The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, vol.4, no.3, (July 2008)
Barack Obama and John McCain: The two faces of the elite
As the 2008 Presidential campaign opens the season of promises for change, the two presumptuous presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain say they will change politics as usual in Washington. Barack’s slogan “change you can believe in” enlists voters to believe in their ability to bring about change in Washington by electing him. And McCain’s jingle “the right change” recruits voters to trust in his other slogan the “straight talking” man and elect him. Barack is a reformer trying to patch up the broken American Dream, and McCain is a war monger whose right change will bring more of the same and worse. Both campaigns will target disaffected women, white working class, Latinos, and youth. Both men are dangerous, because each will carry on supporting the bogus war on terror at home and abroad, and because either one is getting elected he will guarantee that the transnational economic and political elite will have their “man” in the White House.
The McCain face of the elite…
John McCain is hazardous. Not only is he an acknowledged war criminal, “I am a war criminal”, he confessed on “60 Minutes” in 1997, supplying his interrogators information that aided their struggle against the invaders, but he is also the ideological mirror of G.W. Bush and as such becomes a threat to stability at home and abroad. McCain goes on to confess, “I bombed innocent women and children…I am a black criminal and I have performed the deeds of an air pirate. I almost died and the Vietnamese people saved my life, thanks to the doctors.” On June 4, 1969, a U.S. wire service headlined a story entitled, “PW Songbird Is Pilot Son of Admiral.” The article reported that McCain had cooperated with his captors in psywar assaults directed at American soldiers. “The broadcast was beamed to American servicemen in South Vietnam as a part of a propaganda series attempting to counter charges by U.S. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird that American prisoners are being mistreated in North Vietnam.” On one occasion, General Vo Nguyen Giap, the top Vietnamese commander personally interviewed McCain. McCain’s collaboration during this interview was a coup for the Vietnamese, who thereafter pulled McCain out regularly as prop at meetings with foreign delegations. In the custody of psywar specialists, McCain has become what he is today-“a professional psywar stooge”.
McCain loves war, since he never has shown remorse for his crimes.
• McCain also lacks critical judgment by voting to authorize Bush to invade Iraq, admitting to being wrong in voting against MLK Day,
• McCain does not have any familiarity with economic issues,
• McCain wants to privatize Social Security,
• McCain is allied with Washington lobbyist money and Republican operatives,
• McCain will continue spying against Americans,
• McCain will give Americans a ‘gas tax holiday’ that will hand over to the oil companies the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax, since the price at the pumps will not retreat,
• McCain opposes expanding the GI Bill for veterans,
• Two of his lackeys were fired for representing the interests of the military junta in Myanmar,
• McCain will continue Bush’s tax cuts to the rich which has not stimulated economic activity nor increased revenue,
• McCain admits to having no experience about economic issues,
• McCain acknowledges as spiritual advisor megatelevangelist Rod Parsley who has called upon Christians to wage war against the false religion Islam (McCain denounced Parsley only after it came to light what he had said),
• McCain has nothing to say about the Enron loophole where energy markets are deregulated and whereby energy futures are controlled by speculators, free from any regulatory oversight, and made secure by Wendy Gramm former chair of the Commodities Future Trading Commission and wife of former Senator Phil Gramm, who not only passed the Enron loophole, but also is co-chair of McCain’s presidential campaign and McCain’s top economic adviser. McCain chaired Phil Gramm’s 1996 Presidential bid with Ken Lay, CEO of Enron, as regional chairman.
• McCain ensures us that he will never surrender in the war against Islamic extremists.
• McCain will reform healthcare for all Americans,
• McCain will bring spending under control and veto wasteful pork-barrel spending bills,
• McCain will build forty-five nuclear power plants,
• McCain will keep taxes low and reform the tax code that is too complex and too burdensome.
• McCain will modernize (read: privatize) Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
• McCain will bring accountability, choice and competition to underperforming schools, so our children are equipped to take the best jobs of the 21st century.
Now, who would not vote for a guy like him, who has not worked a day in his life and who will restore faith in America? It is this kind of pandering to the public on the issues from climate change, border security, jobs, the economy, health care, etc. that McCain hopes to win the hearts and minds of the voters. However, as we have seen, if elected, McCain promises more of G.W. Bush’s repressive policies with his own brand of ruling and bombastic carrying on as a maw solidifying the power of the economic and political elite. John McCain and his fiction of change should get trounced in the election, although it really does not matter as we will see.
