Curtain Raiser

The Debt We Should Be Discussing, Colltalers

With all the diatribe about big government and its seemingly detachment from the needs and aspirations of the common man, there are moments when the hyperbole does visit reality, and such disconnect becomes all but painfully apparent.
Take Washington’s current favorite topic, for instance. It’s all about the need to reign on the deficit, which, some say, will cause a disastrous downfall of U.S. bonds’ credibility before foreign investors, bringing down, once and for all, the American economy.
In the meantime, millions of families are facing the prospect of having to sleep tonight in some insanitary and unsafe shelter, if they can find room; people who have lost their jobs are beginning to lose faith of ever finding another one; and the majority has no idea what sequestration even means.
However, as brutal as such a prospect may be to those who may have never visited the nation’s capital, there’s an even more pernicious trend plaguing President Obama’s second term in office: his own disconnect with that hope he led us to expect he was representing.
Never mind the U.S.’s ability of paying its bills, and stopping being the magnet from international capital anytime soon. What may undermine us is our own turning back on principles of individual freedom and right to dissent, tenets of this nation’s Constitution.
And the president, well, he’s been all but absent in this fight. Case in point: the issue of drone strikes and accountability for their tragic and disastrous mistakes, which have been already one too many for anyone to stand behind him on it, let alone the populist label of ‘common man.’
The same regular citizen who’s now having his or her innermost personal affairs monitored by shadowy government agencies, with apparent free reign over who to spy upon and, grasp, to send a killer flying machine after.
It may sound awfully close to any nutty conspiracy theory, teeming in the Internet at any given moment. Except that in this case, there’s no secret that the U.S. is, in fact, building in the deserts of Utah, the biggest spy center any nation has ever built.
It’s no secret that the person the president would like to see leading the C.I.A. is considered the architect of the drone strike policy, and has steadfastly defend the U.S.’s right to strike whoever it wants, without asking neither anyone, nor us, the people.
And its no secret that these factors, along with an equivalent threat from other nations to match our dubious ‘exceptionalism’ with their own assembly line of murderous unmanned robots, may determine an infinitely scarier new arms race than during the Cold War.
Going back to the president, who we’ve reelected based on his undeniably superior intellect, when compared to the field of candidates, and for an almost fading hope he could match some of his rousing rhetoric with actions, there are, however, some hard truths to be spelled out.
It pains us to invoke President Obama’s transformation from an articulated dreamer as candidate to a timid, pragmatic keeper of the shop. And it disturbs us a great deal his lack of eloquence when it comes to military defense goals, and the U.S.’s outlook in the world.
We may get to a point when his absence of the field of such crucial battles will indict his administration and bring to question his own commitment to lead this nation towards a more transparent future, not less.
Someone will have to raise the flag over the morality of allowing the state to act, unchallenged by law or constitution, as it sees fit, either by stepping in its citizens’ personal lives, or by sending out remote control machines, armed with bombs and killing lists.
Finally, it may be up to those who voted for him to call it as they see it: an administration whose widening gap between its priorities and those of the majority is reflected in the president’s own disparate between his words and actions.
That’s the kind of debt we should be discussing right now: the widening of unfulfilled expectations compared to dire social prospects faced by millions of Americans, and the discrepancy between President Obama’s words and actions.
The bitter cold days of February are finally coming to an end in the North Hemisphere. Let’s hope that, along with the temperature rising, comes also the thawing of our monolithic, reactionary foreign policy. Otherwise, regardless of the weather, we may need to brace for another political Ice Age. Be well and have a great one. WC


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