[Marxism] Vote Bush, because Kerry is Making the Liberals Dumb, Dumb, and Dumber
gojack10 at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 4 08:32:58 MDT 2004
Relunctantly, I have joined the Anybody But Kerry camp. Why? It is simply
that Kerry is distracting us and making us dumb. Sure, Bush is more or less
the same as Kerry, but at least he doesn't have this dumbing down effect on
people with hearts (liberals) like Kerry does. With Bush given another 4
years, then we can all get back to work once again. So disregard this
idiotic article below. Tony
Anybody But Bush -- then back to work!
by Naomi Klein; UK Guardian; August 01, 2004
Last month, I reluctantly joined the Anybody But Bush camp. It was "Bush in
a Box" that finally got me, a gag gift my brother gave my father on his 66th
birthday. Bush in a Box is a cardboard cut-out of President 43 with a set of
adhesive speech balloons featuring the usual tired Bushisms: "Is our
children learning?" "They misunderestimated me" - standard-issue
Bush-bashing schlock, on sale at Wal-Mart, made in Malaysia.
Yet Bush in a Box filled me with despair. It's not that the president is
dumb, which I already knew, it's that he makes us dumb. Don't get me wrong:
my brother is an exceptionally bright guy; he heads a think-tank that
publishes weighty policy papers on the failings of export-oriented resource
extraction and the false savings of cuts to welfare. Whenever I have a
question involving interest rates or currency boards, he's my first call.
But Bush in a Box pretty much summarises the level of analysis coming from
the left these days. You know the line: The White House has been hijacked by
a shady gang of zealots who are either insane or stupid or both. Vote Kerry
and return the country to sanity.
But the zealots in Bush's White House are neither insane nor stupid nor
particularly shady. Rather, they openly serve the interests of the
corporations that put them in office with bloody-minded efficiency. Their
boldness stems not from the fact that they are a new breed of zealot but
that the old breed finds itself in a newly unconstrained political climate.
We know this, yet there is something about George Bush's combination of
ignorance, piety and swagger that triggers a condition in progressives I've
come to think of as Bush Blindness. When it strikes, it causes us to lose
sight of everything we know about politics, economics and history and to
focus exclusively on the admittedly odd personalities of the people in the
White House. Other side-effects include delighting in psychologists'
diagnoses of Bush's warped relationship with his father and brisk sales of
Bush "dum gum" - $1.25.
This madness has to stop, and the fastest way of doing that is to elect John
Kerry, not because he will be different but because in most key areas -
Iraq, the "war on drugs", Israel/Palestine, free trade, corporate taxes - he
will be just as bad. The main difference will be that as Kerry pursues these
brutal policies, he will come off as intelligent, sane and blissfully dull.
That's why I've joined the Anybody But Bush camp: only with a bore such as
Kerry at the helm will we finally be able to put an end to the presidential
pathologising and focus on the issues again.
Of course, most progressives are already solidly in the Anybody But Bush
camp, convinced that now is not the time to point out the similarities
between the two corporate-controlled parties. I disagree. We need to face up
to those disappointing similarities, and then we need to ask ourselves
whether we have a better chance of fighting a corporate agenda pushed by
Kerry or by Bush.
I have no illusions that the left will have "access" to a Kerry/Edwards
White House. But it's worth remembering that it was under Bill Clinton that
the progressive movements in the west began to turn our attention to systems
again: corporate globalisation, even - gasp - capitalism and colonialism. We
began to understand modern empire not as the purview of a single nation, no
matter how powerful, but a global system of interlocking states,
international institutions and corporations, an understanding that allowed
us to build global networks in response, from the World Social Forum to
Indymedia. Innocuous leaders who spout liberal platitudes while slashing
welfare and privatising the planet push us to better identify those systems
and to build movements agile and intelligent enough to confront them. With
Mr Dum Gum out of the White House, progressives will have to get smart
again, and that can only be good.
Some argue that Bush's extremism actually has a progressive effect because
it unites the world against the US empire. But a world united against the
United States isn't necessarily united against imperialism. Despite their
rhetoric, France and Russia opposed the invasion of Iraq because it
threatened their own plans to control Iraq's oil. With Kerry in power,
European leaders will no longer be able to hide their imperial designs
behind easy Bush-bashing, a development already forecast in Kerry's odious
Iraq policy. Kerry argues that we need to give "our friends and allies ... a
meaningful voice and role in Iraqi affairs", including "fair access to the
multibillion-dollar reconstruction contracts. It also means letting them be
a part of putting Iraq's profitable oil industry back together."
Yes, that's right: Iraq's problems will be solved with more foreign
invaders, with France and Germany given a greater "voice" and a bigger share
of the spoils of war. No mention is made of Iraqis, and their right to a
"meaningful voice" in the running of their own country, let alone of their
right to control their oil or to get a piece of the reconstruction.
Under a Kerry government, the comforting illusion of a world united against
imperial aggression will drop away, exposing the jockeying for power that is
the true face of modern empire. We'll also have to let go of the archaic
idea that toppling a single man, or a Romanesque "empire", will solve all,
or indeed any, of our problems. Yes, it will make for more complicated
politics, but it has the added benefit of being true. With Bush out of the
picture, we lose the galvanising enemy, but we get to take on the actual
policies that are transforming all of our countries.
The other day, I was ranting to a friend about Kerry's vicious support for
the apartheid wall in Israel, his gratuitous attacks on Hugo Chavez in
Venezuela and his abysmal record on free trade. "Yeah," he agreed sadly.
"But at least he believes in evolution." So do I - the much-needed evolution
of our progressive movements. And that won't happen until we put away the
fridge magnets and Bush gags and get serious. And that will only happen once
we get rid of the distraction-in-chief. So Anybody But Bush. And then let's
get back to work.
· Naomi Klein is the author of No Logo and Fences and Windows. This column
originally appeared in The Nation
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