America: a third world country.

The day has arrived for us to take a serious look at our Nation, and where it has been headed. Although we still pretend to be a Country where “all men are created equal” it now costs a million to be “elected” to Congress and a few billion to buy the presidency. I’ve asked the question before about if we’d become a third world country (this site tops Google for it sometimes), and now, a friend sends me this amazing opinion piece from Vanity Fair by Christopher Hitchens that full out questions if we’re a banana republic, it is online now- but, sometimes VF takes things down, so don’t delay in reading the whole thing. Here is a taste:

“socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the rest.”

I have heard arguments about whether it was Milton Friedman or Gore Vidal who first came up with this apt summary of a collusion between the overweening state and certain favored monopolistic concerns, whereby the profits can be privatized and the debts conveniently socialized, but another term for the same system would be “banana republic.”

What are the main principles of a banana republic? A very salient one might be that it has a paper currency which is an international laughingstock: a definition that would immediately qualify today’s United States of America. We may snicker at the thriller from Wasilla, who got her first passport only last year, yet millions of once well-traveled Americans are now forced to ask if they can afford even the simplest overseas trip when their folding money is apparently issued by the Boardwalk press of Atlantic City. But still, the chief principle of banana-ism is that of kleptocracy, whereby those in positions of influence use their time in office to maximize their own gains, always ensuring that any shortfall is made up by those unfortunates whose daily life involves earning money rather than making it.

America the Banana Republic: Politics & Power: vanityfair.com.

If we didn’t have nuclear weapons and the most advanced military in the world, to go along with our shameless consumption, by every other industrialized nation we fail to represent and respect our people.

In the battles of education, health care, and for a future that looks rosier than today- that have all been lost in a few short weeks, we still have people thinking we are the greatest country in the world to live in. Which goes to show, a good line of propaganda from 1776 can still work, even after its idyllic concepts have all been thrown by the wayside while we danced on the deck of the Titan(ic).

Americans pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness disappeared thanks to our unregulated greed and “me first” based “independence.” The reality is, we are all in this together, interconnected and inter-reliant. When was the last time you’ve heard two candidates latch onto the same tagline to say they’re different? And the sad part is, how so many people can believe that a failed scholar, from an elitist family, who is well past retirement age, should be the new lifeblood that is supposed to bring us back.

When you’ve got nothing to left to loose, people should look at the last eight years and realize that other than his age, the background of George W. Bush is exactly the same as that of John McCain, except his family was political and McCain’s was military.

If we want to see change, it will be difficult. It will be uncomfortable, but there is only one candidate that can offer us that option: Barack Obama. He is the embodiment of that promise to America, that all men are created equal, and have a real shot at rising above the conditions of our birth. As everything is falling apart, only those that cling to God, Guns and Country with racist undertones would think any different.

America has become a third world country, it’s up to us, to hoist it back up. After all, we just accepted the bill for it.

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13 Responses

  1. TeresaLea October 11, 2008 / 9:20 am
    “the embodiment of that promise to America, that all men are created equal, and have a real shot at rising above the conditions of our birth.”

    And, the HOPE that it still exists.

    That almost brought a tear to my eye, David. So I digged it. :)

  2. J.R. Locke October 11, 2008 / 5:05 pm
    Come on now David, what has Barack Obama proposed that would make Americans get down on their hands and knees and sacrifice? If we are in such dire straights it would be nice for these leaders to tell us what they want us Americans to do….they both avoided this question in the debate.

    Mr. Obama already has my vote but let us not pretend that he is somehow going to change the attitude of this country without pointing out the problems with it. His campaign has raised as much money from big money brokers as populist supporters. He is less the embodiment of hope to me, as a stand in for a real leader….the call for change is empty without defining what we are changing to. He (and every other candidate) have failed to do this.

