I caught a lot of flak from readers on this blog when I pointed out, six months ago, that we have become a neocon nation. I even pointed out the apparent neoconservative tendencies of our newly elected president, much to the chagrin of readers across the political spectrum (meaning, I suppose, Democrats and Republicans, the spectrum for which is about as broad as that from indigo to violet on the electromagnetic spectrum).
Within the last six months, President Obama has exposed himself as a dyed-in-the-wool neoconservative. I’m sure many of you disagree, just as many of you believe we still have generations left in the industrial economy. But all you self-proclaimed progressives who adhere to the principles of Business Party II (as opposed to Business Party I) can’t be impressed with the Obama cabinet, now that’s it’s completely stocked with Clintonistas and Reaganites. And then there are Obama’s frequent references to his political hero, Ronald Reagan, who was the first and most obnoxious face of neoconservatism in this country. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, reality comes knocking.
Obama has been willing to tackle politically difficult issues, including last weekend’s address to Catholic U, when he tackled abortion. As a politician he is, of course, unwilling to seriously infuse the debate with science. But at least he is putting his rhetorical skills to some good use. Why, then, is he adamant about promoting economic growth? After all, he surely knows (1) the days of economic growth are behind us, and (3) the consequences of economic growth are overwhelmingly horrendous for other cultures and species and even our own species.
Yet Obama keeps plowing ahead, pushing the neoconservative agenda at all costs. Consider his recent decision to avoid action on global climate change, even if it means extinction of the polar bear. And he recently appointed Cheney’s chief assassin to head up the continued occupation of Afghanistan. His administration continues to hand out buckets of money to the big boys on Wall Street, thereby continuing the neocon strategy of socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. The “stress test” for the banks could not have failed more miserably, but Obama is staying the course, thereby reminding me of the excellent John Ralston Saul quote with which I commenced one of my recent books: “Never has failure been so ardently defended as though it were success.”
There’s hardly a shred of evidence to support the idea Obama is a political liberal. Sure, he’s intellectually curious, and damned clever, which puts quite a bit of distance between him and his neocon predecessors. But when will he use his vaunted courage and rhetorical skills to tell the truth about runaway greenhouse, energy decline, or economic collapse? When will he begin talking about, and acting upon, the truly significant issues this generation faces?
Oh, that’s right: Never.
Seems Obama knows there is no political solution to either side of the fossil-fuel coin. We cannot use politics as usual to deal with energy decline. Ditto for runaway greenhouse. In other words, there is no viable political solution to deal with either issue. The significant questions then become:
“Can we save the few remaining species and cultures on Earth, by destroying the industrial economy?”
“Can we extend the persistence of our own species on this planet a few more generations by bringing down the industrial economy?”
I have a three-word answer for liberals, progressives, conservative, neoconservatives, anarchists, pagans, Christians, druids, Tories, Democrats, Republicans, and all the rest of you: Yes, we can!