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OP/ED: The Perfect Political Storm

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posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 10:23 AM
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Standing ,as I do , on the European side of the Altantic , I watch with a mixture of awe and uneasy trepidation as I see the dark political storm clouds converge over the U.S.A .Those heavy black clouds have been gathering for a long time now ,as long as four years ago but the events over the intervening time have on almost every occasion added yet more atmospheric charge to the storm that will break this Tuesday.
 


I stand in awe because I am simply amazed that a nation respected throughout the entire world for it's democracy , so much so that it has been the model on which many fledgling nations have enshrined the rights of their own people, should have to experience this impending storm.

I am uneasy because of all the probable outcomes in it's aftermath I can not see one that does not not leave the world's only super power and it's citizens in a weakened and precarious position.

Don't get me wrong on this, the U.S.A will not face any threat from outside that it can not face and defeat with or without it's friends and allies , the dangerous weakness I refer to is within the very fabric of American democratic society itself which appears to have been ripped in two and now fall in two distinct and irreconcilable halves.

Whatever the result almost 50% of Americans will not accept the declared winner as their president with unseeable consequences that will dominate U.S politics in the next four years and even beyond. Neither man is capable of being the President of the United States of America only of being the head of a Divided State in America.

Not since the American Civil War has this country been so profoundly divided and polarised on uncompromisable issues and neither candidate is a possible Abraham Lincoln, though both will try and embody his spirit when they first talk to their people if they are elected that seems a sure bet.

When the founding fathers of America constutionally divided church and state could they have known how prescient it would seem today ?

Faith elevates policy in a way mere political ideology can not. Belief, once found , is uncompromising and once a candidate is believed by his supporters to be the tool of God his rejection is seen as a rejection of God himself. The winner will be seen as a leader turning his nation into a Godless state.You might just as well ask a believer to give up his religion as live and contribute to a society he perceives as immoral and corrupt.

Can a fundamentalist accept a man like that as his president if the righteous alternative is rejected in a controversial manner ? When one candidate is seen as a tool of God his nemesis is then seen, ergo ,as the tool of the devil.

There can be only one outcome if Kerry is elected and that is that a small but extremist group of fundamentalists will be involed in low level civil disobedience at best and domestic terrorists at worst.They will be fighting for a higher cause for which martyrdom would only place them in the ranks of so many throughout history.

The outlook is really no better if Bush wins. Whether you believe that the election in 2000 was fraudulently "stolen" or not that impression will be reinforced and many will start to give up on the democratic process itself. This larger but less militant group , believing they have been disenfranchised of their constitutional right to vote , will seek ways of attacking the system.This may include low level civil disobedience or even rioting.It may start on polling day itself or it may fester in the years to come resurfacing whenever they fervently disagree with the "illegal" president.

This is the storm which is inexorably gathering and about to break over the U.S.A. It is a term of internal discontent for which ever candidate wins. It is the choice between an "llegal" president or a "Godless" president as seen from both extremes.

A wider margin of victory or the popular vote will not placate this resistence it will perversely have the effect of simply reinforcing the belief in a grand conspiracy.

That is the perfect political storm I see.The U.S.A may face many external problems over the next four years but the most damaging issues that will have to be addressed are likely to be domestic.

Some will not recognise the reflection they see when I hold up this looking glass.Some will say that Americans have always rallied behind their President even in the most closely contested and controversial elections.They may even point to the last election as a clear example.I fear this time it is different.

[edit on 31-10-2004 by John bull 1]

[edit on 31-10-2004 by Nerdling]




posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 10:37 AM
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Very well put. Right on the money.



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 10:43 AM
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I think this is a great peice, John! Wonderfully written, and a clear picture of exactly what is happening in America. I echo much of what you say.

I am worried and truly fearful for this country's future. I support Bush, that's obvious in my various postings, but whoever wins is in for a challenge. On one hand, you have various segments of the populace vowing not to support the President, if reelected. Some have suggested riots, and even one candidate's wife only promised no rioting if 'we win'. On the other hand, we risk losing strong commanders and leadership in our miltiary, at least, and something I dare not even consider, if Kerry wins. Military commanders from various sects and fronts have vowed to resign, and others simply have said 'we will not serve him' if Kerry wins.

The legal battle being set up, and already joined in Ohio and Florida promise to further divide the nation. The running about claiming voter intimidation, especially among certain racial and social classes, further seperates us along social and racial lines.

