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First, you should read this surreal article from "New York" about conservative activists and "intelligentsia" (if such a word could be applied) on a cruise ship, lamenting the loss of America to the Kenyan Muslim Socialist and his horde of greedy, selfish, amoral followers.  Rome is crumbling and the Vandals and the Visigoths are at the gates!  Speaking of usurpers to the throne...

The new face of America.

US President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event at the Apollo Theatre in New York on 19 January 2012.
Yes, I am an evil Green Party voting (not this cycle though), pacifist, far leftist, union thugging, liberal academia brainwashed, Social Democratic Welfare Nanny state loving, atheist Saul Alinskyite from Mars with a Masters degree in underwater basket weaving.  I probably left out terrorist sympathizer, but that one is too vile to use against me, even for most right wingers, and it's not even close to true.  I'm probably anathema to most on this site, but that doesn't deter me in the slightest.  Like the President I am biracial (he's a little bit darker than me but with much better skin), i.e. Black in a White neighborhood and White in a Black neighborhood.  He and I have severe differences, but now that he is elected, that discussion is dead and we move on.  Conservatives rightly recognize that Barack Hussein Obama is the ideological death of the America that they've wrought with blood and terror.  American Rome is on its way out, like the Rome of yore, a brutal empire built on the broken backs of its enemies and consumed by its soulless materialism and lack of purpose.
                    The face of Central American Right Wing death squads

The America of Reagan was an America where the "takers" were minorities, women, the disadvantaged, the old, and the poor.  Reagan taught Americans that belief in glory and institutions of violence were what made America great, not its citizenry, not communal values, not the land that sustains us, and most certainly not peace.  It was okay to feel superior to your neighbor and to tear them down rather than bring yourself up.  Reagan taught Americans that the rigorous drive to look at external reality with clear eyes, and govern based on that, was inferior to apocalyptic, pessimistic visions of the world and the people in it.  Life was not about the spiritual journey to self fulfillment, souls guiding their own boats through the great river of existence, but rather the mad grab at power, money, and self worship.  Even charity, to right wingers, is a product to commodify and quantize.  An America where everyone wanted to be Mitt Romney, with the harsh reality that there really was only one.

               "No fighting in the war room!"  Oh, Cold War logic how we love thee.

This America has run its course.  Intent leads to thought and thought leads to action.  Action is the purest form of thought.  If we look at the actions of America, it has lived out all of Reagan's fantasies.  It has projected military power across the world with disastrous results for the lives of innocent people (not in every case obviously).  The Soviet Union?  Michael Jackson and bootlegged videos of soap operas set in California did more damage to that regime than Reagan could ever dream of.  America spread violence through its media and it became a materialistic, unsustainable version of its former self.  It no longer led the world through example.  It's economy was based on bubbles (stock, housing, credit, student loan), not on anything of substantial and lasting value, but instead on the idea that life was about winning the lottery (this goes for everyone).  But then again, how could it not be?  It shipped away its jobs, i.e. people's purpose and hope for a materially safe existence, in the name of better trade ties and efficiency.  This was so the John Galt's could snort their cocaine in the comfort of their own offices while turning psychotic watching numbers fly across a screen.  The country's leaders stopped caring for their people and instead tried to cash out of a burning ship.   We alienated the entire world and our economic boat was steered by a man who took a badly written novel and based an entire economy off of it.  

                       The spectacular end of the financial crisis.

That America is over.  Thank the sky god.  It was arrogant and confident in stupid ideas.  Those who could speak the loudest were put on pedestals.  The new America is pragmatic, realistic, confident rather than arrogant, diverse, aware of its multicultural roots, welcoming, humble, strategic, and proud of its mark on civilization.  This America believes that freedom means safety.  Freedom means working together, and freedom means there is room in society for everyone.  Romney could never offer anything close to this vision.  His followers truly believed that cutting off 47% of Americans to spite its own face was the right idea.  Our thinking has changed.  When we say we want democracy for all human beings, we actually mean it.  When President Obama said that Egypt "was not a friend, but also not an enemy," it showed a huge break from the binary Cold War era.  It was not a throwaway line.  Not in the age of Youtube.  The President isn't stupid; he knows that far right, conservative Egyptians were going to win the election.  But that's Egypt's prerogative, and if we believe in democracy, we cannot choose the victors.  

