October 30, 2008
In the dwindling days of this election campaign, it's astounding how much mileage the McCain/Palin Republicans are still wrenching out of Senator Obama's comment about "spreading the wealth around."
Maybe it's all for the best that the Dems do not take the bait and mount any major response to this sinister distortion of Obama's words and their meaning. Why waste precious time at this point? The brain-dead GOP base will dutifully dismiss any thoughtful deconstruction (huh?) of Obama's words and react with conditioned knee-jerk outrage to any such red herring McCain might pull out of his butt, no matter how absurd.
McCain knows this as well as anyone. Which is why he has the gull to go on and brand Obama as a secret socialist after already smearing him with the secret muslim, secret terrorist and secret whatever labels.
Now, in breaking news, the BBC reports that the McCain campaign has uncovered yet another shocking Obama association with a controversial figure: Rahm Emanuel has been named as a possible Chief of Staff in the Obama administration. "The Illinois congressman is considered a highly partisan politician who served in Bill Clinton's White House."
Finally, the deepest darkest secret comes out: Barack Obama is secretly a... Democrat!.
It might be hard to make this last one stick, what with so many big name Republicans rushing to endorse Obama at the last minute.
Meanwhile, in a feeble deperate defense of his socialist smear McCain will tell you it is, in fact, based on Obama's own words. In response to Joe the Plumber Obama did say we should "spread the wealth around."
McCain says this "is one of the basic tenets of socialism."
But as Tom Brokaw even pointed out in his questioning of McCain last Sunday, the tenets of socialism also include governmental bailouts and takeovers of a nation's banks and industries, which McCain himself strongly supports as a way to save our failing economy.
In fact, central control of those economic engines by a country's government is more than just some vague conceptual idea that motivates socialist states: it is one of the solid operational mechanisms of socialist state governments.
As has been seen in those countries that operate under such a system, governmental intervention into the business of banks and industries - taking control of the economy - has only ever enriched those in power - and their friends - while the socialist working classes always only floundered.
"Spreading the wealth around," on the other hand, is only a tenet of socialism in the sense of being a mere conceptual premise from which to begin. Every government that has imposed income taxes on its citizens or provided Social Security can be said to be experimenting with socialist concepts. They do so, of course, in order to provide for those who cannot work and to support public services, work, infrastructure defense and, of course, war.
McCain/Palin Republicans are clearly far ahead of the Obama-led Democrats in the race to establish a socialist state in America and they totally side with those who already hold all the wealth. Those wealthy people will only gain more under state socialism than they have as capitalists. Which may explain a lot about the turn this economy has taken of late.
No wonder McCain doesn't want the wealth to go spreading around: he wants it to remain concentrated in the 2.4% of Americans who alread possess 95% of it!
And what is this "Wealth" of which we speak?
Well, I know it has nothing to do with the kind of money I have access to. It's not about the resources needed to meet a person's basic needs or even provide for a relatively comfortable existance.
Inarguably, "wealth" is just another word for "excess."
You cannot think in terms of wealth if you have trouble making ends meet or are worried about your financial future. It is a brazen insult to argue that we should not tap into the heaping excesses sitting in a relatively few millionaires' accounts - just earning them greater personal fortunes - to give a little relief to those of us currently struggling and suffering under a treacherous global economy.
What should by rights be taken as the outrageous affront it is to those regular Joes and hocky moms who crowd the McCain & Palin's rallies, instead flies right over their hot little angry heads.
What Obama said to Joe the Plumber was that he "should have gotten a tax cut years ago."
If he and all the working/middle class had been cut a break already - instead of having it all go into the pockets of the super-rich - some of that excess wealth would have been spread to him years ago and he would not now need to worry so much about whether he could afford to take over his plumbing business, as Joe said he wanted to do.
That's what I think Obama was saying and I believe it is true.
McCain prefers to keep all our country's excess/wealth concentrated in the hands of a relatively few individuals like his good friend Bill the Billionaire.
To add injury to the afore-mentioned insult, McCain apparently trusts his elite profit-driven friends to make better decisions about how to spend all those excess millions in a good or bad economy - more than he would trust Joe the Plumber or you.
They are the ones who have their hands on it all this time and just look where they have gotten us!
Why doesn't that point ever sink in to the mostly white trash knee-jerk McCain/Palin supporters?
Probably because it's so much easier just to seize on the latest diversionary label that McCain is trying to make stick to his Democratic opponent (who has the nerve to run for President as an openly black man!) rather than risk themselves being labeled racist merely because they have no rational reason to vote against their own self interests...
McCain Utters the "R" Word
Appearing on Larry King's show last night, John McCain is said to have acknowledged that racism still exists in America (duh!), but that it is only likely to be a small factor in people's decisions about whom they will vote.
Well, what did you expect him to say?
If he were to engage in any real "straight talk" McCain would have acknowledged that, yes, racism exists and he is counting on it to win this election.
He and Palin obviously have little else going for them.
If he had any principles at all he could have said that he does not want anyone to vote for him or anyone else primarily on the basis of race.
And if anyone is thinking about doing so anyway he should make it clear he does not want their vote.
If McCain weren't so desperate he could couch his words in terms of also rejecting the votes of those who would vote against Obama or him on the basis of race alone. To soundly condemn such negative voter motivation would be a strong statement that he is not counting on people to let their racist tendencies determine the politics of this great country.
But the Republicans cannot afford to offend their white racist base.
As they stand McCain's words are little more than a wink and a nod to those Americans who he acknowledges may still be racist.
At best, they convey the message: "you know you shouldn't, but I can't stop you if you do."
Why not? Pushing and prodding the possible, at TED@IBM - We know that our world — our data, our lives, our countries — are becoming more and more connected. But what should we do with that? In two sessions of TED...
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