We’re still screwed

By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 16, 2012


To everyone on social media who thanked "god" for the Obama win: next time, please pray for a president who isn't bankrolled by the likes of Goldman Sachs, who respects civil liberties, and who doesn't indiscriminately bomb civilians. For now, you're just making your divine master look like a duplicitous, war-mongering asshole.

As it turns out, Donald Trump was the only talking head who interpreted last week's results correctly. His cry for "revolution" was spot-on, as was his call to "fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice!" Not surprisingly, Trump's poppycock was mocked and dismissed — but not just because he's an idiot. It's because the sluggish status quo is even more comforting than omnipotent god figures who deliver elections.

If you're a moderate, or even a delusional Republican who pulled for Mitt Romney, then you're likely counting on House Speaker John Boehner and his obstructionist entourage to keep Washington in check. If you support Obama, then chances are that you've convinced yourself he'll turn hard left in his final four. And you'll all be disappointed.

Obama's victory is the biggest setback to real, radical change in recent history. A win for Romney, and the inevitable dismantling of basic social services that would have likely ensued, would have propelled people into an uproar for which our nation is long overdue. It wouldn't be the kind of revolution Trump was thinking of — more like the kind of mass blowback that makes oligarchs shit their robes. Now we have to wait another few years for folks to take their blinders off again.

As the 2012 election wound down, frightened liberals deserted their hearts and morals to back Obama. With that trend, there was a general retreat from the formerly popular notion that Democrats and Republicans — along with their corresponding presidential hopefuls — are equally deplorable. The tilt toward Obama was understandable; while neither party is prepared to solve our existential crises of environmental injustice, economic disparity, or imperial overreach, aggressive GOP calls for complete deregulation — across all industries — would surely light the fuse closer to the bomb.

Conservative depravity: duly noted. But that doesn't change the fact that our president is vile in ways that neither Republicans nor Democrats often acknowledge. Those failures aren't merely passive, as in his neglecting to introduce meaningful gun-control initiatives, or halt unrepentant Wall Street greed. Obama, like it or not, has actively enabled a number of atrocities.

On the international front, the commander-in-chief has presided over the murder of thousands of innocent civilians. On privacy, the president authorized measures that make US citizens vulnerable to warrantless searches and indefinite detentions. And Obama is complicit in the decline of public education, pushing test-driven standards that benefit large corporations while exposing schools to unprecedented private profiteering.

These points are not new — even though they were largely ignored by reporters, candidates, and voters during the election. Rather, they're shared in near consensus among many who marked ballots for Obama. Take, for example, the obvious truth that his administration rescued banks and insurance scoundrels, but left ordinary people in the cold. No matter how you slice it, the hundreds of billions in bailout disbursements could have housed the more than half a million homeless Americans, plus rescued the countless more whose housing is in jeopardy.

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