Obama / McCain: Two sides of the same coin

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by NJ package handler, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. NJ package handler

    NJ package handler New Member

    As the 2008 presidential elections approach, a growing crisis is engulfing the United States and the rest of the world. Not knowing where to look for answers, millions of people inside and out of the U.S. are placing their hopes in the outcome of this contest.

    The mainstream media and supporters of both candidates are going all out to convince us of the importance of this “decisive election,” but as we will show, Barrack Obama and John McCain are simply two “new” versions of the same old crap.

    The sham of “democracy” in the United States
    Democracy means government of the people, but it is not the people that rule in the U.S.

    The majority of the U.S. population has opposed the war in Iraq for years, yet the U.S. government continues to wage it unabated.

    Millions turned out to vote for candidates from the Democratic Party in the 2006 midterm elections in hopes that they would work to end the war in Iraq only to have those same politicians continue to authorize it once in office.

    If there were truly a “government of the people” in the United States, the war in Iraq would have ended long ago and public funds would be used on things like education and healthcare instead of bombs and corporate handouts.

    Two parties, one master
    In our society the population is, for the most part, divided into two camps: the toiling masses that have to work to survive and the rich capitalist minority that profits from their work. It is that capitalist elite which rules–by virtue of its control of all the factories, transportation and distribution networks, etc.—and the politics of the country reflect that.

    Every president since 1853 has belonged to either the Democratic or Republican Party.

    Both the Democrats and the Republicans represent the same ruling capitalist elite. Both parties receive their major funding from the same corporations and banks. Wal-Mart gives nearly the same amount of money to the Democratic Party as it does the Republican Party. Pfizer and AT&T do the same. Other corporations, like Home Depot and AFLAC, give a little more to the Democrats, but still make sure to donate substantially to the Republicans.

    The list goes on and on.

    As the saying goes, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

    Because both Obama and McCain represent the same group of people, their policies are fundamentally the same. Any differences between them are primarily strategic. In other words, they differ only in what they think is the best way for the capitalists to rule.

    Minor differences, major similarities
    Even on issues of strategy, Obama and McCain have very few differences.

    In early October, both Senators voted in for the widely unpopular Wall Street “bailout,” doing their parts in the government’s move to hand over at least $700 billion in federal funds to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, which he will distribute to the very banks and financial institutions that helped create the very financial crisis the “bailout” is supposed to help resolve. Obama and McCain’s votes also helped secure $150 billion in tax cuts to businesses and the wealthy. When asked who they would choose to serve as Treasury Secretary were they to become president, both candidates have suggested billionaire investor Warren Buffet, an iconic member of the capitalist class they serve.

    Both candidates support anti-democratic legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act and government spying on U.S. citizens.

    On the issue of war, the candidates have some differences—though not of the kind you may imagine.

    For the last several years, a key criticism of George W. Bush by many Democrats has been that he tied down troops in Iraq that could have been better used elsewhere. The Democrats aren’t against war, they just think that Bush decided to wage it in the wrong place.

    Obama subscribes to this outlook wholeheartedly. While posing as an “anti-war” candidate in order to “rein in” the tens of millions of people in the United States who oppose the war in Iraq, Obama actually plans to expand the massive U.S. war machine.

    Colin Kahl, Obama’s top adviser on Iraq, recently penned a report for the imperialist think tank Center for a New American Security in which he stated that in Iraq, “the U.S. should aim to transition to a sustainable over-watch posture (of perhaps 60,000-80,000 forces) by the end of 2010.”

    Richard Danzig, Obama’s chief national security advisor, recently told the press that if elected, Obama would massively increase U.S.. military spending (which is already equal to the military budgets of all the other countries in the world combined) before saying that Bush’s Pentagon chief, Robert Gates, would make an “even better [chief] in an Obama administration.”

    Obama chose Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former National Security Advisor under President Jimmy Carter who engineered the “Carter Doctrine” which stated that the U.S. would use force to secure oil in the Persian Gulf, to be his foreign policy advisor.

    Obama’s running mate, Senator Joseph Biden, elaborated on he and Obama’s militarist ambitions during the October 2, 2008, vice-presidential debates, promising to step up the war in Afghanistan, launch new military excursions into Pakistan, take a harder line towards the Venezuelan and Bolivian governments (which have committed the unforgivable crime of attempting to move away from U.S. domination), and increase the U.S. government’s support to the criminal Israeli regime in its continued efforts to squash Palestinian and Lebanese resistance.