Make no mistake about it, empires decay and morph, rather than collapse in spectacular displays for movie going audiences.   Their character remains because they've been on the earth so long. The Vandals and the Visigoths changed Roman culture; the empire lived on in fractured pieces and dropped into the sea chunk by chunk.  What this means is you can only expect a cultural shift, a change in the way people look towards the future and how they evaluate their past.  Do not let your will for the world to change blind you to what you see, both good and bad.  Barack Obama is a man that thinks peace comes at the end of a sword.  Before his tenure as President is up, hundreds more innocent people will be slaughtered in Northwestern Pakistan, people caught in the crossfire of the U.S. Army, Al-Qaeda, and the government of their own country that has little interest or ability to defend them (and in many cases wants to kill them just the same).  I am strong enough to feel sympathy for them (even though some of them do mean me harm) and not have to recede into callous indifference to make sense of it or carry on with my life.  I will never cheer for their deaths.  We will still have U.S. hypocrisy in the Middle East, vis a vis Bahrain, and we might not ever see resolutions of longstanding conflicts like Israel and the Palestinians because those conflicts are stained in blood and hate.

This has nothing to do with Obama.  He's not responsible for the Saudi's covert war in Yemen or Pakistan's inability to have a stable state.  The rest of the world is still living in the shadow of the former empire and conflicts left unresolved around the middle of the century.  Not everyone has the goals of peace and Starbucks, but it's slowly turning that way, and we have someone that believes in a new, saner America at the helm.  Clean energy investment is up and we are shifting to an economy with greater access to the fruits of technology.  We have a state that acts as a conduit for citizens to care for each other, and we will soon not be the richest country in the world with the worst health care system. The conservatives know this deep down inside, and they are afraid.  They will try to regroup their forces, but they believe in aristocracy, inequality, and that freedom means freedom from the huddled masses.  They are built to cling, and cling they will.  No matter, we have a brighter future to live in.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

    by sujigu on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 02:46:37 PM PST

  •  Beautifully written. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Lefty, radarlady

    Thank you so, so much for sharing your views. I've heard people call America an empire before, but not with the depth and honesty you have. I'm honestly glad for the change of our face. I'm glad we -are- trying to be saner, even if we have our own insanities to deal with.

    This diary was poetic and positive and I for one, really appreciate it. Thank you. Tipped and Rec'd because you've made my day.

  •  Vos venit, vos orator, vos victum (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, jm214, radarlady

    You came, you spoke, you conquered. Very impressive and finely crafted; clear, illustrative and persuasive narrative. A manifesto in waiting. Well done.

    Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

    by Old Lefty on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 04:27:58 PM PST

  •  The New America can't get here fast enough. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jm214, zizi

    Send conservatives to for re-education.

    by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:54:29 PM PST

  •  Your including a picture & quote from "Strange- (5+ / 0-)

    love" is instructive.  I just rewatched it last weekend, as I've done about once every 5 years since it first came out just after I turned 18.  I have a very vivid memory of just sitting there during the closing credits with my by best friend, both of us  too stunned to move.  Of course, that was only 6 months after JFK's assassination and 18 months after the Cuban Missle Crisis, when the two of us had spent a good part of each day staring out the windows of our school at the NYC skyline wondering whether our consciousness would have time to register the flash before we were vaporized.  (Years later living in Manhattan I many times awoke in a swest from a nuclear war nightmare that had been set off by thunder reverberating down the canyons of the avenues while I was sleeping.)

    The entire period from the Cuban Missle Crisis until Watergate finally drove Nixon from office seemed at the time to be pregnant with some enormous change in the structure of the American empire -- maybe  even it's dismantlement, as many of us hoped.  But, although certainly the civil rights, feminist, and LGBT struggles have by now made life considerably less oppressive for the non-white, non-male, and non-straight segments of the domestic population, the promise that that period from 1962 to 1975 seemed to hold for American labor in general, for American culture, and for the foreign subjects of the American Empire has not just mostly failed to materialize but in many ways has been betrayed by an actual worsening rather than improvement of circumstances.  

    If someone had assured me 40 years ago that in 2012 we'd have inequality of income and wealth at the same levels as in the 1920's I'd have thought him insane.  If at the same time they'd told me that in 2012 we'd be in our 10th year of a land war in Asia and raining destruction on teenagers in the Mid-East with technology out of Welles or Orwell, I'd have despaired, having just spent much of the previous four years of my life trying to get us to stop doing just that in Vietnam.  

    Very successful empires (an oxymoron, but only in the very long run) usually die VERY slowly and often very destructively.  Hell, Rome itself took 300-500 years to "fall," depending on when you date the onset of its decline; and its Eastern clone -- Byzantium --  took another 1,000 years to get killed off completely.   The Anglo-Normans started empirizing before 1100 AD,  but the Irish, much less the Scots and Welsh,  still haven't been able to throw them out completely yet; and the English class system is far from dead.

