Democrats & Liberals Archives

Waffles for Breakfast

Here we are with one candidate trying to brand the other as a spoiled plate of waffles and the response being to call the folks spreading those canards lying hypocrites. We are off to the races here; in Russia there are few people who could care if Democracy ever enters into their lives. They would be satisfied if only they could keep food on the table or just keep the table indoors or for that matter keep even the table.

Both Candidates here have lived better than kings of old did and both are trying to make the country see that their way is best. In Russia there is no other candidate and the Press is firmly in the hands of friends of the man in power, Putin. Putin lives pretty well as leaders of large and powerful nations often do. The average citizen of Russia is not doing nearly as well as the average citizen here is doing. Whatever you can say about our hanging chads and swinging States, here our elections are grand entertainment for a wealthy nation.

If John Kerry has the sense of humor that I suspect he has, he should raise money at breakfasts and serve waffles to the crowd. That would be a studied contrast to Bush’s million dollar dinners and would poke fun at the waffling canard at the same time. It is going to take a little comic relief to get through this election without a major fight breaking out between the supporters of one candidate and the other. South Korea is the last place I can remember where fist fights broke out during a campaign. There have been worse thing that have happened in the ongoing struggle to make people responsible for their own fate. In my lifetime Russia has been a nation that never saw a day in spring where so many people were living a life of comfort as are living in comfortable surroundings here today. Yes we have poor people in the USA, some of them live on the streets now that the mentally ill have been given the right to live without government intruding in their lives. The vast majority of people here could no more understand conditions in Russia than they could understand conditions in Afghanistan or Haiti or Argentina today.

It is tempting to believe that everyone on earth wants what you have if you live in this rich and beautiful nation. “It ain’t necessarily so” folks, people in other nations have different values and different pressing needs. Obtaining food in Africa is a struggle as is medicine with the AIDS Epidemic sweeping across that continent. Across vast portions of Asia people live much as their ancestors did before the industrial revolution that we derived so much wealth from here. Trying to see past my nose is harder in allergy season when it turns bright red and my eyes are running. The air outside my house is full of the perfume from the citrus trees that are blooming once again, having delivered their crop of fruit for our winter enjoyment. Having grown up in a cold drafty house in the Upper Midwest where spring comes later than anywhere else in this nation I love this desert community. I just wish my nose and eyes would enjoy this early spring along with my spirit. I have just been visited by my most recent grandchild, and she like all of the others is beautiful and bright and full of love and joy. I am a very lucky man after the long and interesting life I have already led to have such joy at this point in it.

It is hard to see the people in Spain suffering the destruction of their comfort in these last few days. They suffered so much during the prelude to WWII with their civil war and the imposition of Fascism on their lives. It is tempting to worry about fascist tendencies being on the rise here with our political move to the right. I suspect that it is unlikely that the current level of domination of our government by corporate interests will end with this election. The people here will prevail in the end only because we care so much about our democracy. It will not be easy to restore a balance here but the people of this nation are up to that task. We do care even if too few of us vote and so many who do vote do so without questioning the choice of their party. It is evident that we care because we give so much of our attention to the process of electing our President who is the most powerful man on earth. He still cannot tell the least of us who criticize him to shut our mouths. Does that ever cease to make you wonder at the great facets of our gem of a Republic that were cut by the master craftsmen who formed it? Tomorrow I will be having fits about the things being done by the opposition but today I am just enjoying the spring air even if it does make my nose run and my eyes water.

Our lives here are full of the illusion of control and the maintenance of our daily existence. We can stop to smell the orange blossoms because our fruit trees have not been burned by the ravages of war or destroyed by our neighbor’s need for wood to cook their food. Society here has not had a breakdown even to compare with the Depression that started in 1929 in my lifetime. This society has been good to me and I have tried to return that favor by creating businesses and working hard most of the time. We are all so lucky here and the world we live in is so insulated from most of the troubles in the rest of the world. Sometimes when we are forced to face things that people face elsewhere we tend to overreact. It is possible that this President only did that in regard to Iraq because 9/11 was such a shock to him as it was to many of us. Our approach to the War in Iraq was an overreaction of a kind that I hope we can forego in the future. We fooled ourselves into a war without an adequate international community behind us. I don’t blame the people who overreacted but I do blame those who planned the war in Iraq before 9/11 and manipulated us into doing things the way we did. No real patriot of this nation can do that sort of thing without betraying the meaning of our revolution and the Constitution that grew out of it.

If there is any doubt in your mind that we were manipulated just go to Salon.com and read the story written by a woman who worked in the Pentagon during the run up to that war. It makes fascinating reading and the responses from the right that she is a “liberal” with an agenda are probably true. That she is a patriot with an agenda is also true. Slurs and name calling will not reduce the valid facts that she brought to light about the perversion of our military intelligence analysis process by the Neocons within our government. It is sad that this is necessary but if the President was involved he needs to be replaced even if he wins this next election. I would hate to see impeachment proceedings based on those kinds of manipulations. It is clearly true that we were manipulated and the perpetrators need to be taken out of positions where they can do that again. Either he needs to clean his own house or we will need to clean out our White House, those are the only real choices left to us. Some of us will ignore this for the enjoyment of a grandchild or a beautiful spring day but we will come back to it until the right thing finally gets done. Screams and cries by those who will accept that kind of manipulation because of 9/11 will not deter us. We must do this because our Republic is too precious a dream for us to awaken from it, into one where we live like those in Russia, without hope for a real Democracy. God bless you all and keep you and all your loved ones safe in these times of fear and manipulation.

Posted by Henri Reynard at March 14, 2004 7:13 PM