March 11, 2009

The big rant against everyone

For the last couple of posts I've been somewhat caught up in saccharine and probably irritating reflections on the perfection of my offspring and yes, they're wonderful, but I'm over that now.
Because... I recently finished 'The Audacity of Hope' by Barack Obama and feel an overdue political rant coming on.
To summarize the essense of the rant: What a cluster%#*!.
To be fair, President Obama presents the facts with a great deal of respect and humor so I don't think this was the impression he was trying to leave readers with when they think about Congress and the other banches of government. He clearly loves the Constitution and is a devout believer in Democracy, despite a few regretable shortcomings.
Anyway, before I get on a roll and start thumping anything but a Bible, let me just say that the book made me feel deeply respectful of Barack Obama as a person and grateful that he's at the helm during the current crisis instead of yet another geriatric-and-out-of-touch-with-reality or young-but-completely-amoral Republican. Or - let's be fair - some other well-meaning-but-indecisive-and-waffly Democrat.
That wasn't the rant, by the way, I'm just getting started.
Now it begins.
The book made me think critically about things I was trying not to think about because they're gloomy. And these unintended reflections made me mad at a fairly large cast of characters:
At the Bush government for systematically making poor short-sighted choices that brought a thriving economy to its knees and put - not to be too melodramatic here - the survival of the human race up for grabs. Yeah, sure, there were insustainable factors in place that made some sort of correction inevitable but looking over the last eight years is like watching an alien come to earth disguised as the President (and let us not forget the Vice President) and gently nudge everything toward a speedier collapse so they can take over when we're gone.
At the American people for voting for him twice. I'm going to generalize broadly here (because this is a blog and not a dissertation, which would require a little more fact checking on my end) and separate these people into two categories: the poor and the rich.
First the poor: I find it ironic that the people who have been hurt the most by Bush policies were also some of his staunchest supporters. People who go to church and probably try to lead decent lives but are unknowingly hindered by the fact that they believe gay marriage is a viable platform to base a Presidential campaign on and that Bush's tax cuts were intended to help them. As I look around at the state of the world I think they almost deserve what's happening to them now because they helped bring it on themselves.
Almost.
But not quite. Because they were seduced by very clever people whose watches cost more than their annual salary. (This is my rant against the rich, by the way.) People who sell out their employees to drive the share price up a few pennies before cashing out. Who don't want to pay a penny in taxes to the society that provides the infrastructure that allows them to live like they do. Who knew how to tap into the social power of the church for their own ends.
Speaking of which, I'm mad at organized religion, for butting into politics and choosing the wrong side. Yet again.
This might be a good time to mention that I'm a conservative Democrat who left organized religion behind years ago when I decided that unless the minister had God on speed dial, he probably didn't know any more than me about His intentions.
I'm mad at Congress for being so totally lame.
I'm also mad at the rest of us, who passively sat by or even actively contributed to the mess with our self-centered, wasteful lifestyles. I include myself in this list, by the way. I'm no poster child for enlightened living.
And finally, I'm mad at the rest of the world for starting pointless wars over non-essentials and failing to read the writing on the wall and behave better than the US.
Did I forget anyone?
So basically, I'm pretty much mad at everyone except my kids, who didn't create any of these problems but will inherit them.
Does anyone actually believe we'll never run out of stuff? That if we poison all our water and air we'll still be able to drink and breath? That it makes sense to increase the use of resources we know are running out? That money doesn't have to be backed by anything real? That a tiny super-rich elite surrounded by unrelieved poverty is a sustainable economic or political model? That the current status quo is still an option?
I doubt it. I think that most people, like me, try not to think about it because it's gloomy.
The good news is that President Obama gets it. Let's just hope he can persuade the rest of us.
To end on a lighter note, the current situation reminds me of an old joke: Earth and Mars are chatting and Mars asks Earth how she's doing. 'Not well,' moans Earth. 'I have a bad case of humans.' 'No worries,' says Mars bracingly. 'That goes away by itself.'
Let's hope it's just a joke.

14 comments:

  1. Whew! I'm really mad right now at the Republicans who cry "tax and spend" about the budget right now. Clearly we need to spend to dig ourselves out of the shit pile we're in. And how much of a deficit did Obama inherit again? As far as taxing the rich, from what I understand, Obama is just proposing that we let Bush's tax breaks expire! Breaks that enabled our richest people to pay only 17% in taxes with all the tax shelters they get. The birpartisanship seems deeper than ever with the ridiculous posturing going on right now because the Republican Party doesn't have an identity. Stop pointing fingers and roll up your sleeves people!

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  2. Good rant! As a Brit in Europe, we've been scratching our heads for eight years wondering why the Americans voted in Bush...

    Love the joke...

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  3. I agree with ladyfi. Us Europeans were unpleasantly surprised when Bush was voted TWICE. Greeks have a saying "If you make the same mistake twice, you prove that you are not wise".

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  4. Hi! I run an blog carnival with a friend called Strange Shores, where I feature ex-pats. So, if you send me a link to a post that you have written or write about life in Germany as an ex-pat, then I can add that link to the post that I write. Here is a link to the second edition of the blog carnival if you want to see what I mean:

    http://ladyfi.wordpress.com/2009/01/25/strange-shores-2/

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  5. I always enjoy reading a good rant!

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  6. You know better than to get me started on politicians. If we could just get rid of all of them, that would be a great start.

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  7. Maybe you should think about getting an opinion! LOL. I always feel better after I rant--hope you do too!

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  8. I don't even know where to begin to respond to this except to say, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I feel so powerless so much of the time which is why I voted b/c for once I felt a little bit of power to change things.

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  9. Your rant is better argued than some dissertations! Keep them coming!

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  10. How do you respond to something like this? Well written! Well said! You get MY vote!

    Love your blog, by the way.

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  11. You should watch "The Corporation." That will lighten your spirits. Not.

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  12. I am overwhelmed to the point of near speechlessness after reading your post and the comments. I felt similarly moved by Obama's book. He has awakened in many of us the need to care and take action to live differently and better to ask more of ourselves and less from others. If for no other reason, then for our children. (By the way, ours are perfect as well.) Your post has reminded me of how much I appreciate and miss language, information, and action. Staying home with the babes puts all that on the shelf for a while. If you find yourself short on material ever, this would be a terrific re-post. You could re-post this regularly and I would read it each time...but probably not all of your readers would.

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