FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

No More Years

by MIKE WHITNEY

“Neither candidate will tell the American people the truth: The next administration, whether headed by a Democrat or a Republican, will launch attacks on the living standards, social benefits and democratic rights of the American people on a scale never before seen. This will be combined with stepped-up military aggression overseas, from the Middle East to the Pacific.”

— Patrick Martin, US presidential campaign comes to an end” World Socialist Web Site

Liberalism in the U.S. has devolved into a cultish, pseudo-religion whose adherents believe that their fate and the future of the country rests on the ability of their rockstar candidate to hold on to the presidency for another four years. Obama backers no longer bother themselves with incidentals like habeas corpus, indefinite detention, military commissions, “kill lists” or Guantanamo. What matters to them is making sure that Darth Romney, the pestiferous private equity pirate from Bain, never sets foot in the Oval Office. Everything else is secondary.

Ask any of these Obamanites if they feel they’re compromising their values by voting for a man who breezily repealed large parts of the Bill of Rights and you’ll get the same answer, “Obama has been a disappointment, but he’s better than Mitt.”

No argument there. Romney’s flatearth economic policies alone would thrust the country back into recession or worse, let alone his pugnacious foreign policy which would inevitably lead to dust-ups with China, Russia, Venezuela and, the mother of all calamities, war with Iran. But aren’t we missing the point here, I mean, aren’t there times when the lesser of two evils is not an acceptable way of choosing a president?

If, for example, you were asked to choose between candidate Hitler or candidate Mussolini, then what? Then the right choice would be to abstain entirely expressing your view that the balloting was nothing but a wretched farce. Isn’t that what we should be doing now, denouncing the process by refusing to participate in these faux elections?

Sure, Obama is not Hitler and Romney is not Mussolini, but doesn’t one’s vote imply support for the candidate’s policies and programs? It does, which is why Obama backers should at least consider his horrendous record on civil liberties. Here’s an excerpt from an article by Anthony Gregory who sums it up perfectly:

“Obama has for the most part solidified Bush’s extremist detention policies and in some respects gone further… The ad hoc Bush policy of indefinite detention became formalized by Obama in May 2009 when he unveiled his new doctrine of “prolonged detention,” and was codified, even for American citizens, in the NDAA he signed this last New Year’s eve….

Obama never closed Guantánamo, of course, and he is lying when he says he tried his best….. What’s more, Obama rounded up thousands…and put them in the prison facility at Bagram, where due process rights were even worse than at Guantánamo under Bush….

Then of course there is Obama’s “kill list”—a Bush-like legal theory that the Obama administration has frighteningly and explicitly articulated: the presumption that the president, on his say-so alone, can order the death of any person, even an American citizen…

Left-liberals who have decided that innocent people locked in Obama’s dungeons don’t count as much as beating the Republicans deserve some of the blame….(They) would rather defend Obama’s presumably great domestic economic policies than criticize him for his kill list, kangaroo courts, and dungeons.” (“Obama and Civil Liberties: The Prospect of Four More Years”, Anthony Gregory, The Independent Institute)

Well put. A vote for Obama means that one tacitly accepts that personal freedom and human rights can be arbitrarily suspended by the executive and that the state can grab you, throw your ass in prison, torture or even kill you without due process, without charging you with a crime, without a jury of your peers, without probable cause, and without the presumption of innocence. Obama swept all of those things aside when he signed the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), a bill which he enthusiastically endorsed. A vote for Obama means that one accepts that radical dismembering of the law, that destruction of everything that Americans claim to hold dear.

If liberalism is to have any meaning at all, it must stand for core values, those bedrock principals that protect the individual from the violence of the State. That’s why I’m not voting for Obama, because he’s made himself an enemy of freedom.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

More articles by:
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Games: Notes on the Democratic Convention
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
Binoy Kampmark
Undermining Bernie Sanders: the DNC Campaign, WikiLeaks and Russia
Arun Gupta
Trickledown Revenge: the Racial Politics of Donald Trump
Sen. Bernard Sanders
What This Election is About: Speech to DNC Convention
David Swanson
DNC Now Less Popular Than Atheism
Linn Washington Jr.
‘Clintonville’ Reflects True Horror of Poverty in US
Deepak Tripathi
Britain in the Doldrums After the Brexit Vote
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Threats: Arbitrary Lines on Political Maps
Robert J. Gould
Proactive Philanthropy: Don’t Wait, Reach Out!
Victor Grossman
Horror and Sorrow in Germany
Nyla Ali Khan
Regionalism, Ethnicity, and Trifurcation: All in the Name of National Integration
Andrew Feinberg
The Good TPP
400 US Academics
Letter to US Government Officials Concerning Recent Events in Turkey
July 25, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Ted Rall
Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
William K. Black
Doubling Down on Wall Street: Hillary and Tim Kaine
Russell Mokhiber
Bernie Delegates Take on Bernie Sanders
Quincy Saul
Resurgent Mexico
Andy Thayer
Letter to a Bernie Activist
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey is the Loser
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail