The Great Pretender
Is Ignorance of the Electorate a Danger to National Security?
Of the myriad dangers that imperil the national interests none is more frightening than the ignorance of the American electorate. Looking at the state of American politics today, the thoughtful observer with a sense of history cannot help but marvel at the prophetic wisdom of Thomas Jefferson’s warning that a participatory democracy can’t work with an ignorant electorate because they will elect the worse people to power. Nowhere is this more poignantly demonstrated than the astonishing rise of Herman Cain. A former pizza mogul and corporate lobbyist, Cain is the most conspicuous corporate shill to ever run for the Oval Office.
Cain’s ideas about economics are rooted in laizze faire free market dogma that would undo most of the social safety net created by the New Deal and Great Society legislation of the last century, devastating the working class and especially non-white minorities. In Cain’s view if you are not rich or can’t find a job, it’s not due to the failures of those who own and manage the economy, “you should blame yourself!” Not surprisingly, he is supported by the most reactionary factions of the plutocracy, such the Koch brothers. During his career as a head of the National Restaurant Association he opposed public safety measures such as laws to curb cigarette advertising.
While his backward ideas on domestic policy are scary enough, Cain’s abysmal ignorance of foreign relations is horrifying! Every time he opens his mouth he reveals a shocking ignorance about the world. In a recent interview on PBS he was asked about his plan for competing with China economically he said “we will outgrow them!”
When asked if he thought China was a military threat to the US, he replied yes because they “are beginning to build aircraft carriers like us.” He also said he has also been told that the Chinese are trying to develop a nuclear capability. Everybody who knows anything about China, America’s main rival, knows they have had atomic weapons for half a century! Yet Cain’s rival John Huntsman is not only a successful politician and businessman, but an expert on China who speaks fluent Mandarin. And he is virtually ignored by Republican voters!
A Booming Economy with a new Infrastructure
The Chinese Indeed Are Building Aircraft Carriers
Among The Best in the World!
In other interviews Herm confessed that he hadn’t a clue what a neo-con is, and had never heard of “the right of return” question in Israel. Considering that it was the neo-con cabal in the Bush Administration who were the architects of the illegal and disastrous invasion of Iraq, and the unresolved Palestinian/Israeli conflict will be a critical issue for any American President by virtue of the social forces unleashed in the “Arab Spring” upheaval that is transforming political reality in the region, this kind of ignorance is extremely dangerous.
Such shortcomings are more than enough to disqualify anybody from serious consideration for the presidency. But then we catch Herm the Worm shamelessly lying on video tape about sexual harassment complaints against him. Surely this was the last straw and this guy is gone.
Not so! Instead the right wing wolf pack is attacking the press, accusing the media of racism and a “hi tech lynching,” recycling the lame rhetoric of Uncle Justice Thomas. Through it all Herm the worm’s approval ratings continue to soar over all other Republican Presidential contenders, and contributions to his campaign are skyrocketing.
Clearly any party that would vote this scurrilous ignoramus into the Oval Office is a danger to the stability of the United States. Yet the chances of preventing a Republican victory in 2012 are increasingly imperiled by the naiveté of the burgeoning movement for economic justice, whose activists declare themselves above politics!!! Thus they risk falling into irrelevance: all sound and fury achieving nothing!
Furthermore, a misguided leftist intelligentsia led by megalomaniacal political incompetents like Cornell West, is contemplating running an independent or third party candidate. This will almost certainly result in repeating the fiasco of 2000, when support for Ralph Nader rather than Al Gore resulted in eight disastrous years of George Bush. And the usual suspects are involved!
Those who refuse to learn from history are certainly bound to repeat its mistakes George Santayana warned. That’s why I am convinced that the greatest danger to the prospects for peace and prosperity in America is Boobus Americanus, as old Mencken aptly labeled them, the legions of ignoramuses armed with a ballot that comprise the American electorate!
Harlem, New York
November 2, 2011