Politicsobamaliberalschrishedges

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 12:02 AM

"Liberals Are Useless" . Chris Hedges

Last edited Thu Jun 5, 2014, 01:15 AM - Edit history (1)

I am not disappointed in Obama. I don’t feel betrayed. I don’t wonder when he is going to be Obama. I did not vote for the man. I vote socialist, which in my case meant Ralph Nader, but could have meant Cynthia McKinney. How can an organization with the oxymoronic title Progressives for Obama even exist? Liberal groups like these make political satire obsolete. Obama was and is a brand. He is a product of the Chicago political machine. He has been skillfully packaged as the new face of the corporate state. I don’t dislike Obama—I would much rather listen to him than his smug and venal predecessor—though I expected nothing but a continuation of the corporate rape of the country. And that is what he has delivered.

I agree. Political satire IS obsolete. I never share it with the already much too confused media consuming public.

“You have a tug of war with one side pulling,” Ralph Nader told me when we met Saturday afternoon. “The corporate interests pull on the Democratic Party the way they pull on the Republican Party. If you are a ‘least-worst’ voter you don’t want to disturb John Kerry on the war, so you call off the anti-war demonstrations in 2004. You don’t want to disturb Obama because McCain is worse. And every four years both parties get worse. There is no pull. That is the dilemma of The Nation and The Progressive and other similar publications. There is no breaking point. What is the breaking point? The criminal war of aggression in Iraq? The escalation of the war in Afghanistan? Forty-five thousand people dying a year because they can’t afford health insurance? The hollowing out of communities and sending the jobs to fascist and communist regimes overseas that know how to put the workers in their place? There is no breaking point. And when there is no breaking point you do not have a moral compass.”

Lawless. The money racket is the only game in town.

(...) Anyone who says he or she cares about the working class in this country should have walked out on the Democratic Party in 1994 with the passage of NAFTA. And it has only been downhill since. If welfare reform, the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act, which gutted the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act—designed to prevent the kind of banking crisis we are now undergoing—and the craven decision by the Democratic Congress to continue to fund and expand our imperial wars were not enough to make you revolt, how about the refusal to restore habeas corpus, end torture in our offshore penal colonies, abolish George W. Bush’s secrecy laws or halt the warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of American citizens? The imperial projects and the corporate state have not altered under Obama. The state kills as ruthlessly and indiscriminately in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as it did under Bush. It steals from the U.S. treasury as rapaciously to enrich the corporate elite. It, too, bows before the conservative Israel lobby, refuses to enact serious environmental or health care reform, regulate Wall Street, end our relationship with private mercenary contractors or stop handing obscene sums of money, some $1 trillion a year, to the military and arms industry. At what point do we stop being a doormat? At what point do we fight back? We may lose if we step outside the mainstream, but at least we will salvage our self-esteem and integrity.
(...)
I went on to spend two decades as a war correspondent. The qualities inherent in good soldiers or Marines, like the qualities I found among those boxers, are qualities I admire—self-sacrifice, courage, the ability to make decisions under stress, the capacity to endure physical discomfort, and a fierce loyalty to those around you, even if it puts you in greater danger. If liberals had even a bit of their fortitude we could have avoided this mess. But they don’t. So here we are again, begging Obama to be Obama. He is Obama. Obama is not the problem. We are.

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Liberals Are Useless" . Chris Hedges (Original post)
Barefoot Dancer Jun 2014 OP
Cliqueclaque Jun 2014 #1
NotWhoUThink Jun 2014 #2
Barefoot Dancer Jun 2014 #3
NotWhoUThink Jun 2014 #5
Barefoot Dancer Jun 2014 #7
NotWhoUThink Jun 2014 #8
JayVeeNYC Jun 2014 #4
Barefoot Dancer Jun 2014 #6

Response to Barefoot Dancer (Original post)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 12:15 AM

1. Not to worry, Hillary Goldman Sachs will get right on it..

As soon as she finishes with her squid pro quo obligations.





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Response to Barefoot Dancer (Original post)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 12:35 AM

2. Is it possibly a structural issue more than ideological?

We have a first past the post, winner take all system. There is no way that anyone can obtain a sustained and empowered ideological voice with a system that, by design, perpetuates a two party system. Liberals, progressives, libertarians, tea party, what have you are not the problem. The problem is that those ideological perspectives will either dominate or die in a system of voting that is strictly divided into two camps.

Thought experiment: name one time in American history that an emergent third party did not either die or become the dominant "other" party.

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Response to NotWhoUThink (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 01:20 AM

3. I'm not sure...

I just edited the OP for the link to point to the first page of the article, rather than the 2nd page, as it was doing.

This is para one. (It should be clear that he is addressing only a certain segment of all that the term "liberals" encompasses.)

Liberals are a useless lot. They talk about peace and do nothing to challenge our permanent war economy. They claim to support the working class, and vote for candidates that glibly defend the North American Free Trade Agreement. They insist they believe in welfare, the right to organize, universal health care and a host of other socially progressive causes, and will not risk stepping out of the mainstream to fight for them. The only talent they seem to possess is the ability to write abject, cloying letters to Barack Obama—as if he reads them—asking the president to come back to his “true” self. This sterile moral posturing, which is not only useless but humiliating, has made America’s liberal class an object of public derision.

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Response to Barefoot Dancer (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 01:37 AM

5. Not sure that changes my point

I think that most liberals would want and vote for candidates that reflect their views. But in a two party system strategic voting is not only warranted it is recommended.

A larger question would be how do you shift the ideology of the party more to your liking. Both parties are "big tents" in their respective ways. That would indicate that, as a liberal and a Democrat, I need to do a better job of selling that ideology to fellow party members as well as the public at large and to weaken the influence of groups that I disagree with (Bankers,DLC etc.).

Not an easy task by any means but it is a task I am trying to understand because what we have been doing ain't workin'.

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Response to NotWhoUThink (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 01:40 AM

7. Yes ..

I think I see your point. I think we deal with systemic failure, rather than a failure of communication. If I understand your comments.

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Response to Barefoot Dancer (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 02:16 AM

8. I think it is systemic AND communication

but YMMV

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Response to Barefoot Dancer (Original post)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 01:25 AM

4. And written someone who calls himself a socialist yet

Is no doubt part of the top 5%.

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Response to JayVeeNYC (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 01:39 AM

6. Top 5% of what?

Exactly? If you mean wealth, please educate me on how that is possible?

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