Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
The Choice for US Voters in November 2012:
Ruin the Republican Party or the USA
By Lawrence Davidson
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 20, 2011
Lawrence Davidson views the participants in the freak show
of ignoramuses and bigots contending the US Republican presidential
nomination and argues that the stark choice facing American voters in next
year’s presidential election is either to ruin the Republican Party or
their own country.
There has been a steady drumbeat of
criticism levelled against the contenders for the Republican presidential
nomination. As they have gone around the country holding their debates
they have distinguished themselves as shallow, ignorant, hypocritical and
mendacious. At these debates, the only ones who show themselves more
discreditable then the candidates are those in the audience. Here is some
writing in the German Der Spiegel Online, tells us that among
the Republican primary hopefuls:
A. One thinks Africa is a country (Rick Santorum) and another thinks
that the Taliban have moved into Libya (the now defunct Herman Cain).
B. Rick Perry falsifies President Obama’s opinions and statements with
impunity while exaggerating his own achievements – claiming to have
created a million new jobs while the actual number, according to Pitzke,
C. Mitt Romney, the Mormon who would lead a political
party which must rely on millions of Christian fundamentalist votes, is
touted as an economic expert, but Forbes Magazine
proposals in this area as "dangerous".
Newt Gingrich (who the
Washington Post has
called an "idea man")
is, according to Pitzke, full of "lousy" ideas. One example is his public
suggestion that US child labour laws be altered so that school children
can clean their schools at the expense of often unionized janitors. Pitzke
Gingrich claims moral
authority on issues such as the “sanctity of marriage” yet he has been
divorced twice. He sprang the divorce on his first wife while she was
sick with cancer... He cheated on his second wife [an affair with one
of his House aides] just as he was pressing ahead with Bill Clinton’s
impeachment during the Monica Lewinsky affair....
Even worse will certainly come if Gingrich reaches the White House.
Speaking at the
Jewish Coalition Candidates Forum on 7 December 2011 Gingrich pledged
to make John Bolton his secretary of state. Bolton is a vulgar warmonger –
certainly one of the most dangerous of American’s neo-conservatives.
All in all, Pitzke thinks the Republican candidates "traipsing around
the country" as if part of a "traveling circus" are "ruining the
reputation of the United States".
He is not alone in that opinion.
David Remnick, the editor of the New Yorker Magazine, and
ipso facto a representative of the US intelligentsia, has
remarked that the Republican candidates collectively represent "a
starting point for a chronicle of American decline". Remnick observes
A. Rick Perry displays an "inability to answer a simple question with a
B. Mitt Romney possesses a "spooky elasticity,
his capacity to reverse himself utterly on one issue after another...."
The New Yorker editor concludes that the "spectacle of the
Republican field is a reflection of the hollowness of the GOP [“Grand Old
Party” – the Republican Party]itself."
This "hallowness" seems to
be tempting others to jump into the race. Yet they are certainly no
better. For instance, there are
Sarah Palin might change her mind and come into the fray. And Donald Trump
has repeated his
determination that "if Republican primary voters can’t pick a
candidate he believes will beat President Obama, he’ll run for president
himself". Trump dismissed the two Republican candidates who, now and then,
make sense (Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul) as "joke candidates". The media
seems to agree with him, for these are the two who have gotten almost no
air time either during the debates or after them. When it comes to the
Republican primary, the media seems to be dancing to that old Judy Garland
tune, "Be a clown ... all the world loves a clown."
“There is something at once humorous and horrifying
about the audience at these [Republican] debates. Their
cheers and jeers reflect attitudes that used to be
restricted to drunken fraternity parties and
out-of-control soccer games.”
One might wonder at such bizarre performances from folks seeking the
most powerful job in the world. However, what is more bizarre still is
that most of them are simply projections of their audience, who are, in
turn, representatives of the so-called Republican base. There is something
at once humorous and horrifying about the audience at these debates. Their
cheers and jeers reflect attitudes that used to be restricted to drunken
fraternity parties and out-of-control soccer games.
these people with whom the Republican hopefuls now identify? They
appear to be Tea Party people along with a healthy admixture of xenophobes
Social Darwinists. Research into the Tea Party element tells us that
1. "Overwhelming white" and "highly partisan Republicans".
