Bob Strodtbeck
Ether Zone
March 10, 2008

If you had your choice of being one of the three remaining competitors for the presidency, who’s shoes would you choose?

The choice here is Barak Obama. He’s young, composed, stylish, energetic, intelligent, graceful — in short he is everything a man of the modern age would like to be. In comparison John McCain is stiff, condescending, and a little scary with his predictions of more and more wars extending beyond our lifetimes.

Hillary, is, well, thoroughly unlikable. She seems to take offense at the idea that everybody doesn’t love her. Her very brief moments of softness come off as being contrived, and her recent episodes of mocking Obama at a rally and complaining about always getting the first question at a sit down discussion with her opponent show her to possess an unattractive petulance that one would not like to see in the Oval Office.

With this assessment of the charisma of Obama, the prediction here is that regular readers of this column will get no further than the second paragraph and begin assaulting the character of this writer for being blind to the games that are being played on my emotions and for embracing a nanny state government that will enslave us all and kill the greatest capitalist economic system the world has ever known. To whit, my response is, “Don’t blame me, I’m voting for Ron Paul (or, perchance, Bob Barr).”

The fact of the matter is that Obama is damned charming and stands a pretty good shot of being elected. However, I am still a hold over from the Buchanan Brigades of the early ’90’s and we were foretelling 16 years ago the economic disaster that we are now seeing unfold before our eyes. Most of us were critics of the invasion of Iraq while the Berlin Wall was being sold as paperweights nearly 20 years ago and Paul Wolfowitz was rhapsodizing of Pax Americana in his dissertations for PNAC. Yes, this writer is a marginalized dinosaur whose thoughts on just about everything, including Barak, don’t much matter — although I know I would enjoy a dinner with the man and his wife — but, then again, neither does the winner of the next presidential election is of significant consequence.

Whoever wins the next presidential election is going to be facing problems that will threaten the very existence of the country. America is de-industrialized and its consumer dependent economy relies too much upon credit and paying off debt to move much further forward. Because the economy and its currency is failing, America can no longer support its many foreign adventures (as though this country needed to be so involved since 1989). In spite of the nation’s precarious financial and international plight, the American political system seems to be pursuing military involvement in the Balkans, Iran, and Lebanon. Already our War Against International Terrorism has brought war to the borders of one of our NATO allies, Turkey, and threatens to reinvigorate a new Cold War with Russia.

Domestically, we are falling apart. The working middle class is seen as a threat to transnational capitalist profit. In fact, to speak of the value of labor in some circles is to be labeled a unionist or communist. As work is considered in elite circles as a threat to the health of the capitalist system, the stability of the American middle-class home, which is dependent upon working wages, is crumbling away as two or three incomes are required to keep a family afloat. If you do the math, that means that any children with two parents spend more time on their own than they do under the supervision of either one of their parents. Children who are being raised by one parent, which has become the norm, virtually raise themselves. Consequently, we are breeding a generation of adults who do not witness adults dealing with the realities of life. I don’t believe that Barak will have the power to assuage the social consequences of that tidal wave.

Simply put, Barak Obama, as wonderful and charismatic as he is, will not have the tools to his avail to deal with the real problems facing this nation. The greatest problems facing this country are the results of decades of malpractice by the federal government and its ever growing bureaucracies. To add more government control and bureaucracies upon us is not a sign of compassion and change, but a sign of insanity — a quality that is not suited to Mr. Obama, but is of the other candidates named earlier.

The “Change we can believe in” will not come from the next President of the United States or from any current government agency. Nor will political parties or great economic corporate schemes restore America to greatness. It comes to us in our homes and families to find the ways to reestablish our social health and stability, because as far as is seen here, all the charisma, compassion, and good intentions of America’s quadrennial messiahs have done nothing but bring us to our current station of desperation.

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