There were many things liberals enjoyed hearing said in President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union speech. There were even more things that liberals should have noticed that weren’t in the President’s speech.
I can’t help but notice that he didn’t try to justify his administration’s continued support of warrant-less wiretapping, indefinite detention of Americans suspected of being terrorists, extrajudicial killings of Americans abroad, the use of torture, extraordinary rendition, or the continued use of the Guantanamo Bay prison. I did not hear him say that he would end the failed war on drugs. I did not hear him mention the prison-industrial complex and the need to break its back. I did not hear him mention the two new wars the United States became involved in (Libya and Mali). I did not hear him defend the torturous treatment of Bradley Manning. I did not hear him explain why more whistleblowers have been prosecuted under his administration than under any other. I did not hear him explain why he resigned the Patriot Act. I did not hear him explain that Social Security and Medicare are self-sustaining and do not contribute to the national debt. I did not hear him explain how Social Security could be made solvent through the baby boom merely by removing the income cap on Social Security payments.
One thing I did notice in that liberals should be outraged about is the increased rate of oil drilling and the reduction in regulations – especially after the gulf oil spill; but the public seems to have conveniently forgotten about this tragedy and focused more attention on the daily fluctuations of gas prices. The memory hole is always so close at hand here in America.
He is indeed a great compromiser. He has compromised the values he was elected to uphold. He has compromised the liberty of his citizens for the promise of more security. He has compromised with the far right to pass mediocre center-right legislation left and right (pun intended). He quotes Reagan constantly and I think there is a reason. He behaves a lot like Reagan. Ladies and gentlemen our president is equivalent of a Republican from the 1980’s. That is how far our country has drifted in the last 30 years.
Republicans should think of a new word to describe their party and the far-right position on the political spectrum it holds because their previous position has been usurped by the Democrats and their President. Perhaps the lesser of two evils was in fact the greater of two evils. Would the Democrats in Congress would have allowed all this to happen if a Republican had been in office? Wouldn’t they have filibustered the Patriot Act? Wouldn’t they be demanding that American citizens be given due process by the courts rather than allow them to be killed abroad with little more than an executive committee masquerading as their constitutional right to ‘due process?’ Since ‘their guy’ won the Democrats in congress and the Democrats in the public are more than happy to endorse almost anything ‘their guy’ says is in their interests.
Divide and conquer has worked again America. The liberals have been thrown a few bones. The push for a higher minimum wage (which over the long-term does not fix structural economic problems and ends with the same levels of poverty). The push for woman’s rights. Gay rights in the military. A health care law that was authored by the Heritage Foundation and is as much a corporate giveaway as it is means of giving the public insurance.
Yet overall the warmongers, the bankers, the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry, the international corporations, the lobbyists, and the moneyed elite have won again. For allowing this to happen I can do nothing more than voice my opinion, disperse relevant facts, and admonish the American public for its inaction. In other words, for shame America. Wake up. The two-party system is a joke. At the very least we need a third-party that represents the interests of the actual left. We need a more engaged citizenry. We need a better educated public (and by this I don’t necessarily mean by educational institutions – read a book dummies). We nearly need a miracle. This is the downward spiral.
Who and what will lead our nation back from the brink? We must risk something now while we still have the resources to risk or soon we will end up penniless and landless sharecroppers on the land of our forefathers (and the American Indians before them). Speak out! Protest! Contribute in whatever way you can! The longer we wait to act, the less power we have, and the easier we are to subdue. I’d rather we took action now. It will only get harder to reverse these trends as time goes on.