Who Will Save Us From Ourselves?
Imagine a presidential candidate comes along and gives it to us straight. “Look, Peak Oil is here and we have two options. We can continue on with the geo-political chess game being played under the guise of the “war on terror” and continue to take over oil rich countries, or we can withdraw from imperial exploits and use science to think our way out of this crisis.” What a breath of fresh air, and just imagine the debate such a statement would spark. The problem is that our leaders think we are too stupid to understand the implications of our current situation and they think we will panic and create chaos in the country. It’s insulting that not a single potential leader thinks highly enough of us to tell us the truth, and offensive that they believe us to be unnecessary in finding a solution.
The securing of a reliable and affordable stream of energy is a high stakes game and the countries around the world are choosing sides. It is increasingly becoming a game of the U.S. against the world and it’s hard to see how we ultimately come out on top with our dwindling financial resources, dependent as we are on the wealth of Asia and Saudi Arabia to keep our economy afloat. The only real assets we have are our stockpile of nuclear weapons and the ever-increasing supply of poor cannon fodder being pumped out of our broken educational system. Next we tackle Iran, a much bigger beast than Iraq, how many of our children will be drafted into securing that boon for the oil industry? And it’s certain that Iran is only the next domino in the chain, there are many more that stand behind it, just a command from our commander away.
Perpetual war is the dream of the neo-cons. It is the backdrop that provides reason for what would otherwise be unthinkable and gives justification for quashing dissent and eroding our freedoms at home. So far, the public has fallen in line and those who refuse to do so are intimidated and shunned by those who have bought the lies hook, line and sinker. The 50% or so of Americans who support giving up a little freedom in the name of security have not been given enough facts to even make that determination. We are a country on the offense, not defense, and by not making it clear what the end game is, the Bush administration has garnered support for a wider war most people are not even aware we are fighting. But what if they were made aware?
Given the whole picture, there would still be substantial support for our current course. There are plenty of Americans who embrace the idea that might makes right, and if the resources are out there that will enable us to continue to enjoy our current standard of living, then it’s our duty to go out there and take them. To many of us, an imperialist agenda is deplorable, but if all the cards were on the table, at least there would be an honest debate and no one would be able to claim that an attack on our homeland is anything other than expected. The Londoners who lived with the bombings of their homes during WWII at least knew what was coming and they knew exactly why they were being attacked. If we were involved in a resource war by informed consent, the psychological impact of an attack against us would be processed in a way that was healthy to our national psyche, taking one for the team, instead of inducing irrational fears of being persecuted. Of course this is exactly why Bush & Co. is not honest about our intentions, but it is also why we should be presented with another way.
We have allowed ourselves to be kept in the dark about the real agenda we are pursuing around the world. We have not demanded honesty; in fact we practically beg to be lied to at every turn. The fictional candidate that will tell us the truth and give it to us straight is just that, fiction. There is not a populist bone in the entire body of Democratic leaders. Our interests have so diverged from our politicians’ that there may be no way, short of radical means, to bring them into line. Their agenda is singular, staying in power and they have rigged our system through gerrymandering, election “reform” and campaign finance laws to serve that end. Incumbents stay in power and we the people are shut out of the process. It’s time for each and every American to re-read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, for there are duties ascribes to us in there as well. There isn’t a leader who will emerge that will save us from ourselves, that is a job only we can do.