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Monday, November 03, 2008
The Fear of Hope

I just couldn’t figure out what was going on with me these last days-- feeling down, with a lot of anxiety. Yes, it’s true I’m a political animal and have been fully aware of how historically critical this upcoming election is to the country and the world. But Barack has been up in all of the polls, and pundits say it’s nearly impossible for McCain to take it at this point. So what’s my problem? I finally came upon it just today: I’ve been feeling the fear of hope.

Barack has been famously embodying hope, while McCain has been steadily projecting the old fears we’ve come to know so well over the past eight years. You know, things like . . . Prepare to be attacked. If you trust someone different than you, you may be letting the terrorists win. If anything around you changes in any way, it endangers the “American way of life”; fight it.

Both McCain and Palin have been inciting their crowds toward our nation’s “lesser angels” and then have not made any real attempts to rein in the racism and violent threats that inevitably showed up at their rallies. Not even knowing that we as a nation have a very present history of racism leading to violent tragedy. What is good and what is ugly about the U.S. are coming to the fore and battling each other right now, and I guess I’m not at all certain about the outcome.

At the risk of being called a “conspiracy theorist,” I will say that I believe (along with many others more knowledgeable than I am) that our last two presidential elections were stolen. I’ve also been watching so many other disturbing things over these years, like . . . Beginning a war for oil. (Haven’t all the other rationalizations been debunked?)

Many of us have been dismayed about this government in general putting most of our resources toward death and destruction instead of the myriad human needs so very visible and disturbing. (As one of about a million examples, what are we doing about our crisis of autism—both discovering what’s causing it and preparing services for the one in 150 kids now developing it?)

I’ve been watching with horror for years the process of deregulation (that Reagan first enshrined) taking away protections from citizens. The FDA used to work for US rather than corporations; I actually recall that. At the same time, I’ve watched corporate media successfully convincing citizens that deregulation is in OUR best interests…. All while we gave corporations and Wall Street permission to do whatever they wanted with OUR money. This is one that kills me. I know nothing about the financial world but I can still say that I’ve been predicting another Great Depression for many years. Why? Because common sense tells me that if there are no real regulations or enforcement on the rich and greedy, they’ll use their greed to get even richer. Or as one radio commentator (can’t recall who) recently said, “Don’t we all know it’s when the teacher leaves the room that the spitballs fly?”

We’re apparently supposed to believe that the corporate world, and their owned politicians, don’t know that obvious verity. But I don’t believe for one minute that this economic crisis challenging our nation was not foreseen by many in power. How can they not care if this country tanks, when they need to keep their corporations afloat? Because they’re globalized, have for years have been moving their factories and jobs overseas (while our government gives them tax credits for doing so). Did you know that it’s actually LAW for the boards of corporations to consider nothing in any decision-making except what will increase their share prices? They can’t consider trivial things like pollution, or human illness and death and misery. Patriotism? Dream on.

It’s past time for us to take back our nation. And yes, there’s some possibility we can actually even accomplish that. But I’ve also lived long enough to know that Power does not give up its supremacy easily, and that it doesn’t play fair. Which is why, I think, I’m afraid of hope right now. I even honestly think that perhaps my entire life is a caution against hope. But still . . .

Please go vote for Obama tomorrow!

And also vote for any Dems running, so he’s got a chance to turn this mess around. (Sixty senate votes stop a filibuster.) Yeah, I know the Dems have their problems also, believe me! But until we get instant run-off elections, it’s really a two-party system.

Here’s info on how and where to vote: www.rockthevote.org

Think and Be Dangerous

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