    This militarism differs from McCain’s only in which countries will fall into the crosshairs. McCain, dubbed a “war hero” by his opponent and the capitalist press for being taken prison by Vietnamese forces after being shot down while flying over that country with the intention of dropping bombs on it for the 23rd time, will focus the U.S. war machine more on Iran, Sudan and Myanmar.

    Of course on the question of war the candidates also have a lot in common—both with each other and with current president George W. Bush.

    The Wall Street Journal, a mouthpiece of the capitalist class in the United States, recently admitted as much in an op-ed entitled “Don’t Expect a Big Change in U.S. Foreign Policy,” which candidly stated “Regardless of who wins in November, the current foreign policy will live on in the next White House.”

    Both Obama and McCain seek to strengthen the ranks of the U.S. volunteer army for new military missions abroad. Both have publicly criticized college universities that no longer allow the military’s Reserved Officer Training Corps (ROTC) on their campuses. (The ROTC was driven off of many campuses as a result of popular protests against them during the U.S. invasion of Viet Nam.) Both call on young people in the United States to have a “willingness to sacrifice,” that is, to put their lives on the line for the financial gain of their rich capitalist rulers.

    Obama the socialist?
    In spite of the ridiculous claims of some of the more extreme rightwing talking heads that Obama is some sort of “socialist” who wants to take from the rich and give to the poor, he is fully dedicated to the capitalist system. As Left Business Observer put it in March, 2008, “big capital would have no problem with an Obama presidency… [Top hedge fund managers] think he’s the man to do their work,” and “They’re confident he wouldn’t undertake any renovations to the distribution of wealth.”

  2. NJ package handler

    NJ package handler New Member

    The Democrats are not “pro-worker”
    In the limited “labor movement” that currently exists in the U.S., the Democrats are often viewed as more friendly to workers than the Republicans.. In our country, which unlike most other countries in the world doesn’t even have a party pretending to represent the working class, many thus view the Democrats as “pro-worker.”

    That the Democrats sometimes mouth pro-worker rhetoric during election season doesn’t change their class character one bit. When push comes to shove that fact becomes obvious.

    When transit workers in New York City went out on strike in 2005, Democrat Eliot Spitzer, then-New York State Attorney General, hit their union with legal injunctions and millions of dollars in fines. New York Senator Hillary Clinton, herself a leading Democrat, supported Spitzer’s earlier use of the anti-worker Taylor Law against those same workers in 1999.

    In 1985, Rudy Perpich, the Democratic governor of Minnesota, called out the National Guard to break the picket line of striking workers at the Hormel meatpacking plant in Austin and usher scab “replacement workers” into the workplace.

    These are just two examples of many.

    Over the last several decades, union membership has declined as decent jobs have been increasingly replaced by part-time “McJobs.” This has brought along with it a colossal drop in pay and benefits. In 2006, The New York Times reported that “wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947, while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960’s.”

    The Democrats joined the Republicans in working on behalf of the capitalists they represent by overseeing and helping along the processes that have lead to these conditions.

    Still, the bureaucrats who lead what’s left of the unions in the U.S. today continue to tie the working people they supposedly represent to the capitalist Democratic Party!

    The utter treachery of such misleaders is aptly demonstrated by the current situation of the International Association of Machinists (IAM). While the 27,000 members of that union who have been out on strike against the Boeing Corporation for over a month are forced to eek out a living on the meager $150 strike pay they receive from the union each week, their union’s leaders are funneling millions of dollars into the record-setting campaign fund of multimillionaire Barrack Obama.

    The Democrats are not and cannot be an “anti-war” party
    Many people in the U.S. falsely see the Democrats as an “anti-war” party. History tells a different story. Democratic presidents were in office during the invasion of Haiti in 1915, the invasions of the Dominican Republic in both 1916 and 1965, the invasion of Russia in 1918, the invasion of Korea in 1950, the invasion of Viet Nam in 1963, the “humanitarian” bombings of Yugoslavia throughout the 1990’s, the bombings of Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, and the mercenary invasion of Cuba in 1961, among others. Former president Bill Clinton, a favorite of the party, sent more troops to more parts of the world than any U.S. president since World War II.

    The fact is that the United States is an imperialist country. The capitalist ruling class has to constantly look for ways to increase its profits, both in the U.S. and internationally. This leads it to carry out political and military actions of all sorts, from discreet palace coups to outright invasions, in order to secure new resources, markets and cheap labor and generally create conditions more favorable to its domination of the world. A change in presidents cannot change this fundamental fact. Nothing short of the elimination of imperialism can bring an end to war once and for all.

