Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

An Election—and a Nation—Lost in Vietnam & Afghanistan

An Election—and a Nation—Lost in Vietnam & Afghanistan

by Harvey Wasserman/Solartopia.org
November 5, 2014

http://solartopia.org/an-election-and-a-nation-lost-in-vietnam-afghanistan/

The GOP/corporate coup d’etat is nearly complete.

The Republicans now control the major media, the Supreme Court, the Congress and soon the presidency.

Think Jeb Bush in 2016.

All throughout America, right down to the local level, buried in a tsunami of cash and corruption, our public servants are being morphed into corporate operatives.

Our electoral apparatus is thoroughly compromised by oceans of dirty money, Jim Crow registration traps, rigged electronic voting machines, gerrymandering, corrupt secretaries of state.

The internet may be next. Above all, if there is one thing that could save us a shred of democracy, it’s preserving net neutrality. This fight could in fact outweigh all the others, and may be decided soon. Whatever depression you may now feel, shake it off to wage this battle. If we now lose the ability to freely communicate, we are in the deepest hole of all.

The roots of this corporate coup reach where they always do when empires collapse—useless, cancerous, debilitating, endless imperial war.

Lyndon Johnson lit the fuse in March, 1965. He had a chance to get us out of Vietnam. For many complex reasons—none of them sane—he escalated. He never recovered, and neither has our nation.

In 1967-8, an aroused generation marched for peace at the Pentagon, Chicago and elsewhere. We were accused of shattering the Democratic Party. But in fact we forced Johnson to negotiate a pre-election truce that might have saved the presidency for Hubert Humphrey.

As we all now know, that truce was treasonously sabotaged by Richard Nixon, in league with Henry Kissinger. LBJ knew what had been done, but said nothing. Had he trusted the American public with that knowledge, Nixon would have been gone long before Watergate, the war might have ended far sooner, the Democratic Party might still have meant something.

Instead, the party and the rest of us became prisoners of imperial war, captives of the corporations that profit from it.

From Watergate all we got was a punchless, corporate Jimmy Carter.

And from a dozen hellish years of Reagan-Bush, we got a showy, corporate Bill Clinton...and not a single substantial social reform. But the corporations got NAFTA, gutted social welfare, soaring college tuitions, abolition of New Deal safeguards against Wall Street greed, and much more.

They also got the death of the Fairness Doctrine from Reagan, and then a 1996 telecommunications act from Clinton that gave them full control of the major media. The age of Fox “News” was born in double-think.

Meanwhile Al Gore and John Kerry allowed the corporations to gut our electoral system. Gore won in 2000, saw the election stolen in Florida, and—like LBJ with Nixon’s treason—said not a word. It was absurdly easier to blame Ralph Nader for Gore’s blithe discard than to buckle down and fight for an election protection apparatus to preserve the vote so many had fought and died to win.

Kerry won in 2004, saw the election stolen in Ohio, and repeated Gore’s meek, mute skulk to oblivion. The Democrats let a corporate Jim Crow gut the registration process, deny millions of Americans their vote, install a national network of easily flippable electronic voting machines...and they said nothing.

Along the way the Supreme Court was handed to the corporations. Soon enough, they would open the floodgates.

But from the ashes of the Iraq war and the horrors of Bush 2, enough public power remained in 2008 to finally put an African-American in the White House. With his apparent opposition to the Iraq War, and loads of rhetoric about hope and change, Barak Obama won a mandate to heal the wounds inflicted by yet another Bush corporate presidency.

Obama expanded national medical coverage, and talked the talk of the global ecology and public good.

Then he sank us in the quicksand of Southwest Asia.

In analyzing this latest electoral debacle, our Orwellian corporate bloviators avoid like the plague any mention of corporate money or imperial war.

But like LBJ in Vietnam...Afghanistan and Obama’s other wars have gutted his presidency and all he might have been. They’ve drained our shrunken moral and financial resources. They’ve turned yet another Democratic harbinger of hope into feeble corporate cannon fodder. They’ve battered and alienated yet another generation of the progressive core.

Thus the GOP has been enthroned by a half-century of Democrats who’ve helped drag us into endless war, ignored our electoral rights and sold their souls—and the nation’s—to a zombie army of corporate operatives.

The money power has ruled this nation before. This time it means a whole new level of all-out war against social justice, our basic rights, our ability to live in harmony with our Mother Earth.

Beset by a whole new level of global disaster, we have no choice but to find some completely new answers. Our survival depends on it.

It will take all our creative and activist juices. Nothing is clear except that it won’t be easy.

And that no matter which corporate party tries to lead us there, the path to the promised land does not go through the deadly quicksand of imperial war, empty rhetoric or corrupted elections.

*************

Harvey Wasserman’s History of the United States is at www.solartopia.org, as is his Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Philip Temple: Hang On A Minute, Mate
Peter Dunne quietly omits some salient facts when arguing for retention of MMP’s coat-tailing provision that allows a party to add list seats if it wins one electorate and achieves more than 1% or so of the party vote... More>>


Cheap Grace And Climate Change: Australia And COP26

It was not for everybody, but the shock advertising tactics of the Australian comedian Dan Ilic made an appropriate point. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a famed coal hugger, has vacillated about whether to even go to the climate conference in Glasgow. Having himself turned the country’s prime ministerial office into an extended advertising agency, Ilic was speaking his language... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Funeral Rites For COVID Zero
It was such a noble public health dream, even if rather hazy to begin with. Run down SARS-CoV-2. Suppress it. Crush it. Or just “flatten the curve”, which could have meant versions of all the above. This created a climate of numerical sensitivity: a few case infections here, a few cases there, would warrant immediate, sharp lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, the closure of all non-vital service outlets... More>>


Dunne Speaks: Labour's High Water Mark
If I were still a member of the Labour Party I would be feeling a little concerned after this week’s Colmar Brunton public opinion poll. Not because the poll suggested Labour is going to lose office any time soon – it did not – nor because it showed other parties doing better – they are not... More>>



Our Man In Washington: Morrison’s Tour Of Deception

It was startling and even shocking. Away from the thrust and cut of domestic politics, not to mention noisy discord within his government’s ranks, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison could breathe a sign of relief. Perhaps no one would notice in Washington that Australia remains prehistoric in approaching climate change relative to its counterparts... More>>



Binoy Kampmark: Melbourne Quake: Shaken, Not Stirred

It began just after a news interview. Time: a quarter past nine. Morning of September 22, and yet to take a sip from the brewed Turkish coffee, its light thin surface foam inviting. The Australian city of Melbourne in its sixth lockdown, its residents fatigued and ravaged by regulations. Rising COVID-19 numbers, seemingly inexorable... More>>