Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hillary the Dream-Slayer ~ by Steve Bhaerman


by Steve Bhaerman

It's a Rush Limbaugh dream come true. The two Democratic Party candidates engaged in a deadly gunfight that will leave whichever one is left standing mortally wounded come November. While it would be unfortunate indeed for the Republicans to once again be rewarded with the presidency after maxing out their discredit cards over the past eight years, the shoot out at the I'm Okay / You're Not Okay Corral is likely to have even more tragic consequences - the stillborn death of the dream that things can be different in America.

The Democrats losing one more election is no big deal. That's business as usual for the gutless enablers of empire at the DLC (Democratic Losership Council). Like Lucy pulling away the football at the last minute sending good ol' Charlie Brown on his ass, we've come to expect the Democratic misleadership to disappoint and betray the faithful. But this year, something was different. Instead of the usual Democratic Party platform of "Vote for us, we're not as bad as the Republicans," Barack Obama has offered a proactive, positive message that inspires a new possibility - that working together, we can transcend safe and habitual political positions and find breakthrough solutions to the very real problems we face.

Think back just a few months ago, before Limbaugh got into the act. Republican voters were crossing over to vote for Obama in the primaries because they saw a glimmer of functionality, because they recognized true leadership, and because they were inspired by someone willing to speak truth and optimism at the same time. This, of course, was unacceptable to the powers in power, who require the red/blue divide to make sure the American people don't stand united around the basic moral values 90% of us share in common.

So, empire brought out Goliath to slap down this uppity David and bring the body politic back to "reality." Rush Limbaugh's call for Republicans to cross over and vote for Hillary was an important move to re-hypnotize the Republican faithful. Then came Hillary's charge of "lack of experience," and the mainstream media brainwashing machine went into spin cycle to amplify the charge. Just as Obama was hitting his stride in creating national rapport around the possibility of politics as unusual, the usual suspects did all they could to break the rapport.

Once we understand the real meaning of "lack of experience," we can fully grasp the tragedy of "yes we can" dissolving into "no we can't." This experience Hillary talks about has nothing to do with political foresight or wisdom. This is the Hillary who, after all, voted for the war in Iraq at a time when millions and millions of Americans - including Obama - saw through the ruse. The "experience" Hillary talks about is her own, both literal and metaphorical. It means being in bed with politics at its worst.

While Bill Clinton was one of the most charismatic politicians of our time, we can see in retrospect how his potential was compromised by narcissism and personal ambition. But his negative legacy is even worse than that. Instead of holding to the Democrats' traditional role of mitigating the excesses of empire, Clinton gave globalization (in essence, "gobble-ization") the official seal of approval. He sold NAFTA as a boon to the American people, and was as deeply embedded with Enron as George Bush was. In the guise of being a centrist, he made the final payment in selling out the Democratic Party to empire, putting in place the neoliberal support for the neoconservative agenda. Think of it this way: The Iraq war would have been impossible without the "blessing" of the Democratic Party leadership.

Water Bearer or Water-Boarder?

When Hillary invokes "lack of experience" what she is really saying is that politics cannot work without treachery, deceit, manipulation and back room deals, and that Obama is naive to think otherwise. As if to prove it, she has based her campaign on undercutting his positive message and invoking the shadow of fear. The fact that her campaign seems to be working reinforces that contention that in order to be "safe" we must have someone machiavellian in charge. Hillary, the mainstream media machine, and the Republican power structure seem to have the upper hand right now in beating the American public into submission, and deconstructing the most constructive political dream of our lifetime.

Those who insist that "either Democratic candidate would be a good choice" are as sadly brainwashed as the ditto-heads who abandoned their good sense to follow Rush Limbaugh's dysfunctional dictates. Obama represents the possibility of breakthrough. Hillary represents the political approach of Karl Rove, if not his actual agenda. In other words, it's dream vs. nightmare.

There are those who would ask, what about the other dream? What about the dream many women have about finally having a woman President? My answer would be another question: Which woman? How about Condoleezza? Do we want another Margaret Thatcher? The basic problem with this particular woman President is that she's way too focused on proving she is man enough for the job. Hillary seems to have some Democrats convinced of this, but will never convince a critical mass of Republicans or even Independents.