    An historical election?
    Much is being made of the “ground breaking” prospects of having either the first Black president or the first female vice-president. This kind of identity politics is the norm in the circus that is electoral politics in the United States.

    Innocent Iraqis are no more pleased to be shot by an Arab-American member of the U.S. Army than a white one.

    The fact that two of the three cops that shot 44 bullets into Sean Bell (an innocent, unarmed Black man murdered by members of the NYPD) in 2006 were minorities is certainly of no comfort to his family.

    STOP ERA, one of the most prominent antifeminist organizations in the U.S., was founded by Phyllis Schlafy, a woman.

    While a person’s ideas are shaped by their surroundings, their politics and/or actions are not dictated by their nationality or sex. To claim otherwise is itself a form of discrimination that arbitrarily and incorrectly attaches certain views to certain people.

    A lesser evil?
    The condition of “democracy” in the U.S. is so poor that many who vote do so solely in an attempt to keep the candidate they think is worse out of office. In other words, they don’t vote for a candidate because they support his or her politics, but simply because they view him or her as “less bad” than the other candidate.

    Even if one candidate really was much worse than the other, this kind of strategy would be the equivalent of requesting to be shot by a rifle instead of a canon.

    In politics, one is defined much more by what they are actually for than what they are against.

    Get out the vote
    Many people in the U.S. are already keenly aware of the fallacious nature of elections in this country which is why a large percentage of the eligible portion of the population doesn’t even both to vote.

    This year, the capitalists hope to change that trend..

    With plans to greatly expand and enforce their domination, the capitalist rulers are seeking to win regular people over to their rehashed program of imperialism through a combination of jingoistic rhetoric and propaganda from the corporate media.

    They are counting on a high voter turnout to give an air of legitimacy to their “democratic” system as they continue their global plunder, drawing mass opposition from millions of people both at home and abroad.

    By putting forth Obama as an agent of “change” and McCain as an agent of “reform,” they seek to pull millions of discontent and outright angry people back into the “acceptable realm” of electoral politics. By doing so, they hope to lessen the possibility of future protests, strikes and other expressions of dissatisfaction which could in anyway challenge their rule.

    In the end, whether or not you cast a vote in November will have no real bearing on the future. Our intentions are to shatter illusions in the twin parties of the capitalist elite and present a viable alternative.

    For a worker & farmer alliance!
    As long as control of society remains in the hands of a tiny financial elite, things will only continue to get worse.

    What’s needed is the formation of an alliance of working people and farmers (which would include among its ranks not only farmers and workers current employed, but also disabled and retired workers, farmers forced off their land by foreclosures, workers unable to find employment, youths from working class backgrounds and “housewives”) to utilize the social power of the toiling majority to fight for the ouster of the financial parasites and the creation of a society free from extreme wealth disparities, starvation, unemployment, homelessness, oppression and war—that is, a society actually worth living in.

    Some of us are currently in the early stages of coming together to create just such an alliance. We urge you to join us and help make a real difference.
  3. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    US is not a democracy...it is a democratic Republic. Look it up.

    Since you started off with such a goof-up, I did not bother to read the rest.
  4. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    Whether or not you agree with NJ Package Handler's politics, he's got the two major parties pretty much nailed. The biggest difference (and the only real noticeable one) between the democrats and republicans is the names of their respective candidates.
  5. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    OK...based on Jones feedback I read the whole thing and googled it. Post is from Manhattan web-site.

    This is typical stuff from the Northeast intelligentsia and if you like this post a good read is "Noam Chomsky - Hegemony or Survival, America's Quest for Global Dominance".

    I can't really disagree with what is presented...it is true from a certain perspective...that's the way the world works . read my signature - "It is what it is".

    The intelligentsia are thinkers and not doers so they come up with these idealistic concepts and positions that do not reflect real world realities.

    It is a good mental exercise though and I have had many spirited discussions along these lines.
  6. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    It started off good to some extent but as it went on you began to sense a bit of spammage feel to it as Hoaxster pointed out and quite frankly the end glaringly admits in pointing to the email address. Otherwise I think we can agree that many points are well made and that there is not much difference between McCain and Obama. Many rightly scream against Obama's calim to re-distribute wealth but then sit on their own hands with lips shut as Mccain suggests the federal gov't pay-off bad mortgages directly for troubled mortgage holders. Taking money from me in the form of taxes and giving to someone else to pay off their mortgage is not wealth redistribution either? At least Obama's is more cost effective for me as I'm opted out not making over $250k a year or is it $150k a year in paying taxes! Yeah, don't bother telling me about the devil in the details with that one either as I'll agree you are correct before you even have to say it. Obama and Biden play with numbers like a good republican!

