Wake Up, Obama

If the United States is not kaput it is certainly withering away even as a rich upper class enjoys all the things that money buys. There is massive, widespread economic pain inflicting a huge fraction of Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, relying on food stamps, losing their homes, and who are feeling totally insecure financially. This maintains sluggish consumer spending that makes necessary economic growth impossible.

The corporate bigwigs meanwhile are essentially using economic blackmail as they sit on trillions of dollars in cash, refusing to invest their capital and making great profits because they have cut workers and increased productivity. They want even more benefits from government that they think Republicans will give them.

No wonder that only 11 percent of people have confidence in Congress and most Americans are fed up with both major political parties. It is bewildering why more Americans are not openly condemning President Obama and his administration. Perhaps because there is no clear Republican that warrants support to replace him.

It seems that Obama has taken some power-narcotic and entered into a delusional mental state. He persists in talking as if the Great Recession is over and all is going just swell. His wife takes the kids for a vacation in Spain and soon the whole family will go up to a swank place in Cape Cod for another vacation and, of course, Obama likes to go out golfing frequently. Does any rational being perceive he really feels the pain that so many citizens feel? He lives the life of a typical rich and powerful corporate CEO, not a servant of the people.

Progressives often seem amazed and befuddled by Obama’s persistent policies that take care of the business and financial sectors, apparently forgetting that when he campaigned for the presidency he took huge amounts of money from those people. If he does not appoint Elizabeth Warrant to head the new consumer protection financial agency, Obama should be openly and loudly condemned by everyone on the left.

Obama finds self-satisfaction in making the argument that everything he has done is surely better than any Republican has done or would do. He misses the point that being better than the worst imaginable is not the same as doing a really first rate job that serves the interests of ordinary people and especially of those hit the hardest by the continuing recession. In many respects the economic conditions now savaging the nation are as bad as the Great Depression. The many millions facing hunger, no jobs, homelessness, foreclosure, inadequate better health care, bankruptcy and financial insecurity define a nation way down the toilet. The middle class has been murdered. We are now a two-class society with a rich Upper Class and a suffering Lower Class.

That billions and billions of dollars are still being spent on two unnecessary wars should make everyone feel as if they are living in a big insane asylum. All that money should be going to investment (especially public infrastructure) and jobs creation here in the USA.

No wonder that a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll this week found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, a majority disapproves of President Obama’s handling of the economy, and nearly two-thirds expect the economy to get worse, which it will.

Even more important than Obama waking up to reality is that more Americans wake up to their nasty political reality. Voting in elections has become a political placebo. Electing more Republicans to Congress in the fall is nothing more than taking two aspirin when you are near death from starvation.

The real medicine needed for our delusional democracy is revolution that overthrows the two-party plutocracy. We need leaders for one, but there are none that most Americans could and should support, not even in the Tea Party movement. Time to learn from history: Even the greatest nations and societies end up losing their glory, wealth and power.

Joel S. Hirschhorn was a full professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a senior official at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the National Governors Association; he has authored five nonfiction books, including Delusional Democracy: Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government. Read other articles by Joel.

7 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. hayate said on August 16th, 2010 at 8:21am #

    The blair in blackface is wide awake, and laughing every time he checks his bank balance.

  2. Joe Mowrey said on August 16th, 2010 at 10:20am #

    Obama is wide awake indeed and not on any drugs. Why do even intelligent writers like Hirschhorn persist with this notion that Obama is somehow just not seeing what’s going on? He’s doing exactly what he was hired to do.

    I do agree, what we need is a revolution. That’s the kind of commentary we need more of, not apologies for Three-Card-Monty Obama.

  3. teafoe2 said on August 16th, 2010 at 10:44am #

    “…this notion that Obama is somehow just not seeing what’s going on? He’s doing exactly what he was hired to do.”

    Looking at actions instead of photo ops, Obummer makes Dubya look like a boyscout.

  4. Deadbeat said on August 16th, 2010 at 11:01am #

    . It is bewildering why more Americans are not openly condemning President Obama and his administration.

    It is bewildering that we are still getting such lame analysis.
    It is bewildering that the Left is not offering more radical analysis
    It is bewildering that “Progressives” are bewildered.

    This focus on Obama rather than the system is a joke. Obama did get to big house by being against the system. The problem is that so-called Left wing analysis is weak and continues to point people in the direction of looking at the system to change itself. Change never happens from inside the system.

    However looking OUTSIDE the system isn’t working either especially from a corrupted and bankrupted Left. We’re still getting the same ABC’s of Chomskyism — axioms, bromides, and cliches. We need to come to terms that the system is irreparable and continue to focus on the puppets in the big house are just exercises in futility.

  5. Don Hawkins said on August 16th, 2010 at 11:42am #

    nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. Hell we are standing on the track as a very large freight train is not slowing but speeding up and the voices of madness are saying turn this way don’t look it’s just better that way look this way change is on the way. Get off the track don’t vote, Imagine, millions of unarmed, non-violent people (too many to shoot, too many to arrest) converging on the heart of darkness to silence it, permanently. Oh it’s not that bad yet well take a look at Pakistan the flooding and China drought Russia heat and drought in the States a little slower not much and do the voices of madness know this of course and so far we are being told stand on the track look this way listen to us don’t look don’t see don’t hear it’s just better that way change is on the way man you can say that again.

  6. commoner3 said on August 16th, 2010 at 3:40pm #

    “Wake Up, Obama”

    Who told you he is asleep.? He is wide awake and is celebrating with handler in Wall St the fruits of their working together.
    The one who should wake up is you and your ilk.!

  7. Don Hawkins said on August 17th, 2010 at 11:24am #

    In a recent essay in New Scientist the psychologist Dorothy Rowe explained that none of us can see reality(24). We have to construct it from our interpretation of what we perceive, tempered by experience. As a result, each of us exists in our own world of meaning. It is constantly at risk of being shattered by inconvenient facts. If we acknowledge them, they can destroy our sense of self. So, to ensure that we won’t be “overwhelmed by the uncertainty inherent in living in a world we can never truly know”, we shut them out by lying to ourselves. Though it challenges my sense of self, I am forced to accept that my allies can lie to themselves as fluently as my opponents can. Monbiot

    A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein, 1954)