The Biggest and Most Expensive Circus on Earth, also known as the American presidential election campaign, is upon us. And, by ‘us’, I mean all inhabitants of this tormented planet, not just the people of the United States themselves.
For that is the first thing I’d like to say on the presidential elections in the US: the one that will be selected to live in the White House is not just head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the US. He (the only she has lost the Democratic primaries) is in fact, world boss. If democratic principles would prevail, all citizens of the world should have the right to take part in this election. Something like this has had been suggested in 2004. Maybe every country should demand admission and ask to become a state within the United States – with the right to elect two Senators, a number of Representatives and to help elect the president…
This would, obviously, be too much democracy to be tolerated. So we will have to endure the elections as they are now, and that wil not be fun. For – and this is the second thing I’d like to say – in an race between a Democratic and a Republican candidate, the sad thing is that they cannot both lose at the same time. For both deserve to lose. Both ar a threat to democratic rights, to the welfare of the majority, and to the remnants of peace in this world.
I will not insult my readers by taking much space explaining why McCain deserves to lose. He wants to continue the Iraq war endlessly. He threatens Iran with war. He walks in the footsteps of the Bush presidency. No more of that, please!
The other man, Barack Obama, has gained a deplorable amount of support from people on the Lleft. He does not deserve it, and that becomes clearer every week. He is refusing to block FISA, a piece of legislation that enables cooperation of big media in spying on people in America, and protects these corporations against lawsuits on that account. So much for privacy and civil rights. He basically blames black fathers for irrespioonsible behaviour towards their families – thereby going along with the racist sterotypes putting blame for poverty among black people on blacks, especially black men. So much for putting an end to racism. Het talks of withdrawing combat troops out of Iraq, but wants to keep a military force there: cambat troops number only half the American military force there. private contactors – or to use the proper term, mercenaries – may also be used under an Obama presidency, according to a Obama advisor. And Obama calls for more attention to other war fronts, especially Afganistan. A bit of de-escalation in Iraq, a bit of escalation in afghanistan, is that the best bargain for peace?! So much for ending war.
The vaguely progressive image thet Obama tried to promote in the primaries is fading quickly. And it’s not just a matter of moving to the center in order to win the elections. The problem goes much deeper that that. Every candidate that wants to become president through either the Democratic or the Republican party machinse, must be a defender of American capitalism, of the strong state that protects this capitalism. Every candidate, either Democratic or Republican, must be a promotor of empire and therefore an instigator of war. Being prepared to commit mass murder and other crimes usually goes with the (ambition for) job, as Arthur Silber explains, with only bits of exaggeration.
Obama may talk have talked Left to gain his candidacy; but he has to act Right (which means, wrong) when he is president. And he has, again and again, to prove to the big corporations and their big media mouthpieces, that he is prepared to dump his left-leaning language and to be as brutal as his predecessors. Obama is not betraying his principles by turning to the center. he is paying obeisance to the true principles guiding both parties: fealty to corporate interest and to imperialist ambitions. Again, he does not deserve any left wing support.