I truly fear we are being set up to become so weak with internal strife, that some unseen adversary (some have prophesied a UN or Chinese takeover, I don't agree) being able to gobble up large portions of the US, or launch a devastating attack, and we would be powerless to stop it, because we'd have to argue among ourselves for too long before deciding what to do.

I truly pray for our future, but in the meantime, I am saving for tickets out of country quickly, if need be.



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 10:48 AM
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Very well put, but absolutely NOT right on the money.

Jb, you have voiced this concern about the "ripping" of the US into two camps before. I'm afraid it is skewed, probably because of the exposure to the rhetoric here on ATS.

I assure you in the coffee shops and the pubs and the workplaces across the country, we discuss this issue aross party lines with civility and acceptance that the democratic process will work.

And the statement that no matter what happens on Tuesday 50% of the country will not accept the new leader is TOTALLY wrong. And it stems, I fear, from your belief that 50% of the country does not accept the leader we have now. That's B.S. I have a large community of democratic friends that are patriotic to their country and accept the U.S. democratic process even when it leaves them without the one they voted for.

I went 8 years without the ones I voted for. I never felt disenfranchised and I never rejected the leader placed in office. And this true for the silent majority of U.S. citizens.

The country has not been torn asunder, and though I truly fear the the vocal extreme minority will cause a stink that further perpetuates this false image of U.S. society, the rest of the majority who go to work everyday, vote, and trust the democratic process will shake their heads at these litigious and usually obnoxious few and keep on keeping on.

[edit on 10-31-2004 by Valhall]



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 10:56 AM
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That was a great posting. I can't necessarily say I agree with every bit of it but the concern for our nation is there.



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 11:00 AM
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Val,

Well, it is an OP/ED designed to stimulate discussion.Perhaps 50% was a figure too easily plucked from the air but it would be disingenuous for me to edit and clarify that particular point now.

Later I do say that militancy would be confined to extremists on either side.I guess my reason for using the 50% figure was the clear division around a small center which will hinder combatting that internal extremism.

You can also be assured that ATS is not my only, nor my primary, source of information.


[edit on 31-10-2004 by John bull 1]



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 11:05 AM
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I wish we had the ability to get the voice of the vast majority of people that don't get a podium in the slanted, dramatic media outlets and who don't come on boards like this and tell people how they feel.

The loud "disenfranchised" group of the 2000 election process are a minority...as will be the whatever group is loud this time.

What I find sad is that the media perpetuates this picture of the U.S. people about ready to choke each other. No...that would be JUST those people we see acting that way in front of the camera.

The rest of us are fairly accepting of what the results of the democratic process are...even when it's not what we wanted.



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 11:10 AM
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The Roman empire lasted for a Mellinia, The American empire has already seen the seeds of dissolution after a mere 200 years. Can the "Great Experiment" turn itself around? Maybe, but only if the People take responsability to do so. The U.S. government answers to "$" and not to it's constituancy. The people have been bamboozled into believing that business serves the interests of them and not the reality that they serve only the bottom line. PAC's have fully corrupted our government. People have become dissillusioned and apathetic. Those who are still in the game fall into the two camps; those who are paying attention, and those who have been fooled into believing the drivel that they are handed.



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 11:14 AM
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Now THIS


PAC's have fully corrupted our government. People have become dissillusioned and apathetic.


I tend to agree with. Because across the party lines, the average american people to a person seem express these things right here. I believe the corruption (of both parties) and the un-representation of the people because their representatives are in for glory, money and power, is what we need to be worried about. This won't have democratis beating up republicans...this will have the general populace rising against the filthy nature of politicians in a nonpartisan fashion.

I believe this to be the greatest risk we face right now.



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 11:23 AM
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I fear we are in for some sort of quasi civil war within the next decade.

I fear that the election of Bush will speed this up, although it will not happen during his second term. The election of Kerry will simply hold off the enevitable perhaps a few more years, but not prevent it. There is more to it than simple partisan politics.

After studying history and looking at other situations where a country is split so evenly about subjects they believe so fiercly in, one outcome seems to rise up more than all others.

That outcome is war.

This is what truly scares me.



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 11:34 AM
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I see why you are a Super-Moderator, and I agree with you 100%. In early voting I voted for Kerry. I don't know whether or not he will do a better job. I do know that we can't keep at the pace we are on now, politically, socially, and environmentally.

I am always glad to hear what people from other countries think and feel about the US. I for one will accept, with a heavy heart, Bush if he is re-elected. You are right about us, the US, being divided. I not only fear for our country, but for the rest of the world at the example we set in a post election society.

