Sara Whitman

What's next?

Filed By Sara Whitman | September 27, 2008 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, conspiracy theories, election 2008, John McCain, October surprise, Wall Street bailout

I spoke with a friend yesterday who said she was so enraged she could no longer watch television or read any news. She was going to lose it. I don't feel enraged. I feel helpless.

Frozen.

I cannot change anything that goes on in Washington, DC. I wish I could be blissfully ignorant and think that everything will work out fine. I'm watching my kids' future go into a free fall and there is nothing I can do about it.

Stay the course. Remain calm.

I don't feel calm but I also don't feel rage. I'm looking at poll numbers that put McCain and Obama neck and neck- how can that be? Adding up the numbers of people that came out to vote in the Democratic primaries doesn't add up with what the media is saying.

Obama should be trouncing this bozo. Can it be possible that the election is being stolen again?

No, no, no. That is crazy talk. This is America. We have freedom. We get one vote per person and each vote counts. Our systems work and democracy will prevail.

Right?

Then the icy fingers of anxiety clutch my throat. No, that's not what happens in the country. Electronic machines have replaced any traceable ballots. Who owns Diebold? Why do we liberals trust everyone so damn much?

We have no reason to have any faith at all. My biggest fear is if Obama loses- and there is no way he can lose- we will all gaze at our navels and wonder why we are such a racist country.

Racist or crooked?

Is this all being stolen right under our noses? Are we so numb we don't know how to march in the streets and demand action from our government? I don't care how many times Bush says the word "panic," I know what he is proposing will fail.

Why aren't we learning from what Sweden did in 1992, in the exact same crisis?

Why has Wall Street, typically in total control prior to a Presidential election, waiting to weigh in just after, gone nutty now? To what end? Did they really expect a 700 billion dollar blank check?

The timing is beyond disturbing to me. And yet there is nothing I can do but sit and watch it all unfold. What's next? A terrorist threat? Tucked in the news today were two articles about terrorists getting caught- one in Germany, one in Canada. Are we being set up?

Maybe I'm paranoid. Maybe I'm projecting my ingrained mistrust onto an easy canvas. In all my adult years, I have always loved a good conspiracy story but felt like it was just that- a story. I believed in our government as basically good.

I don't right now.

And it has me completely frozen in fear.


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That's their point, Sara. To make you afraid. Your friend is right to shut off the news. But I'm with you . . . this has me scared shitless.

It's not a depression yet but it could turn into one.

In addition to the $700 billion dollars for Wall Street, the trillions being used to murder civiilians in the Middle East and the trillions used to stabilize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Congress voted this week to give the big three auto makers $25 billion in loans.

What does that add up to. Austerity and probably for decades. The inflation and financial chaos caused by LBJ's Vietnam genocide and Carters deregulations of the S&Ls smouldered throught the economy until Clintons first term. And that was literally peanuts compared the what's going on now.

Women, especially single mothers with children, Africans Americans and immigrants are going to feel the effects of the economic crisis sooner and more deeply than others.

Almost 70 years after their emancipation of women into the work force during the Second World War women are still a marginalized sector of American society, as are African Americans, many GLBT folks, especially transsexuals and virtually all immigrant workers. Those groups will be hardest hit by the economic crisis, in part because they account for the bulk of predatory (the term sub-prime is wrong, essentially they’re predatory) mortgages. Most working people are having troubles making do and the added burdens of paying for these measures amounts to a callous imposition of austerity. We didn't cause the crisis but Congress decided we're going to pay for it.

Unemployment has jumped in the last two years and “Last hired, first fired” will be the rule for women, African Americans, GLBT folks, especially transsexuals, and immigrants. This may become the straw that broke the camels back.

The rich and their shills don’t worry about the crisis – they get richer during depressions and recessions. They own Congress and they write the tax laws. That explains their detached attitude of “Smile. Be Happy. We’ll get thought this together.”

Without doubt the crisis will set back social programs for decades. They’ll be no socialized medicine, except for the rich and politicians of course. Cut in Medicare will throw large number of people into poverty, especially women, and especially women of color, who usually have to make do with lower pensions.

The solution for working people is socialized medicine, an end to tax breaks for the rich and making them pay back what they’ve stolen with predatory mortgages. We need a constitutional guarantee of a minimum wage of $25.00 an hour and a similar retirement benefit and for cutting the normal work week to 32 hours without loss of pay or benefits, and repeal of the Free Trade Agreements. We need European standards for paid vacation and sick time and tough federal laws to protect workers who lose, or have lost their jobs because of outsourcing or efforts to control pollution, with the bills to be paid by the companies who commit those crimes. We need an end to the racist practices used against immigrant workers, and a ten year moratorium on repossessions, garnishments and foreclosures and a living and a reduction of rates to the minimum needed for clerical costs, which is often less than one percent.

If banks and financial institutions fail they should be nationalized without compensation. The stock holders have robbed us long enough.

Both centrist, rightwing parties, and most of their wholly owned MSM toadies support the bailout, the war and tax breaks for the rich, especially the capital gains scam. They’re sentencing working people to decades of imposed austerity. American workers, beginning with workers marginalized by homophobia, racism and misogyny will fight back and toss those parties in the garbage.

We do the only thing we can do... We keep a wary eye on proceedings and refuse to keep our mouths shut if either side pulls a shady stunt. That's what Americans are known for - bitching about everything until it builds up enough that they explode....

We keep on doing what we're doing. A lot's changed since 2000, in both directions.