    Just in that case alone is proof that we're dealing with the 2 heads of the same monster IMO and that is the major point of the post(s). I will say his idealism of the labor/farmer alliance harkens a bit towards 18th century Physiocrats http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physiocrats thinking but his calling merchantilism http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Mercantilism.html "capitialism" suggests another political ideal.

    I give him an "A" for effort but my guess is at the end of the day he'd feed the same monster as well!

    Hey Package Handler, maybe Naomi Wolf can open up those eyes a bit!

    At least you're trying to move away from the problem and that's way more than most do these days! As Sean Hannity would say, "You're a great American" but at least I mean it!
  7. NJ package handler

    NJ package handler New Member

    You didn't need to do that. It's an open letter from a group of workers setting about to form a Workers Alliance as an alternative to the Republicrats. Its says so right at the end.

    I'm not sure what you googled. I googled it and found it posted in a few craigslist pages, one in Manhattan and one in Seattle. Maybe that's what you mean? Anyway, it's hardly relevant. The more workers around the country that see the need to have our own party the better, in my opinion.

    The call is to form a Workers Alliance. Why would that come from the "intelligentsia?" I've joined an email list and everyone I've heard from so far is a fellow worker. I was originally sent this message by a cousin in Western Pennsylvania.

    Noam Chomsky is a good critic of foreign policy and the corporate media.. that's about it. He's no worker. He says himself that he doesn't get involved in workers' struggles or anything to do with our class.

    The point is to change it.

    If you saw an old lady being beaten in the street would you say "it is what it is," and keep on walking?

    Yeah, once again, the point is not just to figure out how things work.. the point is to change things!

    I sent an email and I was invited to join an email list. I joined it and so far so good. There are plans to set up an internal bulletin and a publication, and discussions leading to a founding conference in the near future.

    I'm for it. Workers need our own party. Almost every other country in the world has one. I don't think it's a coincidence that in the countries of Europe with workers' parties, workers have better benefits, work shorter hours, and have more rights.

    For one, Obama is not going to do any redistribution of wealth. He's simply going to make some adjustments to the tax system to help slighty ease the widening social chasm in the U.S. That's always been a tactical difference between the Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans go full steam ahead, and the Democrats act with some tact. The Republicans are open about screwing workers over, and the Democrats smile in our faces then stab us in the back.

    Second, a real redistribution of wealth would benefit 80%+ of the population in America, a.k.a. the working class. That's because the bottom 80% (that's us!!) control only 16% of the wealth! That's despite the fact that we do all the work. And that gap has continually widened over the years. It's only going to get worse.

    There have been several throughout history, including here in America (like the one that co-opted by the Democrats, but which is still in existance in Minnesota).

    Most countries in the world today have a workers' party of some sort.

    We do live in capitalism. That's not debated by anyone with even a basic grasp on economics. Hell, even Bush knows it.

    Naomi Wolf is a liberal. Liberals are just another wing of the bosses' political system. She simply wants to give the rule of profit a "more human" and "democratic" face. I want something different all together. We need to run society ourselves, as workers.
  8. NJ package handler

    NJ package handler New Member

    It's formally a federal republic. So what? Federal republics are supposed to have democratic governments.

    From the CIA Factbook entry on America: "Government Type: Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition."

    From Encarta: "In the United States the one basic principle is representative democracy, which defines a system in which the people govern themselves by electing their own leaders."

    From the U.S. Government's Printing Office (GPO): "We provide key documents that define the American democracy, divided by governmental branch."
  9. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    You have figured out the two political parties it seems. I agree with your assessment.

    Your statement ... "the point is not just to figure out how things work.. the point is to change things!" is not one you want to repeat. Does not sound very enlightened.

    Somebody will be at the top and then they become "The Man."

    There is nothing fundamentally against Keynesian theory in what you desire.
    Key is to have "productive comsumption" interchanged at a lower level than it is today. However, that would require someone to "figure out how things work". The one's who did that would now become disproportionately rich.
    Damm, there it goes, starting all over again.

    A little fuzzy on a one thing: What do you define as "all the work"?
  10. PopCan

    PopCan New Member

  11. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    got a nice communistic sound to this thread. Guess its where we are headed. Obama has already started making the argument that there is nothing wrong with socialism. Its only natural that the communists would come out of the wood work next.
  12. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    Hopefully you understand that socialists and communists are two different idealogies?

    Then again, I doubt it. :knockedout: