Common Dreams - How do you end a column after 16 years? With regrets and unfulfilled dreams? Perhaps, but truthfully, Column of the Americas as a deadline-based column ends with even bigger dreams.
There indeed is disappointment with the ease in which the U.S. populace has accepted and normalized 1) the notion of permanent war as a God-given U.S. birthright; 2) the further militarization of the nation & world; 3) the politics of fear, hate and blame; and 4) Big Brother Government. All with nary a whimper.
Under George W. Bush, this was not surprising. The disappointment has come in seeing the Obama administration generally embrace the reactionary policies of Bush’s 9-11 Nation. Despite the 2006 & 2008 electoral sweeps – in which the electorate thoroughly repudiated the Republican program of war, xenophobia and corporate welfare – [angry] conservatives act as though they won. The irony is that president Obama actually has governed as though he agrees, and owes them. For example, his health care reform is actually a centrist compromise; universal health care it is not.
There are regrets; while many of us drove CNN’s Lou Dobbs into political exile, we didn’t consistently go after the entertainment industry – an industry that enables dehumanization and what amounts to racial apartheid. During this era, Jay Leno made Americans comfortable laughing nightly at “illegal aliens.” After 35 years, Saturday Night Live has still not taken its “No Red-Brown comedians need apply” signs down, and Spanish-language TV continues to generally be an assortment of “all-blonde” networks.
Another regret is that the journalism profession has now become the lapdog of government. Even now, there’s plenty of money for invading, occupying and bombing nations, but little for health and education. While pols are seemingly unaware of this jarring equation, media lapdogs are nowadays handsomely rewarded for being consistently wrong and/or silent. Read more.