There can be no denying that, on the surface anyway, U.S. President Barack Obama appears to be the real deal. He says all the right things and seems to be a bright glowing beacon of all of humanity’s finest qualities. He seemingly stands for justice, equality, peace, and general progressive thinking. On his first day in office as President he dismantled the Naziesque Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Since then he has decriminalized marijuana on a federal level and made steps toward ridding the world of nuclear weapons… not by threat of force with our own nukes, but by offering to dismantle ours first.
Why then am I still so skeptical? Has the grim specter of George W. Bush made me so cynical that I can’t believe anything out of any politician’s mouth no matter how legitimate and forthright it comes across? Has my lifetime of being lied to, swindled, and raped by the federal government turned my heart so black and shriveled that even when someone, like Barack Obama, comes along that seemingly is doing everything I would do as President I still can’t trust them no matter how much I actually want to?
And I do. I do want to believe Barack Obama. I want to believe in him. I want to be like everyone at the bar on election day. I want to be excited and happy. I want to feel like democracy is real and that our political system is not a corrupt sham. I want to believe that Barack Obama was actually overwhelmingly elected by the people and not supplanted by the existing power structure. I want to believe that Barack Obama is not taking orders from someone. I want to believe that he is a true heroic leader with nothing but the people’s and the Nation’s best interests in mind.
But I can’t. No matter what. The sad truth is I am that cynical. I don’t believe anything Barack Obama says for all the reasons I already laid out. And it’s not just George W. Bush that ruined my faith possibly forever. It is every president that has ever been in office since I was old enough to know what that was.
Jimmy Carter was the President when I was born, but he was gone before I even knew what year it was or what that even meant. By the time I understood, on a base level, what the President of the United States was Ronald Reagan was running the show. I was just a small child then, but even then I could smell a rat. I was only 9 years old when the whole Iran/Contra scandal erupted and even then I understood that not only was that shit completely fucked up, but that all those dudes would walk. And they all did. Ronald Reagan went down in the history books as a hero even though he was a foolish dupe at best and a villainous monster at his worst.
After Reagan it was George Herbert Walker Bush, former Vice President, head of the C.I.A. under Nixon, ambassador to China, and son of Nazi sympathizer and war profiteer Prescott Bush. That’s right, Nazi. Look it up. Prescott Bush, George Bush’s father, was a fucking Nazi. Now I’m not one to judge a man based on lineage. Just because George Bush’s dad was a Hitler loving, Jew hating, Aryan race worshiping devil doesn’t necessarily mean that George Bush was. But it isn’t a good sign that he isn’t either. And based on his actions, invading a helpless country and seizing their resources (sound familiar? seik heil anyone?), further instituting a shadow government, and generally laying the groundwork for a 1984ish Totalitarian future, he may as well have taken a shit directly in our mouths.
Then came Bill Clinton. William Jefferson Clinton and his legacy might be what actually keeps me from having any faith in politics at all. Bill Clinton, at the time, seemed a lot like Barack Obama. He seemed friendly and nice. He seemed to care about the people. He seemed to be a peace loving man of democracy. But the only difference between Bill Clinton and his successor George W. Bush is that George W. Bush was blatent and brazen about his escapades while Slick Willie kept his wars and acts of treason hush hush. The Clinton era 1990s are remembered as a time of National peace and prosperity. But ask anyone active in the military how peaceful Bosnia and Sarajevo were. And as far as prosperity goes let’s not forget that it was Bill Clinton, not George W. Bush, who abolished the banking and finance regulations put into place by Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a measure to deter exactly the kind of economic collapse that we’re now facing. And does anybody remember the Whitewater scandal? Remember? The one where both Bill and Hilary Clinton were being indicted for real estate fraud, but the case got thrown out of court because the key witness “committed suicide”?
I clearly remember the 1992 Bush v Clinton election. It bore striking resemblance to the McCaine v Obama race of 2008. In both races the candidates were brazenly lopsided. In 1992 George Bush looked like an out-of-touch old square with a 200 year old wife that said things like “why I never…” while Bill Clinton wore sunglasses and played saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show. It was obvious who the MTV generation was going to vote for, and they were right to do it. George Bush was a dusty old fart and he had no business being President. He was obsolete.
But I also clearly remember the sentiment of my peers at the time. It was also very similar to these early stages of the Obama administration. Everyone was optimistic and full of hope. Everyone wore a smile on their face and started believing in democracy again. If you listened just right you could almost hear the Nation itself breathing a sigh of relief. But that didn’t last long. Half way through Bill Clinton’s first term the ugliness and the unrest started creeping in. When small but important civil rights and freedoms started slowly disappearing one by one people started to tilt their heads. Sure, Bill Clinton could play Jailhouse Rock on the tenor sax, but when he started installing cameras in traffic lights and trumpeting for the WTO he didn’t seem like such a “cool guy” anymore.
This is part of my concern about Barack Obama. He’s only been president for a few months now and he is facing a tremendous and hideous mess left by George Bush 2.0. The man’s got a lot to deal with and it would seem like he’s doing his best, but I ask you this:
If Barack Obama is truly the man he seems to be… If he really is a man of the people… If he really is a good guy… then why is the Patriot Act still in effect? Why wasn’t that his first order of business? Why are we still officially at War with Iraq? Why aren’t George W. Bush and Dick Cheney being charged with war crimes and treason? I mean they did rig two elections, right? They did circumvent and make impotent the U.S. Constitution, the one thing that was their sworn duty to protect, right? I mean, if that isn’t treason then what is? Where is the justice? If Barack Obama’s strings aren’t being pulled by an oil man somewhere then why isn’t he prosecuting the people that are directly responsible for the ugly mess we, as a Nation, now find ourselves in? Why aren’t the events of September 11th, 2001 investigated more thoroughly? I mean, does it seem fishy to you that the whole thing as it is officially explained seems impossible according to the laws of physics and the science of demolitions? Why, if Barack Obama is such a straight shooter, haven’t the files on the Kennedy assassination been disclosed? Why haven’t the Freemasons and Bohemian Grove been exposed?
Or is it possible that Barack Obama is exactly the right man for the job in the eyes of the establishment? Is it possible that the whole reason he is in the position that he is, he is saying the things he is saying, and he is doing the things he is doing is for the sole purpose of making us feel good? Is it possible that he is part of the plan? Doesn’t it make sense that after 8 years of blatant villainy that the next face should smooth things over and say “it’s gonna be okay”?
I know that sounds cynical, but I can’t help it. I know too much about history– not only the history of the United States, but the history of humanity at large– and I have never seen anything ever that points to any fact other than power’s main function is to maintain its power and there is no extreme, however horrifying, that people won’t go to to keep what they believe is theirs. I can’t have faith in Barack Obama if for no other reason than I can’t believe that the powers that be, those same people that were stealing from us and selling us out 5 months ago, would just roll over and die. No one gives up that much that easily, especially people as brazenly ruthless they have repeatedly shown themselves to be. I’m sorry. I don’t buy it.