Sunday, December 2, 2012

Barack Obama Leads the American Revolution of the 21st Century

Nowhere has the divide between the kind of rational thinking that results from a deep-rooted emotional fluency and the thinking that is muscle bound with fear and prejudice been more apparent in any western society than in America in the time leading up to the 2012 Presidential elections. The country was and still is almost split down the middle between the two. Almost.  But, miraculously, there was enough of an imbalance to create a momentum towards health.

Dealing with somebody over-run by their fear is intensely frustrating because of the denial. They’re always unable to acknowledge their fear, which means they can’t see how neurotic their behavior is. They have a kind of logic to their thinking, but its premise is hopelessly limited and their hallmark is that they shift with the wind and are constantly looking for opportunities to manipulate. 

It’s the profile of a bully, whose only desire is for power, and who will do whatever they can to get it, regardless of the impact on anyone else. Regardless even of the long-term impact on them. In the US, Conservative Republicans have illustrated this so beautifully in the past four years. Congress doggedly set out to resist anything President Obama put before them, regardless of whether it was ultimately good for America or not.

In fact a good yardstick for what was good for the country was if Congress blocked it. Their blind spot was their inability to recognize that Third World elements have become a part of the US in a way they never have before. The US civilization was disintegrating at the core, and as with the decline of any civilization, those causing it wouldn’t acknowledge that it was happening or that they were instrumental in it.

For a long time globally the First World didn’t want to have much to do with the massive poverty and disempowerment that characterizes the Third World. But gradually the more enlightened have accepted that if you don’t deal with poverty it deals with you. Countries with huge disparity of wealth have had to recognize it. But I think conservative America hasn’t wanted want to acknowledge that it’s a US problem too. America isn’t supposed to be Third World. It’s supposed to be a world leader. 

But like all civilizations that get too powerful and over-reach themselves, the country started eating itself up, creating a polarity that only the blind could ignore, until the middle class was in danger of disappearing altogether. It’s the mistake that the over-powerful always make – they want somebody else to pay for their wealth and/or power and don’t realize they’re killing the golden goose. For a while they can ignore the consequences of their behavior, which only makes them greedier and more reckless. 

Eventually the class they rely on to create wealth for them is bled dry. The stupidity of it is mind-boggling. And it’s not as if history hasn’t illustrated this process over and over. There is never another outcome. Humans aren’t built to be disempowered, so they will always rebel at some critical point and correct the imbalance. We do it as societies and in our private lives. In the latter we usually have to hit a severe crisis. 

America was going the same way. The middle class was becoming poorer and poorer and the poor were falling off the edge of the earth. But the country produced a leader who recognized that unless the middle class was nurtured back into its power and allowed opportunity again, unless the burden of carrying the wealthy was taken off its back, the US would disintegrate completely. 

Of course conservative Republicans resisted. Of course they did everything in their power to obstruct President Obama in his first term. They didn’t want him to succeed, even if it cost them and the whole country. Such is the power of fear of losing what you’ve amassed in unhealthy and manipulative ways. But the narrow-minded, self destructive, short-term thinking that drives conservative Republicans has had its day, because their supporters are outnumbered. Unless they change they will die out.

Survival of the fittest in the best, most humane sense. When the election results were announced, everyone was saying $6 billion was spent but nothing has changed. They were wrong. Everything has changed. America has had its revolution so quietly that half the country doesn’t even realize it’s happened. The kind of reasoning that is about the health of individuals and societies has triumphed over corrupted power. America remains a world leader, but a new era of that leadership is dawning.