The time is long past due for American citizens to realize that our political and economic systems are untenable.
Trump is awful, no question there. And for those who continue to support the Democratic candidates as the lesser evil—fine, that’s your choice. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting change is a sign of denial.
Building a third party that truly represents one’s views would be more effective—if one believes electoral politics are the answer. Or taking to the streets, utilizing mass movements, strikes, sit-downs, disruption of business and commerce. History has proven the latter to be the most effective means of change, though dangerous and not to be entered into lightly or without planning and organization. However, it is preferable to the anarchy and chaos likely to take place at some point, when global warming and austerity have driven people to utter desperation.
When I refer to Democratic candidates, I’m referring to federal elections, not local. I support local Democrats, good people doing progressive things for the community, and we have no Green or socialist candidates. However, on a federal level, or within the beltway, there is little difference between the two parties, especially with respect to foreign policy. Differences exist as to strategy or tactics, but the goals are the same—eventual U.S. control of all of Eurasia.
Many don’t care about foreign policy, but that is where most funding is allocated—to the military, for weapons. If we are concerned about racism, we need to recognize that the people we are destroying are, with few exceptions, people of color. If you care about immigrants, good, but shouldn’t we look more deeply at the immigration problem? Why are there so many immigrants? What role is the U.S. playing in the creation of immigrants worldwide? Should we not also look at the roots of the problem? Our wars and interventions are forcing many people to flee their nations, risking death and incarceration; no one leaves home without a reason. If one is concerned with global warming and environmental degradation, the U.S. military is the greatest polluter and destroyer on earth.
The two parties are like the police force: they support the ruling elites by playing good cop vs. bad cop. They aren’t your friend unless you are one of the ruling elite. When people refer to Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton as world leaders who spread goodwill, I lose all hope for progress, because this view is a total denial of our corrupt system of capitalism.
Obama and Hillary totally destroyed Libya in 2011, where slavery now reigns. They initiated a coup in Honduras in 2009, supporting a criminal regime, which is the reason we have so many Honduran immigrants risking death in order to flee that nation. In 2014 the U.S. was behind the coup in Ukraine, resulting in many deaths and horrors in Odessa and the Donbass region. There are now NATO troops on the borders of Russia and throughout Eastern Europe, a provocation inviting disaster. The Obama Administration was also responsible for the invasion of Yemen, utilizing our proxies, the Saudis, in 2015. To date over 80,000 children have died. Obama is also responsible for our intervention in and destruction of Syria. Trump has continued all of the Obama Administration policies. He is crude and disagreeable while Obama was charming and nice, saying all the right things—but Obama is equally guilty of crimes against humanity.
It should also be noted that the U.S. military bases now occupying every nation of the African continent are there because Obama was accepted as a “brother.” He accomplished what Bush could not, with all 54 nations allowing the presence of Africom (United States Africa Command) in some form or another. Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” with U.S. battleships, military bases and weapons surrounding, and aimed at, China, has provoked China into being more defensive, though their military expenditures are minimal compared to that of the U.S. They have maybe one or two military bases outside of China, while the U.S. has over 800 outside our country.
Yes, despite his overall hawkish policies, Obama was responsible for a nuclear agreement with Iran. Though flawed, it was a first step to removing the sanctions we’ve had on Iran for decades. These sanctions have caused widespread poverty and severe shortages of basic goods, including medicine. Trump destroyed the agreement and is now provoking war with Iran, a very dangerous situation.
Despite his noninterventionist rhetoric prior to his election, Trump is continuing the hawkish, interventionist policies of his predecessors, both Republican and Democratic.
The American people need to recognize that what we need is system change, and we need it now.
Karen Aram lived in Thailand for many years and was a founding member of the UN International School Bangkok and a member of its Board of Directors. She was a co-founder of US Democrats Abroad Thailand. She also worked with immigrant exiles in the All Burma Students for a Democratic Front. Karen currently resides in Urbana, where she has been an active member of AWARE, a local anti-war organization, and of the local Green Party.