Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Medidation on the Decline of American Power, Part II

All of this doomsday scenario making leads us back to the 08 elections. Is there the possibility of change?

From my perspective, there are three very basic areas in which we need radical shift if we are to stave off the worst of the possibilities I've described:

1) Develop a coherent, workable foreign policy. Isolationism can't work. Jingoism paints targets on our collective chest. Removing ourselves as the coordinators/occupying force in Iraq and Afghanistan would be a good start (replacing with U.N. command is a possibility).

2) Develop a fair trade policy. Bring production back to the states, encourage heirloom craftsmanship and buying locally. Use (what little) economic power we have to mandate fair wages and humane working and living conditions for workers abroad (this ought to have an beneficent effect on immigration as well). Don't trade with countries that won't play ball. Don't give personal rights to corporations.

3) Establish universal, centralized health care for all people in the USA.

I recognize that all three of these represent radical shift from the current state of affairs. I also think that we're at a tipping point economically, politically, and militarily. We don't have the luxury of making a slow U-turn. Unfortunately, neither of the presumptive major party candidates has the political will to pull off this kind of sea-change. A McCain presidency is a vote for status quo. Obama will make a good president someday, but not yet (and he agrees with me...waiting on the video from LaueOfficer). I don't think you get to where Sen. Obama is, as fast as he did without being in somebody's pocket, and that scares me (incidentally, I read an article in a magazine aboard a flight to Denver last year that cited specifically whose pocket he's in...but I can find no reference to this now). What scares me most is that someone with pockets that big isn't likely to be interested in much of a shift from business as usual either.

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