    No, as epoch-making as PBO's election and re-election have truly been in one way, they hardly signal the "ideological death" of the American Empire.  The corporate oligarchs and their political minions were almost as enraged by Clinton's election as by Obama's, because their sense of entitlement is so great they don't want anybody in power who tries to insert even a modicum of concern for the 99% into the political discourse.  But obviously they couldn't play the race card when ginning up opposition to Bubba.  (Instead they opted for hypocritical hysteria over a blow job or two.).  

    Of course, the reaction of the right to both Clinton and Obama was ludicrously extreme, since neither was a Democrat as I understood the term from my father, a great admirer of FDR, or as I saw it manifested in LBJ's domestic policy or in Gene McCarthy, for whose campaign I worked, or in the later RFK or, especially, the later MLK with his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War and growing emphasis on issues of economic justice.  Hell, PBO just said it himself -- his policies are those that in the past would've been associated with the "moderate Republicans."

    Sorry, but the election of a latter-day Edward Brooke is hardly a signal that the American Empire is on its way out.  Thinking it is only plays into the hands of its staunchest defenders.  

    •  I love unflinching realism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chantedor, radarlady

      and you are quite correct to point out that Rome basically stuck around for a good long while, first going through a major religious makeover, and then eventually disintegrating over time.  Special interests die hard.

      There are other empires that disintegrated with a snap of the finger, like the anticlimactic explosion of the Soviet Union, brought down by a 3 day trip to a dacha.  Russia still operates very similarly to the way it used to back when Uncle Joe was around, but that's not some nefarious scheme, that was just a logical result of Soviet planning to make Azerbaijan do just one thing, while Turkmenistan do another.

      However I do have to point out that Romney ran on Reagan essentially and then lost.  He lost to the people Reagan used to marginalize to win victories.  That's a huge reversal.  Minorities are a must have constituency, and the progressive/left/liberal side of the equation is far more united than it used to be.  The GOP tried gay marriage/abortion wedge issues with Black and Latino voters and failed.  Now, instead of being a hodge podge of separate interest groups going after their one myopic thing, you have different groups advocating for each other and then expecting reciprocity.

      Ayn Rand is withering on the vine and the far right is now trying to get their book deals and sack of cash and leave before the burning building collapses in on them.  Right wing ideology, much of it the basis of Reagan's ideology and the ideology of any empire that based its greatness on the broken corpses of its enemies, was laid bare for America to see, and it sickened people.  As far as corporate and the wars they fund and the politicians they buy, think of this.  Karl Rove should have been able to turn all those millions into votes, and he couldn't.  Sheldon Adelson couldn't either.  Americans doubt war as a means of solving problems.  There's a growing movement for employee owned business (socialism if I ever saw it) and Occupy.  So I think Reagan has finally died and we're seeing the tidal wave start to wash his body out to see.

      "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

      by sujigu on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 10:19:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  we're in our 12th year in Afghanistan war: 10-8-01 (0+ / 0-)

      80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

      by Churchill on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:12:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  a nice long warm song about nonsense (0+ / 0-)

    and the last paragraph should be a Valium commercial.

    This has nothing to do with Obama.  He's not responsible for the Saudi's covert war in Yemen or Pakistan's inability to have a stable state.  The rest of the world is still living in the shadow of the former empire and conflicts left unresolved around the middle of the century.
    (No, they just got another record setting arms deals from the US)
    What? Wikileaks has already made hash of that nonsense and if you think planes flying around bombing people has anything to do with making peace, or that it has ANYTHING to do with "conflicts left unresolved around the middle of the century" you need to inform yourself about the terrorized populations that have children with PTSD from hearing Drones hovering around ready to blast away at any time. TODAY.
    This is praised as "sane" (not to mention indefinite detention, and extra-judicial assassinations on evidence known to no one)?
    ‘Drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties’, he told a questioner at an on-line forum. ‘This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists trying to go in and harm Americans’.

    But research by the Bureau has found that since Obama took office three years ago, between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed including more than 60 children.  A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. The tactics have been condemned by leading legal experts.
    Although the drone attacks were started under the Bush administration in 2004, they have been stepped up enormously under Obama.
    Read that again and google 'double tap' if you don't already know what it is and btw it IS a war crime to strike an area and wait for rescuers of any sort, family friends etc. to show up before bombing again is heinous.
    Here add this to your feel good diary...

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 01:20:45 AM PST

  •  you've cast your bread out upon the waters... (0+ / 0-)

    people will make of it what they will.  Kudos to you for the effort.  It may not be all true but I think there is some truth in what you have written, so...tipped and rec'd.

    "For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best." V. Frankl

    by Wonton Tom on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:54:58 AM PST

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