President Obama — author says his accomplishments greatly under-appreciated
[Beneath The Spin]
A gentleman by the name of Wallace Nixon wrote the publisher of Black Star News and said the following:
“Just read the “Pearls of Wisdom” by Mr. Wattree and it is amazing that a man who speaks with such wisdom and compassion about life can consistently defend and even praise president Obama who is a congenital liar and war criminal! The contradiction is gross. Perhaps there[’s] something here I don’t see. If so let me know.”
In response, Mr. Nixon, first, I’d like to thank you for the “slapliment.” It’s gratifying to know that you find a little something of value in what I have to say, and I’m happy take whatever I can get. I can’t hope to get through to everyone on every issue, but I’m glad to hear that I’m getting through to you on some level. That gives me hope.
But with respect to President Obama, I’d like to suggest that there is indeed a lot here that you obviously don’t see. For example, an accurate portrait of two congenital liars and war criminals is President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, who used a brutal attack against the United States as a pretext to attack a country that had absolutely nothing to do with the event, killed over a million Iraqi citizens, and kill or maim thousands of American troops in order to enrich their cronies – including Halliburton, the corporation that Vice President Cheney headed prior to assuming office.
In addition, they ravaged the national treasury to the tune of $4 trillion , and then committed an additional $2.8 trillion to a tax cut for the rich in order to promote the GOP’s agenda of over eighty years – undermining the poor and middle-class safety net put into place by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” for the American people.
On the other hand, While I don’t like killing machines either, I’ve had to take into account the fact that President Obama is charged with the responsibility of seeing to it that neither Al Qaeda, nor any other terrorist group, manages to get their hands on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, an arsenal that’s essentially right down the street from where they located Osama Bin Laden.
So while some would have us believe that Obama is in Afghanistan just killing people for the hell of it, or for the oil companies, that’s a myth. He’s trying to make sure that YOUR family is not blown up by angry religious fanatics who think that God will bless them if they blow up the United States – or “The Great Satan.”
Further, while war, and killing in general, is an ugly business, it is very much a reality in the world we live in. So as I see it, if we have to lob missiles into an area filled with innocent people, since hiding behind human shields seems to be the terrorists’ preferred mode of defense, the drone is a far better alternative than simply firing missiles and such blindly. In addition, they keep American troops out of harm’s way.
The True Conservative Philosophy: In order to understand the GOP’s true motivation, you have to understand the true philosophy of the establishment conservative, as oppose to the sanitized philosophy that they present to the American people. Alexander Hamilton was one of the founding father’s of fiscal conservatism. He said the following during the Federalist Convention of 1787:
“All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and wellborn, the other the mass of the people…. The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government.”–Debates of the Federalist Convention (May 14-September 17, 1787).
In short, Hamilton suggested that if you aren’t “rich and wellborn,” he didn’t think you should be able to either vote or hold office, and many people who control the GOP today are still of that mind. So what many rank-and-file Republicans and social conservatives fail to understand is, they’re being used.
The corporatist (or fiscal conservatives) don’t care any more about them than they do Blacks, Hispanics, women, or gays, and when they are done with them, they’re going to discard them like a soiled Tampon, because the GOP’s ultimate goal is to turn America into a corporate feudalist society, and lower the American middle-class standard of living to conform to that of the global economy, where workers only make as much a week as the average middle-class American spends on lunch per day – and that goes for whether you’re Black, White, liberal, or conservative. If you’re not “rich and wellborn,” you’re the enemy. Contrary to popular opinion, we are currently knee-deep in a class war – and the poor and middle class are losing badly.
But since the majority of the founding fathers chose to establish a Democratic Republic as opposed to a Plutocracy as Alexander Hamilton advocated, those who were of his plutocratic mind-set had to keep a low profile in order to preserve their political viability, but they continued to work to change the system to their liking through their wealth, political clout, and ultimately, their employment policies. That’s one of the things that led to the horrendous working conditions for the average American worker during the Great Depression.
