Reading through news and opinions this morning, I happened across an essay that piqued my interest. Well-known political dissident, Professor Noam Chomsky, gave an interview to Truthdig wherein he compares our present dire U.S. political situation to the Weimer-era Germany. Quite correctly, Professor Chomsky turns his vitriol loose upon America’s liberals & conservatives, both camps being utterly contemptible. Unfortunately, comparisons to Weimer-and-Nazi Germany are wearing-out from overuse just when we most need them; but it is difficult not to use the comparisons because they are so darned applicable to our time. The short, sad days of the “Weimer Republic” and its immediate successor, Nazism, have become historical shorthand for extreme denial of reality in the face of mounting danger, a wimpy inability of liberal politicians to stand-up for what is good & right, a “fiddling while Rome burns” mentality of dithering during crises that frustrates citizens to the point of sweeping democracy away and replacing it with pure evil just so someone will deal with the nation’s problems.
However, I disagree with the Professor in his assessment that FDR could not be elected in today’s political atmosphere. Well, back in the fall of 2008, I heard many people say that is exactly the type we hoped we elected. But we not only didn’t get FDR, or Carter (as Prof. Chomsky says), we got Buchanan (who stood irresolute as the nation slid into civil war). As one of the dupes who voted for Obama and now I see that his candidacy was an invention of the hidden powers behind the curtain that are hell-bent on taking this country down the road to complete ruin at the hands of mega corporations.
Unfortunately, the historical moment has passed. Obama’s revelation as neo-conservative while being labeled a “liberal” (like a wolf in sheep’s clothing) has fast spoiled any remaining national fondness for “liberal” solutions. Now we appear to be stuck between right-wing monstrous solutions and Obama’s very slightly less monstrous solutions. Just like the above-mentioned hidden powers figured. Obama’s election de-fanged the anti-war, anti-corporatist movements and he will provide cover for dismantling Social Security, unemployment, and the other components of the social safety net. In that way he resembles Clinton who provided cover when he “reformed” welfare and gave us NAFTA. I have come to regret voting for Clinton and Obama, but looking at the Republican alternatives… what choice did I really have?