The real question for forward-thinking voters is not whether we need the feel-good symbol of a woman President, but whether we are ready to empower genuine feminine wisdom. For those sixties' relics who wonder whatever became of the Age of Aquarius, I would suggest we must collectively meet one profound challenge before we walk through that door. We must confront the current Age of Nefarious, where the powers that have outlived their uselessness have entrenched and seek to stay in power through the power of fear.

Interestingly, the symbol for Aquarius is the "water bearer," a male figure bearing feminine wisdom. That feminine wisdom represents the power of love, life and possibility. The male figure represents strength and protection in the service of life. Unfortunately, politics as usual represents the protection of the empire - in other words, the predator. This "realpolitik" approach, made real only because we agree to it, tells us we must put aside our moral values in order to protect ourselves. Lying, assassinations and torture? All necessary evils.

Our choice between the politics of Hillary and the politics of Obama is clear: Water-bearer or water-boarder. Would Hillary resort to such nefarious means? Only if she had to. Just like George Bush and Dick Cheney. A vote for Hillary at this juncture is a reaffirmation of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that has brought us to the brink of man-made hell: We the people promise not to ask our government what they are doing "on our behalf," and they promise not to tell us.

(Rhino McCain by Jared C. Wilson)

Yes, protection is needed from very real dangers in the world. However, like the healthy immune system, the body politic must learn to distinguish between real dangers and false alarms. It is telling indeed that the front lines of our defense, the American military enlisted people, have donated the most money to candidates Ron Paul and Barack Obama, in that order - not warmongers McCain and Hillary. They sadly recognize the difference between their ideal role of protecting the nurturers, and their real deal role protecting the predators.

And the thing that provides most protection for the predators? It's the fear-based belief that when push comes to shove, pushing and shoving is more powerful than love. Of course, this goes contrary to everything spiritual teachers have been saying for millennia. We now must choose, individually and collectively, which master we serve: the Golden Rule, or the rule of gold. Do we have enough faith in our faith to empower love, or do we give in to the lowest common dominator and fall prey to fear? We must recognize that war - and for that matter, empire - is no longer a political choice, but a moral one.

The political fate of America will not be solved by the super delegates, but by the silent sleeping superpower that is potentially more powerful than all the armies in the world: The moral authority that stands firm for war as a last resort instead of a first one, and stands for the real pro-life agenda of protecting life and planet - not protecting those who would exploit those for their own gain.

So ... once again, Obama is hardly the perfect candidate. However, he does represent the highest impulse of functionality America can currently muster. His is a voice that calls for, above all, faith in ourselves. Those who have resigned themselves to Hillary as more "realistic" are casting their vote for the current reality. As Dr. Phil might say, "How is that working for us?"

This is not a call to get behind Obama, but rather a call to get in front of him. Ultimately, it is we the people who set the moral standard for our behavior as a country and a world, not our leaders. Whether we call ourselves religious, spiritual but not religious, secular humanists or ethical atheists, we are at the cusp of the evolutionary choice we must make as a species. Are we adult enough to collectively use our collective intelligence together? Or do we childishly abdicate our responsibility and empower the dominator mentality that has served us so poorly?

What occurs over the next 60 days will be more important to the future of America and the world than what happens in November. Now is the moment we face a clear moral choice: Do we empower the water-bearer or the water-boarder?

Hillary and her gleeful Republican henchfolk are telling us "No, we can't. We can't have government of, by and for the people where the government does our bidding, not the bidding of the highest bidder. No, we can't have a successful regime without machiavellian manipulation. No, we can't be safe in the world unless we dominate."

They've almost convinced us. They've almost manipulated America into falling for the predictable nightmare instead of rising for the possible dream.

Now it's our turn to say, "Yes, we can" and as a wise and united people create the platform of truth and functionality that Obama - or any other candidate willing to speak the truth - can stand on. If we can throw our weight behind sanity and health now, we can indeed live into the reality of our dreams.

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