In 1929 during Republican, Herbert Hoover’s administration, the stock market crashed – much like under the Bush Administration – starting the Great Depression, but back then there was no Barack Obama to come to the rescue or mitigate the damage early on. So in spite of the fact that by 1933 the unemployment rate was at 33.3% with 16 million people out of work, the Republican, Herbert Hoover, just sat, thinking that the economy would eventually rejuvenate itself. Much like Republicans of today, Hoover and his Republican Party had absolutely no compassion for either the plight of the American people, or America’s veterans who had put their lives on the line for this country.
During Hoover’s administration, 15,000 WWI veterans marched on Washington demanding that they be paid what they were owed by the government. Hoover responded by calling in federal troops to throw these ex-servicemen off government property.
The conditions were horrific. During the Great Depression there was no such thing as Social Security, so when a person became too old or weak to work they had no income, so they had to depend on their children for support. That meant instead of a husband and wife only having to support themselves and their children, which was tough enough during those times, they also had to support their parents. So three generations of a family could be living in one household – and in many cases, the parents of both the husband, and the wife lived with the family.
In addition, there was no such thing as Medicare or Medicaid, so when one of grandparents became ill the medical costs would devastate the entire family. These conditions kept lower and middle-class families in such dire need of funds that they had to accept whatever crumbs the business community chose to throw at them – and remember, at that time there was no Fair Labor Standards Act or unions to protect a worker’s rights, or a minimum wage, so businesses could treat the worker anyway they wanted, and pay them whatever they wanted.
They could work you 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no overtime, and no paid vacation. In addition, since there was no child labor laws, if your boss didn’t think you were being productive enough, he could insist that you bring your children in (as young as 9 years old) to assist you if you wanted to keep your job. Then if you protested, he could fire you on the spot, in which case, your entire family – sick grandparents and all – would be thrown out on the street, because there was no such thing as unemployment insurance.
As a result, in many cases the entire family, including the children, had to work long, hard hours under sweatshop-like conditions in coal minds and the like, which in many cases led to the death and/or maiming of young children. So in a very real sense, Great Depression era workers lived under a form of slavery – the one difference was, they had to go out and find their own housing.
Think back to the “Little Rascals” we use to watch as kids, and how ragged they were, or the cartoons we use to watch, where a landlord would come to the door (always portrayed in a black suit) and would tell a begging and crying mother that she had one more day to come up with the rent or she and her family would be thrown out in the snow. That was an accurate portrayal of the way people lived in those days, and those are the conditions that the conservative Republican agenda would restore in America today. Those are the conditions that they’re fighting to restore today.
Think about it – while the GOP comes up with various pretexts to explain their actions, they are opposed to the minimum wage, they would cut unemployment insurance, “modify” Social Security, they’re against Affordable healthcare, they’re leaving no stone unturned to abolish unions, they’re blocking every jobs bill that comes before them, and in spite of record corporate profits, their corporate cronies are sending jobs out of the country and keeping unemployment high until the American middle class caves in and accept a lower standard of living.
Keeping unemployment high also serves another purpose – it provides an endless supply of young American men and women to use as canon fodder for neocon military adventurism. But what else do you expect them to do? We certainly can’t expect them to send their children over there to die for the country. Dying for your country is no longer for the “rich and wellborn,” that’s for the “little people.”
Then, if your children come back home maimed and broken from their service to the country, the GOP has absolutely no compassion for them. Just like with Herbert Hoover, they call them deadbeats and a burden on the nation for having to beg for food stamps, and them throw them off the premises. And that’s in spite of the fact that most of the GOP ran – like Dick ‘five-deferments’ Cheney – when they were called upon to serve the nation. The GOP only love our troops as long as they can carry a weapon.
A “New Deal” For the American People: But 1933 – after 12 years of Republican governance, and 4 years into the Great Depression – the very aristocratic, but quintessential “bleeding heart liberal” Democrat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected – and he walk through the door coming to rescue the American People, and setting a Democratic tradition in stone in the process. So you see, the Democratic Party was the party of the people long before that had anything to do with Civil Rights, its just that when Civil Rights became an issue, the party remained true to its tradition, and embraced the cause of the underdog.
