Consider the unpalatable 2012 options, a choice between:
-- a so far unopposed lawless/crime boss/militarist/pro-war/anti-populist president; and
-- a rogue's gallery of Republican aspirants, looking more like a police lineup than legitimate candidates for any office, let alone the nation's highest - with one exception, Ron Paul, ignored by America's media for the following reasons:
(1) He advocates abolishing the Federal Reserve, owned and run by Wall Street. In fact, several times in Congress, he introduced the Federal Reserve Abolition Act. With no co-sponsors, no further action followed.
Yet, restoring sound money and a healthy economy requires Fed abolition, returning money creation power to the US Treasury as the Constitution mandates (Article I, Section 8).
(2) He also wants squandering America's resources on imperial wars ended, using the nation's wealth instead for productive economic growth.
(3) In addition, he opposes police state laws like the USA Patriot Act, though not for all the right reasons. Key for him is loss of personal privacy.
(4) While advocating free trade, he's against NAFTA, DR-CAFTA, and other one-sided FTAs, serving special interests, not everyone equitably.
(5) He calls the war on drugs "costly and ineffective, while creating terrible violent crime." True enough, but it's much worse, largely responsible for creating the world's largest gulag, mostly filled with nonviolent inmates, deserving reprimands and perhaps fines at most, not prison time.
At the same time, as a libertarian, he believes government's only role is to respect, protect, and defend personal freedoms.
As the Libertarian Party's Preamble advocates, everyone should retain "sovereign(ty) over their own lives," not "sacrifice (it) for the benefit of others."
In other words, government's responsibility for universal healthcare, education, and other essential services is incompatible with personal freedom. Everyone should be on their own to provide them, even though millions, through no fault of their own, can't.
In contrast, progressives define freedom and responsibility differently, believing government must assure equity, social justice, and safety net protections for society's least advantaged. Throwing them overboard can't be tolerated.
Rick Perry - George Bush on Steroids?
Who can know, but be concerned. Texas-based commentator Molly Ivans (1944 - 2007) called him "despicable" and much more. Ridiculing him as "Gov. Goodhair," she compared him to George Bush, saying, "O Please, Dear God, Not Another One," quoting a country song.
She railed against his appointing an Enron executive head of Texas' Public Utilities Commission. In return "the next day" came a $25,000 thank you check, signed by former Chairman/CEO Ken Lay, infamous for being behind one of the nation's greatest ever financial scandals.
She denounced his "spectacular failure on public schools by convincing Texans that gay marriage was a horrible threat to us all." At the same time, he tried "to disguise" the decrepit state of public schools "by proposing that we teach creationism in biology classes," not math fundamentals, good English, literacy and computer skills, and real history and political science, omitting any reference to religion that has no place in public education.
She also hammered him in other articles, exposing an extremist governor not fit for any public office, let alone the nation's highest that should chill everyone at the possibility, except his lunatic fringe supporters and big-monied backers, assured of substantial returns on investments with him as president.
On August 13, he announced his candidacy in South Carolina, not Texas, knowing angry mobs would confront him, saying:
America "is the last great hope of mankind....Socialist systems (deliver) misery and stagnation....Americans (are) not defined as class....'Spreading the wealth' punishes success....(B)ig-government policies have prolonged our national misery....It is time to get America working again."
Besides mischaracterizing his dismal pro-business, anti-populist record as governor, his rhetoric concealed extremist positions he'll force on all Americans the way he did to Texans, including Christian fascism. More on that below.
Right Wing Watch.com lists some of his allies, including:
(1) The American Family Association, endorsing censorship and advocacy against women's and LGBT rights.
(2) The International House of Prayer, wanting Jews to become Christians and opposing abortion and LGBT rights among other extremist positions.
(3) The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, known for calling gay rights activists "intolerant," "hateful," "vile," "spiteful," and "pawns" of Satan.
(4) The Response, another extremist religious group.
(5) Rev. John Hagee, a preacher and practitioner of Christian fascism.
(6) James Dobson, a replica of Hagee, founder of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, two prominent extremist hate groups.
(7) David Barton, "a self-proclaimed historian known (for reinventing history) and the Bible to justify right-wing positions."
(8) Rob Schenk, an anti-choice extremist.
(9) Loren Cunningham, co-founder of the radical "Seven Mountains Dominionist."
(10) Doug Stringer, "who blamed American secularism (and) acceptance of homosexuality for the 9/11 attacks."
(11) Che Ahn, John Hagee's mentor who compared "the fight against gay rights to the fight against slavery," and others also endorsing the same ideological extremism.
With these type allies and financial backers, be concerned, very concerned.
Perry for President
Perry's web site (richperry.org) calls him "a true conservative," omitting how he defined that as governor, serving Big Monied Texans at the expense of all others, what he'll replicate nationally as president.
Besides his religious ideologue allies, he also stacked his campaign team with neocon advisers and Tea Party extremists, likely endorsing his belief that:
"We are now confronted with the rise of new economic and military powerhouses in China and India, as well as a Russia that is increasingly aggressive and troublesome to its neighbors and former satellite nations that are struggling to maintain their relatively newfound independence."
As a result, he added: "(T)he United States must be prepared for the ramifications of shifting balances of power," stopping just short of endorsing war.
