Monday, January 25, 2016

Welcome to the Changing World

The United States is about to go through a major change.

The generation that revolted against the Vietnam War is now the establishment. Their children have been brought up to distrust the government or depend on it, love it or hate it. Increasingly, the government has extended its reach into the lives of its citizens until more than 50% of the US population is dependent in one fashion or another for their livelihood on it. Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, and the myriad other programs that provide "free" services to the poor and those who believe themselves poor have entrenched the government into a society that should no longer consider itself free.

The largest employer in the US is the US government. Its leverage on US society is undeniable.

That is why the upcoming 2016 Presidential elections will signal a change unprecedented in US history. The exercise of extra-constitutional control over the legislative branch by the current POTUS and SCOTUS has negated the checks and balances intended at its drafting. Congress, by becoming polarized and ineffectual, has allowed this. It is entirely possible that within the next decade the US will become a de facto dictatorship.

Each of the front-runners in both the GOP and Democrat Parties are potential despots. This should not be a surprise to anyone who has been following their diatribes in the media. From the hubris and megalomania of Donald Trump to the economic ignorance and social blindness of Bernie Sanders, from the intolerance and inflexibility of Ted Cruz to the corruption and cunning of Hillary Clinton, the election stands to be not just a choice of the lesser of several evils. It stands to have long-range consequences that mean an abandonment of constitutional values in favor of expediency and political prostitution.

This state of affairs has not suddenly descended on America. It has been building slowly since World War II, when the country lost its innocence about warfare on August 6, 1945. Gone was the thought that wars could be waged on a controlled scale, that nation against nation was still a way to settle differences. With the deaths of thousands at a single strike on Hiroshima, the world found itself faced with a new and terrible possibility. Planetary suicide.

For those of us who remember the days of "duck and cover," today's "terrorist threat" is nothing new. It is simply another way of saying "nuclear shadow." It took the world coming to the brink in October 1962 for that shadow to begin to dissipate. What will it take today?

If we elect a president who will press the military option we will face that threat head on and maybe survive. If, on the other hand, we elect a president who will draw back our military and concentrate on internal social matters, that threat may evaporate altogether. There are no guarantees either way.

As just another citizen, we are most of us in the same boat as that peasant farmer who tilled the soil while the Axis and Allied powers threw shells at each other. We are the people trying to stay alive while TPTB arm-wrestle over who gets the largest cut of the financial pie.

The good news is, the little guys may be the only ones left standing when the markets crash and the military option flares. People survive. Governments fall.

Remember that, candidates.