That tradition was firmly established by FDR during the Great Depression. As soon as he took office he immediately surrounded himself with a group of the finest minds in the country, including Columbia professors Adolph A. Berle, Jr., Rexford G. Tugwell, and Raymond Moley, known at the time as the “Brain Trust.” After assembling these men and others he went about the business of developing a” New Deal” for the working class people of this country, who at that point, were starving in the street.
So it says much about the cynical character of the GOP that they could take the American penchant for justice and human compassion, and turn it into something to be frowned upon with disdain. That’s who we’re supposed to be as a people, so by definition, the GOP attitude toward the common man, is un-American.
The New Deal had two components – one to help the economy to recover from the effects of the Great Depression, and a second component to bring relief to the American people and insure that they would never be placed in a position of total destitution again. To help heal the economy Roosevelt created programs that regulated business, controlled inflation, and brought about price stabilization; to bring relief to the people, he created job programs (much like the GOP is blocking today), signed The National Labor Relations Act which guaranteed workers the right to collective bargaining, and he created the Social Security Administration to guarantee workers some sort of income once they became too old or sick to work. He also signed the Fair Labor Standards Act which protected workers rights and set a minimum wage for workers.
With his New Deal in place, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this “bleeding heart liberal,” not only led this country out of the worst, Republican generated crisis that this country has ever faced, but went on to lead the free world in victory over Hitler in WWII, and then ushered in the most sustained prosperity that the world has ever known. The American people loved this “bleeding heart liberal,” because they knew his heart bled for them. As a result, the American people elected him four times.
And just as significant to this discussion, they had the good sense not to let a Republican anywhere near the White House again – and with the exception of one Republican since, Ike Eisenhower, history has proven conclusively that these people, referred to as “the greatest generation,” exercised very sound judgment in that regard. In fact, as his very last act of office, even Ike warned us about the Dick Cheneys of the world.
“In the 1944 election, during World War II, Roosevelt won a fourth term but suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died in office the following year. Thus, Franklin Roosevelt was the only President to have served more than two terms.
Near the end of the 1944 campaign, Republican nominee Thomas E. Dewey, the governor of New York, announced support of an amendment that would limit future presidents to two terms. According to Dewey, “Four terms, or sixteen years, is the most dangerous threat to our freedom ever proposed.”
Yeah, and it wasn’t working very well for the Republicans either.
The Republican Agenda And Strategy: But during Civil Rights Movement the Republican Party began to regain some traction as a result of literally millions of racist “Dixiecrats” migrating to the GOP. So the modern Republican Party is coalition of three separate constituencies with confluent interests. The first group is made up of traditional conservatives. These are highly patriotic Americans who believe in limited government, the primacy of the people over government, and fiscal responsibility. But the other two groups that have coalesced within the GOP are much more malevolent – international business interests (fiscal conservatives), and social conservatives (the social bigots).
It is the former of these two, international business, that controls the GOP. It’s made up of wealthy and highly educated individuals with huge amounts of monetary resources, and thus, political influence – and they use every bit of that leverage to manipulate what has become their citizen army – the social conservatives. These are the people who hate any and everybody who doesn’t look, think, and act like themselves.
The social conservatives are the people we see armed to the teeth at presidential speeches, disrupting town hall meetings, and fighting against their own interests. In short, these are the “Joe the Plumbers” of the world who are being deluded by corporatist propaganda. Also among their ranks are the diehard racists who are still fighting to promote a segregationist agenda. The GOP has found these people easy to manipulate by simply appealing to their emotions.