This is not to say that I will lay down and become a zombie for the administration, I will remain vigilant for the truth and way's to bring it to light, but we as a country have much healing to do following this election, regardless of the outcome.



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 01:32 PM
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Great piece, except you left out one fairly sizeable group. You forgot to mention those that dislike both candidates and have already lost faith in the system because we have had those two... guys presented as our only real options. Most of my friends feel as I do (although we only represent a small demographic of upper-middle class 20 somethings). IMHO, both Kerry and Bush are two sides of the same coin, saying only what they think will get their voting base to support them. There are quite a few people who are going to be disappointed regardless of who actually wins.

The only hope that people who share my opinion had was the campaign finance reform which failed miserably as far too many loopholes were left intact. We need a REAL American candidate. I'll end my rant with that statement so I don't make too big a fool of myself



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
The country has not been torn asunder, and though I truly fear the the vocal extreme minority will cause a stink that further perpetuates this false image of U.S. society, the rest of the majority who go to work everyday, vote, and trust the democratic process will shake their heads at these litigious and usually obnoxious few and keep on keeping on.
[edit on 10-31-2004 by Valhall]


I agree with what Valhall is saying here as to likely outcomes, no matter which candidate wins.

I think John bull 1 has some excellent observations, however, and I think he's written his post in a very appropriate style to stimulate discussion.
About the only thing I would actually care to argue about any of jb's points is:


Not since the American Civil War has this country been so profoundly divided and polarised on uncompromisable issues and neither candidate is a possible Abraham Lincoln, though both will try and embody his spirit when they first talk to their people if they are elected that seems a sure bet.


I'm afraid the Lincoln Legend and his popular image today is history re-written by the winners. It was precisely Lincoln's election [with less than half the popular vote] that prompted 7 States to secede from the Federal government. After the Ft. Sumter incident in South Carolina, Lincoln's aggressive handling of the situation prompted 4 more States to secede. It is true that following the surrender of the Confederacy Lincoln said he favoured leniency and healing, but he was quickly assassinated, so we'll never know for sure.

But while he was alive as President, he was a divider, not a uniter, both in people's perceptions of what he might do, and in what he did actually do in his first months in office.



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 02:14 PM
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Varitas,
I couldn't agree with your sentiments any more. Big Business owns America and most of it's cititzens. I decided long ago that I couldn't work "corporate," distrusted my government; some politicos more than others, and held little faith in my fellow man.

I love it when I am pleasantly surprised by the all too uncommon; political maveric, responsable individual, act of kindness, or a simple smile from a stranger.

I think it symptomatic of the time we live, that mayhaps a collective unconcious knowledge of humanity's flaws and eventual demise, have soured our interpersonal relationships to the point of diametric opposition that we see in our political oppositions.

Oh, nevermind! I'll smile and wave The Flag and salute whomever wins Tuesday, and be a good little American mouse on the ol' wheel, and I'll do my duty and pay my taxes and shake my brother Republican's hand. I'll vow to work in harmony with all the other hard-working Americans I run across every day. Yeah!



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 02:42 PM
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good post and excellent observation.
like Val i have a very diverse group of associates who are very split between the 2 choices we are told we have. they don't like thier choices but they don't want one of the choices to be pres so they will vote for a choice they don't really want. this does not make sense.

it is obvious that the 2 party AMERICAN political system has failed...it had its time...now that time has ended. unfortunatly niether the political system nor the people see this, or more aptly, they refuse to see this. it is time for a 3rd party to step forward but, that chance is taken away by the the current political system. how do i know a 3rd party would be better?? i don't and never will because it will never be given a chance.

the political system is stagnant, festering in its own delusions of magnificance,...that IT IS, the ONLY way. $$. money is what now runs AMERICA. $$ is good but too much of a good thing corrupts. it has corrupted the AMERICAN political system to the point of no return. there is no 'medicine' that can cure it now. this is evident by the current situation in America. sometimes the 'limb' cannot be saved.........................

for those that don't want either to be pres but are going to vote for one, the lesser of two evils,..to vote, just so such and such doesn't become pres.......that is a WASTED VOTE. this election is not going to send a message to anyone other than the current AMERICAN political system. and that message is..'we accept the status quo, we will accept the lesser of two very bad desicions, we will accept what is forced on us, we accept our subservience to an inferior way, we accept that we have no choice.'

many will WASTE their vote in this election rather than send a true message to the political system.

how long can a country stay together,in peace, while divided???



