In new books writers as disparate as Naomi Wolf and Pat Buchanan conclude that America as we know her is disappearing. Both writers hope, but are not confident, that enough Americans will catch on in time to find the leadership to pull America back from the brink.
If polls are reliable, a majority of Americans are dissatisfied with President Bush and Congress. However, Americans are far short of Wolf and Buchanan’s grasp of our peril.
Americans are unable to connect their dissatisfaction with the current political leadership with their choice of new leaders. All polls show that Hillary Clinton is far in the lead for the Democratic presidential nomination and Rudy Giuliani is far in the lead for the Republican nomination These are the only two candidates guaranteed to be worse than Bush/Cheney.
Both Hillary and Rudy are committed to the war. Both refuse to rule out expanding the war to Iran and beyond. Both are totally in the pocket of the Israel Lobby. Indeed, practically every Giuliani advisor is a member of the Lobby. Both defend the police state measures that “protect us from terrorism.” And neither gives a hoot for the US Constitution and the civil liberties it guarantees. The Republican Giuliani is likely to overturn the Second Amendment even quicker than the Democrat Hillary.
Both Hillary and Rudy are creatures of ambition, not of principle. Both are one up on Karl Marx. Marx said truth serves class interests. For Hillary and Rudy, truth is what serves their individual interests. They both wear black hats, and the horse they ride is called power.
Yet in November polls, Republicans prefer Giuliani by a margin of five or six to one over Ron Paul, the only principled Republican candidate and a person who without any doubt believes in the Constitution and would protect it.
Democrats prefer Hillary by a margin of twenty to one over Dennis Kucinich, the only member of Congress sufficiently concerned and courageous to introduce impeachment against the notorious war criminal Dick Cheney. By margins as much as forty-four to one, Democrats prefer Hillary to Senator Christopher Dodd, who promises to give America back its Constitution in the first hour of his administration. Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel does not even register in the polls.
Obviously, the American people haven’t a clue. In November 2007 they show a distinct preference for leaders who are even worse than the ones with whom they are currently dissatisfied. What does this tell us about the American people and their commitment to be sufficiently informed for democracy to function?
It tells us that they are not up to the challenge. It is only a matter of time before America succumbs to the plutocracy, against which Warren Buffet recently warned Congress, or the fascist tyranny that Naomi Wolf sees in our future.
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com