…and the Obama face
Indeed, if “right change” McCain is dangerous and not to be trusted, Barack “change you can believe in” Obama is equally frightening and dangerous if elected President. He proved he can be counted on and now is perfectly electable by giving assurances, as of this writing, to all the elites governing America (economic, religious, political, Zionists, etc.) there is no need to worry about him! He is a game player and follower of the elites’ plan.
Amidst the monotonous mantra for change an Obama presidency will retain the present system of power held by the economic and political elites. Obama’s campaign is leaving out those millions of people at the bottom who have nothing, but who still believe “in the spirit of change, hope, and possibility”. He needs them to get out of their apathy for a fleeting moment of pulling the lever or pushing a button to get elected. That is the bottom line.
In the past month or so, Obama has given several speeches in which he promised to carry on the US foreign policy, which assures throwing the world into further conflict.
In his very first speech after he became the unofficial Democratic Party candidate for the presidential election, on 4 June, Obama talked to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and dedicated himself to the Zionist cause: “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” Obama justifies Zionist state-terrorism in the ongoing genocide of Palestinian identity, family, and culture in the name of the spiritual, emotional and cultural identity rooted in the Zionist idea of homeland. But justice cannot be obtained if, in the pursuance of a homeland, ethnic cleansing is used to get rid of another people who used to live for many hundreds of years in your “homeland”, on which the only right you have is the one given by God! From the inclusive democracy perspective there can only be a multicultural and inclusive state for all the peoples living today in Palestine. “Clearly, a one-state solution in the form of an inclusive multicultural state would be an important step towards a Confederal Inclusive Democracy in Palestine. This is because such a solution could not only lead to a form of government which would have no relation at all to the present racist Zionist ‘democracy’ and the authoritarian Palestinian Authority”. A one state solution would undercut the Zionist and religious extremists fuelling the bloodshed.
In another disturbing speech on the politics of change Obama gave in Miami to honor those who supposedly fight for Cuban liberty he said he would support an old failed policy, but with a reformist face. To these Cuban-Americans (most of them supporters of the Batista US protectorate and their descendents) he vowed not to drop the embargo, as he thinks it will put pressure on the Cuban regime forcing them to make “democratic” changes. At the same time, he adopted the “Trojan horse” policy of undermining the Cuban regime from the inside by promising to lift that part of the embargo related to the amount of money family members can send to their families living in Cuba and allow more travel to the island for family members. Obama emphasized he wants to overturn the alienating policies of the Bush administration and mend fences in Latin America and make new alliances against the “dictator Chavez” and his allies (without mentioning the fact that these regimes, despite their faults, are pulling people out of poverty).
Then he vows to fight poverty, corruption, guns, drugs, illegal immigration, etc. without removing the causes of the crisis which ultimately are the globalized market and representative “democracy”. Next, he associates crime with being poor, without holding those with the power, the economic and political elites, accountable for the poverty, as if poverty has to be blamed on the poor themselves: “One hundred million people live on less than two dollars a day, and 40 percent of Latin Americans live in poverty. This feeds everything from drugs, to migration, to support for leaders that appeal to the poor without delivering on their promises.”
• Obama supports the Peru Trade Agreement which is a disaster for the Peruvians.
• Obama will push ahead neoliberal trade policies of economic liberalization and privatization while paying lip service to labor as he has with NAFTA, which he now supports.
• Obama will work for a regional alliance on energy by initiating “Energy Partnership for the Americas” which essentially hands over control of natural resources of the continent to the World Bank, the Organization of American States, and the Inter-American Development Bank to make “the Americas a model for the world…that serves the common prosperity and common security of the entire region”. Sound familiar?
In yet another speech on renewing the American Dream Obama addressed the poor state of the economy highlighting the loss of jobs, the credit crisis, increasing debt, high prices across the board, and general stagflation. He listed reforms that will re-establish “balance and fairness” to ease the pressure on the middle class and offering “new policies that create the jobs and opportunities of the future—a competitiveness agenda built upon education energy, innovation, infrastructure, fair trade and reform”. Again, it is free trade (christened ‘fair trade’) and the competitiveness agenda that will bring about all these goodies with minimal state intervention, i.e. the social-liberal agenda.
Furthermore, he did not fail to demonize the oil rich “dictators from Caracas to Tehran” (who were elected democratically) by pointing out that petro-dollars pay for their pretentiousness, when he advanced energy proposals of $150 billion for a Green Jobs sector to restore innovation and manufacturing to America. He also recently promised to completely close the Enron loophole. By creating the National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank with a $60 billion account will fund infrastructure projects by subsidizing American entrepreneurs. Money for these projects will come from ending the war in Iraq (although at the moment of writing he seems to be backtracking even on this issue!) . Remember Nixon campaigned on ending the war in Vietnam. And what happened? He widened it by bombing Cambodia.
