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Optimism about the Country that used to be America

For the first time since the Fourth of July was officially declaimed (by me) as the most idiotic national holiday, I feel optimistic about America, or what remains of it. 

1. Many Americans seem to be at a tipping point: they are abandoning their passive acceptance of the neo-con dream of permanent war (mostly in the Mideast.) Republicans are catching on to the fact that today is not the day after 9-11, and that endless militarism is not the ticket to electoral success.

2. It's not impossible that Rand Paul will be the Republican candidate for president, rather than some senile warmonger like McCain or some low IQ Bahbll Christian.

3. No matter what your politics most people know that at least two healthy parties are necessary for a healthy democracy. Until the Republicans free themselves of the neo-con, Rapture Christian, Israeli-lobby doctrine of Permanent War, the Republican party is doomed. Is it just wishful thinking or are they actually starting to free themselves of the stain of the last 13 years?

4. Thanks in part to the centenary of the Great War (World War I) good articles are appearing on the internet about the Great War, British/French imperialism after that war, and American interventionism in general. I am hopeful that Americans will start seeing Arab and Muslim terrorism for what it really is: an Effect; the Cause is Western imperialism. 


John V said…
You seem to partisanly believe that it's just Republicans. Unfortunately, there isn't much difference between the parties when it comes to the military industrial complex. President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry were begging us to go to war with Syria and Congress surprisingly pushed back. Hillary Clinton's record on foreign interventions is virtually "neo-conish" and she voted to go to war in Iraq as a Senator (at least Senator Obama didn't). Sure you'll find Republicans like Rand Paul or Democrats like Elizabeth Warren who will talk about how crony capitalism and the defense of our "empire" are bankrupting the nation, but for the most part, both parties are in favor if international intervention and unbridled spending. It's doubtful that Paul or Warren will win the nomination of their party.
That's true, my venomous goose quill was aimed solely at the Republicans. Perhaps it is because I have no hope whatsoever for the Democratic party, and therefore they never disappoint or anger me. I maintain a slight bit of hope for the Republicans, which is just asking for punishment.
edlfrey said…
I would be quite pleased to see the Republican Party, as it is now constituted, go the way of the Whigs. I completely agree that "at least two healthy parties are necessary for a healthy democracy" and the Republicans as Democrat-lites are not healthy.

If they were to just go away it would give the Democratic Party free rein to make this country into their chosen utopia. Then sometime after that, maybe a generation or two, the people of this country will be ready to start over. I too am optimistic just not within my remaining life time.
That's an interesting speculation: instead of the USA trickling down the toilet bowl at a rate of 5.3 % a year, why not just pull the handle and watch it flush quickly away.

I too suspect that after a generation of one-party rule by the Democrats, the USA would be eager to start over.
dr.dave said…
Western Imperialism well may be a cause of Arab and Muslim terrorism, but the Islamic world has never gone through an Enlightement or Reformation, and as is witnessed today by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the most heinous acts of terrorism are reserved for their fellow Muslims. Centuries of bloodletting in the Christian West between Catholics and Protestants have only recently come to a close with the end of the troubles in Northern Ireland. The real problem in the Middle East is not Israel or the British and American Boogeyman. Its that tens of millions of Muslims can't get their noses out of a Middle Ages text in the Koran. It was only when we put down the Bible and picked up a Microscope that any real progress was made in the West. Anyway all this is moot, the USA will be energy independent by 2025 thanks to fracking, then the turmoil in the Middle East will concern us as much as the goings on in Burkina Faso and St. Eustatius.
Religion per se isn't the problem in the Mideast. People furious at a foreigner's imperialism rally around their religion because that is thing that unifies them against the hated foreigner. It is their tribal identity. It is a big part of what makes them "them" and us "us".

edlfrey said…
I tend to agree with this part of your Comment "then the turmoil in the Middle East will concern us as much as the goings on in Burkina Faso and St. Eustatius". However, I don't think it will be thanks to fracking. I think it will be due to the myriad of problems within our country by 2025 that we collectively will have no concern about the Middle East or anyplace else in the world for that matter.

I read recently this thought "Russia was a Empire that tried to become a nation and is now working to reverse that". I think the USA is a nation that has been trying to become an Empire and will someday work to reverse that.
Chris said…
American imperialism started with the founding fathers and has been faithfully continued by most every presidential administration since. To quote Thomas Jefferson, "Our new nation will be the nest from which America, north and south, is to be peopled..." (Quote taken from a presentation by Noam Chomsky, a true anti-imperialist.) Imperialism started with the Native Americans...well, you know the rest of the story.

This wonderful country would be so much better off if those who administered it would honor the absolute separation of religion and state and would accept and promote equality and justice for ALL humanity regardless of race, ethnicity, religion and gender identity/sexual orientation.

Nancy1340 said…
I have to laugh when I hear someone say it takes two parties but it's always the "other" party that needs to change. The "other" party is uninformed. The "other" party doesn't know what they are talking about when they talk about the 2nd. "My" party is OK though. LOL LOL
XXXXX said…
Your last point is a good one.
Your recommended reading....David Stockman....published this after you published the above.
Usually we think short-term only and do not stop to consider what the world might have looked like had we not entered WWI. This proposed scenario is worthy of consideration.
That linked article is really a good one. Thanks for mentioning it.

Americans have no interest in the history of any war other than World War II. They love its triumphalisim, simplistic Black hats versus White hats, and how American soldiers were all ten feet tall.
XXXXX said…
Others have spoken about the rise of WWII Nazi Germany as a direct result of the Treaty of Versailles and the economic depression that dominated Europe afterwards. Of course, the world wasn't without its long-standing problems such as anti-Semitism since the earliest days which was perfect kindling during the 30's as an object of Germany's suffering.

How many of us today, when we consider what is happening on our southern border, would be willing to look past immigration problems as the root? Would we be willing to look at the illegalization of drugs here in the US as the kindling for the rise of crime, coyotes, etc.? You know, fear is a terrible thing but the truth of the matter is that these drugs were all quite legal and present in many of the items purchased at the local general stores before the US government decided to become everyone's judge and jury. Did we learn nothing from prohibition?