This week “straight talking” John McCain was exposed as the liar he is and true to form, the result was a circling of the right-wing wagons to support him. It isn’t the issue of whether he snuggled up with his lobbyist gal pal that is important but rather his poor judgment when it comes to lobbyists.
The Keating scandal first suggested how blind McCain is to paid influence peddlers but we were told that he had been born again as a reformer who had learned his lesson. And then he got cozy with Vicki Iseman and that led to carrying the torch for Paxson Communications.
Bear with me. I am not a Christian, big “C” but I was “born again” when at fourteen years of age I read what Jesus is reported to have said to the people he encountered. I found in Jesus the personification of a set of values that seem to me to be essential to being a worthwhile human being. When I listen to those values, when I feel the deepest message of Jesus, Gandhi, Dr. King and any number of lights in history, I am led to see in Barrack Obama the best hope for their expression in our future as a nation.
The Soviet Union finally collapsed as a result of having over extended itself with military adventures meant to keep up with those of the United States. As Soviet debt mounted, it found it could no longer sustain its cold war campaign and match the weapons build up that President Reagan accelerated during his term. Have we met a similar fate today? Are we due for a comeuppance with similar extreme consequences?
The Iowa caucuses are widely being acclaimed as a “stand for change” and hopefully they were. Yet the change represented by the two front running candidates of each party is a small one indeed and nothing even close to what this nation needs. If you take all the messages of all the candidates, including the darlings of the “outsiders” Kucinich and Paul, we still would only barely be scratching the surface of America’s real needs.
“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” – Thomas Jefferson. This expression of reliance upon a free and independent press as a necessary component of liberty not only found its way into our Constitution but has been a bulwark of our culture ever since. Yet today the freedom of the free press is faced with unprecedented challenges.
The takeover of the government of the United States is progressing nicely and is very nearly complete. Disguised as “privatization” and propelled by an unprecedented grab of power by the “unitary” Executive branch, we the people have been “Blackwatered” to use the phrase born among the ruins of Iraq.
The Bush administration has extended secrecy to unprecedented levels, covering virtually every aspect of government and concealing documents and actions heretofore available to Congress and the public. The claim is made that this secrecy is needed as a matter of national defense on one hand, and in order to provide the President with a wide range of opinions on the other. The result is a dramatic loss of freedom and democracy.