The Obama campaign has even disowned its “grassroots” fundraisers, and more significantly showed how easily he can reverse his policies. Obama has recently reversed his stance on campaign financing by opting out of the public financing system for the general election. This is a dropping of promises he made earlier in the campaign season that he would accept public funding. Now there is no limit to the amount of money he can raise.
Also, Obama has, during the last week of June and first week of July, moved to the right on four important issues. Thus,:
• Obama gave up on holding telecom companies accountable for spying on Americans by retroactively supporting immunity for their lawbreaking and thereby approving the FISA compromise allowing for continued spying on the people.
• Obama disagreed with the Supreme Court decision that the death penalty should not be required for rape. Yet, capital punishment is anti-human in that it is the big lie that absolves executioners for murdering another human being.
• Obama approved the Supreme Court ruling on allowing hand gun sales to resume in Washington, D.C. after some thirty-five years of prohibiting gun sales there. The people want hand guns off the streets and the government with Obama’s blessing puts them back on the streets.
• Obama said he would expand Presidents Bush’s initiative to pour social service tax dollars into the coffers of religious groups that serve the community. By showing commitment to his faith and investing federal tax dollars to faith based initiatives, he clearly hopes to garner evangelical voters to get him elected.
However, it is the image of change Americans can believe in, but not actually have, that cannot be tarnished because of the sensitive political conditions regarding, for example, Muslims. Two young Muslim women on 16 June, who worked as volunteers for his campaign, were removed from seats behind the podium where Obama was to speak. The women were told that because they were wearing hijabs they could not sit behind the podium in front of cameras, so the ladies had to go. Do not tell me his aides did not know they were discriminating against the women, because the Obama campaign promises to include everyone for change. His campaign would have us believe of course it is not the policy that failed, just some rogue elements who sought to exclude those who take away from the fiction. These women were considered of equal standing to the campaign because their money talks, but when it comes to image they were profiled as belonging to some Islamofascist terrorist squad. The reality did not complement the fiction so the reality had to evaporate. There you have it-- pre-fabricated superficial consumer society for the Obama fiction of change.
Actually, Obama has not even adequately addressed the more pressing issues facing his African-American brothers and sisters. The nation's official jobless rate leapt from 5.0 percent in April 2008 to 5.5 percent in May 2008. It was the largest percentage increase in 22 years. The jobless rate for African Americans increased from 8.6 percent in April to 9.7 percent in May. According to Carl Bloice, unemployment for African-American youth rose astronomically, “While overall teenage unemployment increased to 18.7 percent, African American teen unemployment remains more than six times the national rate, rising on a seasonally adjusted basis from 24.5 percent to 32.3 percent.” Will these under educated and mis-educated youth find a job in Obama’s Green sector? Obama has not even touched upon the prison industrial complex with its 2.3 million captives with one in one hundred adults behind bars, and where “one in nine Black men between the ages of 20-34 are incarcerated…and for black women ages 35 to 39, the figure is one in 100, compared with one in 355 for white women in the same age group.” With an Obama Presidency African-Americans will continue to remain on the bottom rung of the market ladder.
The multidimensional crisis we face is not due to some or other defect in the System that can be regulated, de-regulated, re-formed, etc. It is the System of the market economy and representative “democracy” itself that is the source of the economic, political, social and ecological crises. No amount of fixing the System can effect any genuine change. Time and time again politicians enact political reforms that do nothing to change the conditions that are creating the crises daily ―the continued global expansion of markets to every nook and cranny of human societies― which concentrates economic and political decision-taking into the hands of the elites and disenfranchises the population.
In conclusion, to the establishment, with either McCain or Obama elected, the elites will have nothing to worry about! McCain and Obama just represent two faces of the same elites. That's the idea of a two-party system in a representative "democracy".
 Douglas Valentine, “John McCain: War Hero or North Vietnam’s Go-To Collaborator?”, Counterpunch (June 13-15 2008).
 Barack Obama, “Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: AIPAC Policy Conference”, Washington, D.C. (June 4, 2008).
 Barack Obama, “Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Renewing U.S. Leadership in the Americas”, Miami Florida (May 23, 2008).
 Barack Obama, “Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Renewing American Competitiveness”, Flint, Michigan (June 16, 2008).
 Carl Bloice, “The Black Jobless Picture—From Bleak to Bleaker & Out of Sight”, Black Commentator, Issue 281 (June 12, 2008).