Archive for the ‘UNITED STATES POLITICS’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE GOOFY TEA PARTY AGAIN – AND THE CLOWN SARAH PALIN – AND THE TRUTH ABOUT THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY KONRAD YAKABUSKI IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Oh, please, any group which can become excited by a certified airhead like Sarah Palin is pathetic.The Tea Party is just one more in a long list of fad right-wing movements in America, most of them deliberately employing the language of revolution to make themselves sound consequential.

Well, they are all about as revolutionary, and as interesting, as the latest version of dish soap from Procter and Gamble.

And this author, Konrad Yakabuski, too, has a childishly limited understanding of the American “revolution.”

“…driven by the same distrust of the ruling class that inspired the Revolution.”

That statement is simply not true. It represents the American 8th grade civics-class version of the “revolution.”

Americans in the colonies were a pretty privileged group in the world of 1776. Everything we read from foreign observers tells us how good and healthy and free their lives in fact were. From life expectancies, smart people like Franklin calculated how quickly the population would become large.

Britain – in the Seven Years War (aka, French and Indian War) – had even eliminated the worrying threat of the French encroaching into the Ohio Valley.

But when Britain wanted Americans to help pay for that war with some new taxes – a perfectly reasonable expectation – we first saw Americans acting like rude kids being served spinach for dinner, a behavior which has continued down to this day.

Indeed, the financial crisis which just threatened the world comes from the same dark place in the American soul: “I want it all, and I want it now.”

Britain also irritated the colonists by keeping rules about land speculation and against disturbing the natives in the Ohio Valley, an unpleasant get-rich-quick practice in which George Washington was a leader, surveying other people’s land and later selling it to new immigrants from Europe.

And it still further irritated the colonists – actually infuriated them – by imposing the Quebec Act, arousing the ugliest anti-Catholic rhetoric you could imagine, truly gutter stuff.

These are the true origins of the American Revolution, an event which is far more accurately called a revolt since it was an effort to overthrow an imperial power, not local government by locals.

None of the rhetoric about liberty and justice had much to do with it, unless you agree that people who trade in slaves make any sense in talking about such concepts.

Selfishness writ large.

And just so now, the clownish Tea Party.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA AND THE AUDACITY OF HUBRIS FROM A COLUMNIST WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER AND THE CHARACTERISTICS OF POLITICIANS   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY REX MURPHY IN THE TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL
I’ve always enjoyed you as host of Cross Country Check-up. You treat almost all callers with courtesy and decency.But in writing columns – I never read them before they were “unlocked” – I realize you truly are something of a Jekyll and Hyde character. This piece is silly blather: wordy, pointless, and stained with envy.Obama is not responsible for the immense response he generates in people, nor does he display the least indication of hubris in his reactions. The man is genuinely gifted: intelligent, graceful, thoughtful.

He achieved the remarkable feat of defeating a woman who had name-recognition and connections second only to George Bush, an accomplishment still not fully appreciated.

After 8 years of the most incompetent man ever to hold the office of President, a man whose every utterance causes millions to scrunch-up their toes in intellectual pain, the world is eager for a man of this quality to assume power.

When I compare Obama to McCain, the first adjectives that come to mind are “fresh” versus “tired.” After that, there’s “bright” versus “mediocre.” “Polished” versus “beat up.” “Informed” versus “uninformed.”

I’m sure he will win by a surprisingly large margin.

My God, he strode across Europe like statesman, impressing all who saw him. All McCain’s sad bunch could do was put out garbage about photo-ops and shows.

Clearly, you belong to their whining, unimpressive gang.

_________________

“I don’t recall JFK or FDR, the most popular presidents since Washington, being aw shucks shrinking violets.”

Yes, indeed.

Read Harry Truman on Roosevelt. The man, likely the most gifted leader the U.S. ever had, was an ego-maniac.

Putting oneself forward to lead a great state, or any state, is always in part a matter of strong ego.

Indeed, in some cases, it goes beyond inflated ego into narcissism and even to a low-grade psychopathy.

Some of Kennedy’s behavior, and Lyndon Johnson’s, suggests the last condition. So, definitely, does our charming Harper’s, for that matter.

The job of voters is not to be distracted by small issues like ego – so long as it remains in the range of the sane – but to judge the quality and character of a candidate.

He or she will act as the nation’s representative. In America, this involves the unfortunate double role of head of government and head of state.

Even many issues are not that important. Politicians often ignore their promises or fail in efforts to implement them.

Look at McGuinty’s shabby record of promises in Ontario. Look at Clinton’s failure to implement almost anything worthwhile.