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by scottsquared
I think it symptomatic of the time we live, that mayhaps a collective unconcious knowledge of humanity's flaws and eventual demise, have soured our interpersonal relationships to the point of diametric opposition that we see in our political oppositions.


The sad part is that most Americans (even the two seemingly diametric opposites) are far more similar than dissimilar. Most of the differences are illusion conjured up by the Rep and Dem parties. It's almost as if they want this division amongst the American people. Probably makes us easier to manage in the long run.



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 02:57 PM
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Originally posted by clearmind
this election is not going to send a message to anyone other than the current AMERICAN political system. and that message is..'we accept the status quo, we will accept the lesser of two very bad desicions, we will accept what is forced on us, we accept our subservience to an inferior way, we accept that we have no choice.'


I just can't believe that there are less than 1-2% of the registered voting population that share our view of the system. The elections are probably fixed, only on a much larger scale than most would like to imagine. As ridiculous as it may sound, this thread makes me think of that cheesy slogan that was used for the Alien vs Predator movie that came out this summer. "No matter who wins... WE LOSE!"



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 03:25 PM
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This election, the phrase no longer remains "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Instead, that last clause has been replaced with, "...and the desperate search for a life which isnt as bad as the alternative." THAT my friends, is depressing. And I agree with Veritas- the American people DO want this ssegregation. If they didn't, we would have pro-this or support-that. Yet our TV's, radios, and sidewalks are littered in anti...anti....anti....destroy....defeat.....hate.

I mourn for the children, the innocents. They're born into this mess with no knowledge of how it was, or how it could be.

But more importantly, how it should be.

(and hell, our education system isn't helping in that department either! ha! sorry, i had to say that to kind of lighten the mood of this post!)



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 05:10 PM
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Sounds like Titors Civil War



posted on Oct, 31 2004 @ 06:51 PM
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Originally posted by veritas93

Originally posted by clearmind
this election is not going to send a message to anyone other than the current AMERICAN political system. and that message is..'we accept the status quo, we will accept the lesser of two very bad desicions, we will accept what is forced on us, we accept our subservience to an inferior way, we accept that we have no choice.'





Thank you jb for a thoughtful post - and everyone for your great contributions. ...a true pleasure compared to much else. ...too much to respond to specifically so here's a general ramble.

...I'm a dual citizen, American by birth - would vote for Nader if I thought he could win, and mainly because I think he's the only one with broad AND specific knowledge of the crises facing the nation and world. ...Bush and Kerry seem to have their heads firmly tucked where the sun don't shine. But like many others, I have concluded Kerry would do the least damage, just because he at least has a superficial commitment to ordinary people over multinational corporate interests.

Caught a very interesting Bill Moyers interview today, with a staunch old Republican named Veringues(?). ...Veringues talked openly about the rifts in the Republican party, and the concern that the party has become a front for multinational corporations. He said the old Republican party was committed to individuals and small business - and that while the party was behind Bush until the election, after the election there would be some serious rethinking and re-alignments to pull the party back on track. ...Personally, I don't think they can do it.

...My sense of the general population is that they have been as always, manipulated. ...There's a consensus with pundits that the Republican party uses the media, direct mail and personal contact very well to push party policies. My observations expand this facility to the Net - I have seen board discourse manipulated, neutralized and re-directed over and over again for the past 3 odd years. ...and have concluded that there's an army of nerds assigned to monitor and control Net communities, which does its job quite effectively.

...I've seen a lot of paranoia, and a general awareness that speaking out against Bush or his policies results in backlash. The degree depends upon the individual's influence and power. ...Much like the Nazi's and McCarthy's goons, many people on the 'right' side seem inclined to report dissent as criminal. As a result, open dialogue is suppressed and disagreement is underground. But it is there.

Generally, I suspect there is already a great deal of half-conscious internal strife. A large percentage of the population is already disenfranchised and they do know it. ...Bush had military recruitment ads in hip hop and other sites by early 2002 - a great strategy to find grunts and neutralize dissent by redirecting energy. Current recruitment perks include plastic surgery (!). ...But the strategy seems not to be that effective in terms of percentages. So the problem is still there - hordes of under-employed, poverty stricken and un-directed young adults.

Do I think either Bush or Kerry have the skills and ability to pull the nation together after a win? No. Bush stomps disagreement and dissent - forcing it to steam and predictably, boil out of control. He has damaged too many for too long, at home and abroad. Not sure why Kerry can't...

Unfortunately, Americans have rested on their assumptions for too long, and forgotten that democracy needs nourishment and protection. Hard to see how it will play - except to predict the emergence of a third powerful party by 2008...


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