Their concern about big government is "hardly the only or even the most
important" of their issues.
3. They have extremely "low regard for
immigrants and [with the possible exception of the by-gone Herman Cain]
4. They are extreme social conservatives "opposing
abortion" and demanding that "religion play a more dominant role in
politics". In fact, research shows that a desire to infuse politics with
religion is the most common demand of these people.
People who meet this description make up about 20 per cen of eligible
voters in the US. However, keep in mind this number goes up when looked at
as a percentage of voters who actually cast a ballot. In other words,
these radicals are more motivated to vote than the moderates. Sadly, these
type of people have always been with us and probably always will be.
A lot of us are, to one extent or another, alienated from the society
we live in, but we learn to cope. These people do not learn to cope.
Therefore ,their alienation festers and the resulting anger turns them
against all who are different: immigrants, gays, ethnic and racial
minorities, intellectuals, secular folks, union members, etc. They find
their ego strength in the illusion of self-reliance. They see themselves
as the real traditional Americans, the survivors, the ones who are strong
enough to stand on their own two feet. Anyone who cannot do this is
"unfit" and, like the hypothetical ill fellow without any health care
insurance, should be left to die. They make up a community apart and they
detest the idea of paying taxes so that others in need can receive social
services. They are macho, they hate the enemy – any enemy– no questions
asked. Someone out there (maybe the
Koch brothers) is trying to organize these people and convince them
that politically their time has come. The Republican Party is their
The two most likely consequences of this situation are: (1) the
ruination of the Republican Party or (2) the ruination of the United
States. The more likely Republican nominees for president would put the
Republican Party far to the right of "mainstream" America. All things
being equal, that should mean electoral disaster (the ruination of the
party) in November 2012.
“...it is possible, if not probable, that a crazy
right-wing president (one even more shallow, ignorant,
hypocritical and mendacious then George W. Bush) could in
fact be elected. If that happened it could mean ruin for
the nation and disaster for the world.”
But, of course, sometimes all things aren’t equal. Thus, with
disappointment in President Obama running so deep among America
progressives, there is no telling how many of them might sit out the 2012
election. Even though progressives alone do not win elections, there
numbers count if things get close. Thus, it is possible, if not probable,
that a crazy right-wing president (one even more shallow, ignorant,
hypocritical and mendacious then George W. Bush) could in fact be elected.
If that happened it could mean ruin for the nation and disaster for the
world. Here is why:
1. Such a president would almost certainly take the country into
another full scale war, probably with Iran and therefore the Shi’i Muslim
world. They would continue to comply with Israeli wishes without question,
further alienating the majority of people in the Sunni Muslim world. US
state violence and terrorism will increase and breed reciprocal terrorism
in the Middle East. Therefore,
more 9/11-style episodes could be expected. The new president’s
tough-guy attitude would no doubt spill over into policy toward Russia and
China. The United Nations and international law would be discarded (to say
nothing of the general practice of diplomacy) and torture would again be a
standard procedure for clandestine American government operations.
2. Domestically, such a president would hack away at all government
agencies except those involved with the military, police bureaus (FBI),
intelligence and the courts. Social services would go by the boards as
would regulatory oversight. The natural environment would deteriorate. The
gap between rich and poor would grow and grow while the middle class would
shrink and shrink. Marx’s predictions for capitalism would come back into
style on the left. Essentially, a new age of Social Darwinism would dawn.
Poverty would increase, racism would come back into the public realm and
urban riots would probably come along at some point as well. A new
depression would be a real possibility. By the time the nation’s voting
citizens came back to their senses it might be too late because by then
civil liberties would be a thing of the past.
In a real sense, it is the voters’ choice in 2012. Which do they care
to ruin – the Republican Party or the USA? There can be no doubt that
voting again for President Obama would require strongly holding one’s
nose. However, voting for his Republican challenger may well kill you