afford a college education to dig them out of the cycle of poverty that inevitably leads to lowered life expectancy through violence, poorer health and death in war in disproportionate numbers.

And McCain and Guiliani and Palin had the utter balls and contempt to scoff at Obama’s experience as a community organizer.  Someone who has actually got his hands dirty trying to help the very people that eight years of Bush ineptness have driven deeper into poverty and despair.

McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin, the far-right wing, anti-abortion, NRA-supporting, environment-destroying and woefully inexperienced Creationist Governor from Alaska, betrays his dangerous recklessness and opportunistic pandering to his party’s base at the cost of his own principles.  Until this pick revealed him for what he was, McCain was actually appearing to be a tolerable Republican.  I wouldn’t have voted for him, even if I could, but I wouldn’t have felt so heart-achingly, mind-numbingly frightened of the potential third term of Republicanism in the U.S. had he selected, say, Lieberman as his running mate.

Maybe he has done us a favour by showing his cards so clearly.  Within the first few days of her nomination, I had hope that it would be seen for what it was:  a shameless ploy to curry the favour of undecided independents, and one that showed utter contempt for voters with even a few remaining braincells.  But alas, his ploy seems to have worked to mobilize the Republican base.  I can only hope it mobilized the Democrat base, as well.

Unfortunately, the Democrats–the thinking person’s party–appear to be making their typical campaign errors of talking over the heads of people and shooting themselves in the foot by navel-gazing and psychoanalyzing, instead of going on the offensive with clear, compelling arguments to counter Republican fear-mongering.

Maybe Palin will sewer him yet.  Or better yet, McCain will sewer himself.  The debates will tell a tale, I believe.  I don’t know if I have the intestinal fortitude to watch them.

As it stands, watching the two conventions and the campaigns unfold, I am on the edge of my seat with my heart in my throat and my stomach in knots.  I think there is a very real possibility that the Republicans could win this election.  What that says about the malaise, fear, and complete lack of common-sense and rational thought of a population of 300 million people just south of me makes me shake my head in wonder.  And worse, what it means for the future of the planet makes me want to vomit.

Sigh.

This, along with Jon Stewart and Spamalot (which I saw here in Toronto recently) are the only things that’ve made me laugh in the last two weeks.  Enjoy:

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Entry filed under: Politics. Tags: , , , , , .

Let The Games Begin! Canadians for Obama

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