A racist uber-hawk, he presided over 230 executions since December 2000, more than any other modern governor. At the same time, he refused to admit the possibility that anyone put to death was innocent, despite over 130 exonerated inmates since 1973, including 12 in Texas, besides known and unknown others unjustly facing execution.
His college academic record also raises concerns, an August 5 Huffington Post article headlining, "Rick Perry's College Transcript: A Lot of Cs and Ds," saying:
"A source in Texas (supplied) transcripts of his years at Texas A&M University." It showed less than classroom distinction. "While he later became a student leader, he had to get out of academic probation to do so."
His D grades were in economics, Shakespeare, and veterinary anatomy. He flunked organic chemistry. A classmate called A&M not "exactly Harvard on the Brazos River," adding:
"This was not the brightest guy around. We always kind of laughed. He was always kind of a joke."
His office "did not return a request for comment from The Huffington Post." Perhaps potential supporters should demand it, besides holding him accountable for his dismal record as governor.
An August 14 HuffPost article explained more, headlined: "Rick Perry's Record in Texas May Not Convince Latino Voters," saying:
Texas is 38% Latino, including many undocumented ones through no fault of their own. Perry opposes amnesty. He's "argued for (using) National Guard, military-style special ops and (drones) with high-tech cameras" to monitor border areas.
His administration "spent over $400 million since 2005 on border security programs." He supports "valid residency documents from driver's license applicants," who aren't US citizens. He opposes state "sanctuary cities," wants voters required to show photo IDs at polls, and "local police (required to) comply with federal immigration laws."
Civic and Hispanic leaders oppose these policies, arguing they'll escalate intimidation and anti-Latino discrimination. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro called Perry's initiatives "easily the most anti-Latino agenda in more than a generation, without shame."
Many agree with Texas Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirsten Gray that Perry "needs a pink slip, not a promotion (because) he's been a disaster as governor and would make an even worse president."
Besides his pro-business, pro-war, racist agenda, he embraces religious extremism, breaching the inviolable separation of church and state, the Constitution's Article II, Section 6 stating:
"The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable."
In other words, religion in any form, may not engage in or interfere with affairs of state, and vice versa under the First Amendment, guaranteeing the right to free exercise of religion.
With leaders like Rick Perry, expect the religion/state firewall to be naplamed as a practitioner of Christian fascism. Broadly defined, it embraces extremist political, economic, social and religious ideology falsely called conservative.
Sociologist Sara Diamond wrote extensively on the rise of America's right wing groups, including in her "Roads to Dominion," in which she traced various movements over the past 50 years, identifying four types:
1. Anti-communist conservatives, including the Christian Right's moral traditionalists.
2. Racist right-wing groups, including the KKK, other segregationist groups, and the paramilitary white supremacist movement.
3. The Christian Right with its evangelical roots, and
4. Neoconservatives with roots during the Cold War under Republicans and Democrats.
Not entirely monolithic, these groups share common views with regard to the economy, the nation state in the global context (military and geopolitical), and moral norms relating to race and gender.
They also advocate free-market capitalism, anticommunism (now anything left of center), US global military hegemony, traditional morality, superiority of native-born white male Christian Americans, and the traditional nuclear family.
Moreover, they cloak their ideology in Christianity and patriotism to gain political power they claim God sanctions, giving moral legitimacy, even to steal from the poor, give to the rich, and wage war.
As a result, these ideologues are morally and politically indefensible, toxic and dangerous. They also embrace:
-- racial hatred;
-- white Christian supremacy;
-- blind adoration and obedience to leaders, discouraging free and independent thought;
-- male gender dominance;
-- LGBT hatred;
-- disdain for non-believers and rational intellectual inquiry;
-- calling debate apostasy;
-- opposing abortion but hypocritically supporting capital punishment, including for LGBTs, abortionists, Muslim "terrorists," and "heretics;"
-- advocating militarism, war and apocalyptic violence;
-- abolishing public education and government involvement in all social services;
-- proselytizing others to become believers;
-- rejecting secular humanist notions of reason, ethics, morality, social equity and justice;
-- capitalizing on human pain, suffering, disillusion, dislocation, and despair felt by millions to build a mass movement of servile, unthinking followers;
-- advocating Christian fascism based on predatory capitalism, militarism, and intolerance of democratic freedoms; and
-- fanatically supporting Israel for all the wrong reasons, though it's hard to find any right ones, given its out-of-control lawlessness and danger as a global menace like America, especially if run by Christian fascists like Perry.
If elected, he'll use his ideology as a crusade to wage war on democratic values, social justice, rule of law principles, and peace even more than they've already been desecrated.
As a result, America now is unfit to live in. Perhaps under Perry, so will planet earth. What better reason to shun and denounce him. But much more is needed to save the soul of a lost nation.
Begin by rejecting the corrupted two-party duopoly, run by warmongering kleptocrats, damning the public interest for their own. Vote independent or not at all.
Voting for any Republican or Democrat - for president, Congress, state or local office - is wasting it, defiling your own welfare. Unless duopoly power ends, Americans won't be free, safe or equitably treated.
Now's the time to start abolishing what's wrecking the country and planet earth. The alternative is perishing with it - under Perry, Obama or anyone representing either party.
They're beholden to a higher power, America's monied interests so far having everything their own way. Survival depends on replacing them before it's too late to matter.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.