Perspectives: A Review of 2010
(Swans - December 13, 2010) The biggest disappointment of 2010 has been the realization that Obama has no guts; that he has failed to counteract the venomous policies of the Republicans and given them advantages to usurp the liberal policies that this president proclaimed when he was running for office.
The spoilers have out-maneuvered him at every turn -- not extended payments for the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and are fast losing their homes, and the resumption of tax relief for that two percent of the ruling elite who are clamoring for the Bush tax cuts to be continued while the middle classes suffer irreparable deprivations.
Of course, the real villain is the system itself -- the much-touted American Democracy which favors the few over the many and provides the political tools to suppress the liberal causes that once made the Constitution a harbinger of freedom in this nation. What is clear is that "the system" works only for those who have learned how to manipulate it and that shibboleths about "freedom" and "equality" are the clichés of the manipulation. It is clear that the powers that favor the rich over the poor, the bankers, and the brokers against the working classes, is the very system that "we so proudly hail." The fuel for this inequality, which is now devouring millions of displaced Americans, is maintained by a political system that has been thoroughly corrupted and the talk of Democracy, Freedom, Equality, and the Pursuit of Happiness now sounds like the hypocrisies they have been revealed to be. The notion that people -- politicians, Congress, liberals, saviors, etc. -- can fundamentally change the system has been reveled to be hogwash. (One dissenting senator can prevent agreed legislation from being enacted.) And as we watch the sordid workings of the state, we realize the faults are too fundamental ever to be overcome by any one politician, no matter how gifted his eloquence may be.
The recession has highlighted the wretched weaknesses of our democratic system and proven that whereas new and hopeful voices are occasionally heard, those voices are incapable of altering the corruption which lubricates the wheels of a country that clings to the outmoded belief that a majority of the people can create fair laws which will enable them to enjoy the fruits of democracy. The magical words themselves -- "freedom," "democracy," "equality" -- have been proven to be non-sequiturs. Our biggest blow has not been the economic disaster of the past two years but the realization that although new rulers replace old ones, the abyss which rapidly engulfs the citizenry is greater than any effort that can be made to rescue those that go under.
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