THE CUP (R)MONEY PASSES US
By Wolfgang Lieb
[This article published November 7, 2012 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=14979
I know a country and its people should not be judged by the government that is elected. If that were not true, I would have to despair of Germany with 16 years of Helmut Kohl and now over 7 years with Angela Merkel and 3 years of black-yellow.
Naturally I am disappointed with Barack Obama’s past term in office – beginning with Guantanamo, the drone attacks of the “Nobel Prize winner for peace,” ultimately being only an “errand boy” (Bill Moyers) of Wall Street and many other things. I can understand many Americans were disappointed by Obama and would have elected someone else in view of the economic misery and high unemployment.
But the voters who voted for Romney have a picture of society that could not be more conflicting to the European history of thought and political culture. At least Obama keeps alive in America the European idea of a social society.
Whoever thinks it doesn’t matter to us in Germany who governs in America and what social forces support the American government is tremendously mistaken. Remember the neoliberalism of “Reaganomics” was an ideology that is also carried out from America in Germany – with all its consequences from deregulation of the banking sector and the labor market and the change from the market economy to the market society up to the rule of financial management.
In Germany we have adapted much too much to this “American way of life” and even radicalized this way a little. American society and the republicans with it became dramatically extreme in the last years and brutalized and manipulated the political and social discourse so one can only have fear and worry if this forms a precedent in Europe.
Despite the majority of votes for Obama, I hardly feel a “value community” with a society where half of the population
• Understand freedom as the freedom that anyone can sleep under a bridge,
• With no idea of a society but at most count on individual assistance and are basically anti-state,
• Pay no attention to the inner ethnic conflict and division of society,
• Ignore their economic weakness and draw their self-confidence from imperial war adventures and indulge a naïve nationalism,
• Submit unconsciously and blindly to the rule of Big Money,
• Solve social problems with repression and imprisonment,
• Allow religious zealots and irrational fundamentalists like the “Tea Party – movement” to control a party,
• Accept that partisan broadcast stations like Fox News incite the people,
• Allow the billions of donors to decide an election,
• Watch bridges, railroads, roads and infrastructure rot,
• Make education more and more into a question of the money purse and the education level within a society to differ so enormously,
• Not only allowing but publically celebrating the death penalty,
• Consider possession of firearms as a civil right,
• Accept elections run as chaotically as the 2012 election.
Many other points could be listed where I see cultural distinctions and different values to the majority American society.
Even after Obama is reelected and there are no legal challenges, his way will not be easy.
The republicans still have the majority in the House of Representatives. A political blockade threatens even if the democrats retain the majority in the Senate.
If Obama tries to find a consensus between republicans and democrats – which is hopeless according to past experiences – and if he cannot mobilize his voter base against this obstruction of conservatives, nothing will be gained by this election.
Then the US will remain incapable of acting in domestic-, fiscal and economic policy.