With the huge migration of social conservatives into it’s ranks, the leaders of the GOP formulated a new strategy – divide and conquer. They use their social conservative army to create anger and dissension among the poor and middle class, and that allows the GOP to attack popular safety-net programs by alleging that it’s being abuse by one group or another. Here’s an example of that tactic at works:
Ironically, the conservatives have taken the Democratic Party’s strength and made it a political liability. First they took the party’s penchant for being concern with the plight of the American people and coined phrases such as “bleeding heart liberals” and “tax and spend Democrats.” They then played on the frustration of the middle class by tying civil rights legislation, welfare, and crime into one neat bundle as the source of middle class woes; then they attributed all of these problems to what they called the Democrat’s tendency to be ” bleeding heart liberals”. Once the connection was made between minorities, welfare, crime, and the liberal agenda, it was just a matter of repeatedly hammering the message home.
In addition, conservatives used such tactics as spitting out the word “liberal” as though they were saying rapist. In this way they not only implanted a negative attitude toward liberalism in the mind of the voter, but it’s said in such a way that the implication is made that it went without saying that all the negative stereotyping of liberalism is true. In other words, their attitude seemed to suggest, “I could substantiate what I’m saying about liberals, but I don’t think it’s necessary since we all know what they’re like.” And since the GOP has been engaged in a brutal assault our educational system for the past 35 years, very few people know enough about past Republican atrocities, or the illustrious liberal tradition, to know the difference. So many of the electorate simply believe what they’re being told by FOX News, and they have absolutely no idea that they’re dancing with the Devil.
Through these strategies conservatives accomplished three goals with one ingenious stroke – they defined minorities as slovenly criminals, they define liberal Democrats as “soft on crime,” and they allowed themselves the freedom to place these thoughts in the American psyche without having to substantiate their facts. Moreover, they accomplish all this in every sound bite, and without seeming to be blatantly racist with the use of just one word, “liberal.” In fact, conservatives have been so thorough in their disparagement of liberalism that at this point the word “liberal” is treated like vulgarity, and simply referred to as “the L word.” And that is indeed ironic, considering what liberals have done for this country – and more likely than not, many liberal-hater’s very own grandparents.
That’s why we hear remarks by people who think they’re conservative like, “Black people are wedded to the Democratic Party because they’re being bought with welfare checks,” or that “Black people see Obama as the Messiah.” Such statements betray their ignorance, because they obviously have absolutely no knowledge of the Republican Party’s atrocious history, nor the parallel in history between Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Barack Hussein Obama.
So yes, Mr. Wallace Nixon, there seems to be a lot you don’t see regarding my unfettered support of President Obama.
As I’ve said in a previous article, Americans, by nature, tend to gravitate toward the underdog, and while President Obama is undoubtedly the most powerful man in the world, he’s also our first Black President, and as such, Americans can clearly see that he’s under siege by bigots and plutocrats in Washington, D.C., so we’ve rallied around him to protect his flank.
Because, while racists, demagogues, and blowhards get a lot of press, they don’t reflect the actual character of America. The vast majority of Americans are corny, like myself. They truly believe in the ideals that this nation was created to represent. If they didn’t, Obama never would have become President in the first place. So while these race-baiters may get a lot of press, they’re spittin’ in the wind.
Don’t allow yourself to be deluded, when the vast majority of Americans look at President Obama, they don’t see “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs.” They see a decent man who loves his wife and family. They see the guy next door who’s been chosen to be a modern-day David, and to everyone’s complete shock and surprise, has dredged up the strength and courage to wage a desperate battle against the Goliath of wealth, power, and presumption.
When America looks at Obama, and as they watch him turning grey before their eyes, they see themselves fighting the good fight for American ideals. They see him as the personification of everything America once was – a feisty little underdog all alone, in a desperate battle against those out to destroy America.
That’s also how I see him, not as some kind of Messiah, but like my neighbor doing battle against a group of thugs who’s trying to takeover the neighborhood.
That’s why I defend this man, because I admire both his character, his courage, and the tradition he’s defending. So I’m not going to just sit back and peep through my blinds and watch a man of his character be bludgeoned to death by thugs while he’s defending MY home.
That’s not how Americans do things.
For more by columnist Eric L. Wattree please see wattree.blogspot.com