  3. Seth December 20, 2009 / 10:00 am
    Good points.  Do you think we’re on the road to “hoisting America back up” yet?
  4. Ice Bandit December 20, 2009 / 10:59 am
    If we want to see change, it will be difficult. It will be uncomfortable, but there is only one candidate that can offer us that option: Barack Obama. (David Esrati)
    No doubtaboutit Dave, you are the Seer and Prophet of South Park. For weeks before the election you predicted an Obama presidency would be uncomfortable. And has it been? Ubetcha. Double digit unemployment will do that do an nation. And if one is the masochistic type that likes this sorta’ thing, just wait until the double digit inflation kicks in any day now. And change? That is what we will have left from our paychecks after all of the Great Helmsman’s tax increases are implemented. Gotta’ hand it to ya’ Dave. By the way, what do you tea leaves and crystal ball say about next year’s elections?………..
  5. David Esrati December 20, 2009 / 11:55 am

    @Seth- sadly, I don’t believe that Americans have cleared their lenses to see that our system of “democracy” as it is- isn’t. That we are suffering at the hands of two bad choices, giving us bad solutions. It’s still smoke and mirrors. The revelation that we’re still getting raped by the emperors running Wall Street- has yet to sink in.

    @Ice Bandit The next election will see the teeter totter tilt to the R’s and we’ll end up with deadlock again. We have no leaders elected- only puppets. We’re doomed.

  6. David Lauri December 20, 2009 / 10:51 pm
    If McCain had won instead of Obama, unemployment would have magically disappeared on January 20, 2009?
  7. jstults December 21, 2009 / 10:38 pm
    David:

    the background of George W. Bush is exactly the same as that of John McCain

    Bush was a Naval Academy grad who served honorably as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton too?  Wow, I missed that part of his bio.  Come on; there’s plenty of things to dislike about McCain, but saying he is exactly like the younger Bush is just silly.  McCain served the Republic in combat, and continues to serve on the Senate Armed Services committee by beating up on wasteful Pentagon acquisitions that don’t serve the kids that are getting their brains scrambled by IEDs in those far off garden spots.

  8. David Esrati December 22, 2009 / 11:19 am

    @jstults- both were bottom of their class- and wouldn’t be where they were if not for Daddy. I stand by my comments. Granted, McCain has actually served his country with its best interests at heart- which is more than can be said for Bush- who may not have one (a heart).

  9. jstults December 22, 2009 / 12:36 pm
    both were bottom of their class

    What do they call the last guy in an Academy’s graduating class?  “Leiutenant”, and he gets saluted just like the rest.  The only Air Force Academy grad to be awarded the medal of honor was a football player who was no great shakes academically.  I don’t think class standing has anything to do with character.  Lots of people get into one of the Academies in part  (a very small part) because one of their relatives was a grad; they do that because the graduation data show that you are less likely to wash-out or quit if you have an immediate relative that’s a grad.

    and wouldn’t be where they were if not for Daddy

    Your criticism would make sense if his Dad had pulled strings and he had gone on to a cushy Pentagon staff job and avoided combat, but he didn’t.  When he was a prisoner he was offered the opportunity to go home early (because of who his Dad was), he refused and he was tortured more.  So in a way you are right, he probably wouldn’t have been tortured as much or focused on for making propaganda as much if his Dad had been a different person.

  10. Ice Bandit December 22, 2009 / 5:06 pm
      So what’s the diff between modern democratic societies and third world banana republics? Simple, a middle class.  A “winebottle economy.” with not much room at the top or middle but heavy at the bottom in the norm in these dysfunctional places. Make no mistake, the middle is the country’s conscience, as well as a healthy economy’s financial backbone. It was middle class insistance that promoted civil rights and ended the Vietnam War for example. And any action that puts the middle class in its’ crosshairs is a double whammy  insofar as it wrecks the economy and weakens democracy. Unbridled immigration, obsession with taxes and burgeoning government and popular culture that is openly hostile to middle class values are but a few of the assaults the middle class has endured, and yet some display disbelief when the government begins to resemble a junta……… 
  11. Ice Bandit December 23, 2009 / 8:19 am
     We’re doomed. (David Esrati)

    The Lone Ranger: “Tonto, we are surrounded by a tribe of savage and cut-throat indians.”
    Tonto: “Whadayamean we, paleface?”

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