The content of this webpage, and everything associated with this webpage, is independent of the Peace Corps and the United States Government, though I think they should read it too. This blog solely reflects the experiences and observations of Jake DeBerry.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"America the greatest force for good in the world" ???

Proceed with caution: political rant follows…

This is what the next president of the United States needs to say to the American people (or something like it) : “Listen, we have a lot of problems. These problems are not going to be easy because we keep ignoring them and wishing them away. We need to redefine how we live. We live outside of our means and most seem interested in buying stuff to give them debt they can’t pay, including the government. The Federal Reserve and banks control our lives and our entire monetary system is based on debt…and debt is slavery.

We have 5% of the world’s population but we provide over 25% of its carbon emissions and almost 50% of its trash and almost 50% of its military spending. We spend more on the military than the next 14 countries, combined; while our renewable energy research, infrastructure, education, and many other areas are under-funded. Our wealth inequality is greater now than it has ever been. Our education, health care, and environmental awareness are among the lowest of developed countries. There are more deaths from heart disease per year than from all terrorist acts combined, but we have you scared about terrorism. We need to take action and I am calling among every single American to do their part. The strongest force for good in this world is not America but love and I am asking everyone if your love is enough? We are all in this together and it is time we start acting like it.”

This is my political opinion piece. Since the election is a week away, I’m putting up a short piece about my presidential choice. I voted for Obama (absentee ballot). It would be impossible to capture everything in a 2 page document. I’ll admit, this is more of a rant, a stream of consciousness than anything else.

Of course, feel free not to read this; it doesn’t have anything to do with my activities in Peru. Although, the life of a Peace Corps volunteer certainly adds to one’s perspectives – therefore, the changes within me have both a direct and indirect effect upon my decision-making.

As I mentioned, I have already voted for Obama. I was able to watch 2 of the debates and I’ve done a good amount of reading regarding this election. Since I was 18, there have been 2 elections, and I’ve voted Republican for both of them. Fiscally, I’m conservative. Socially, I’m liberal. In general, I would classify myself as a libertarian. Smaller government, less laws, more individual freedom. In my opinion, as long as you’re not hurting anyone, do what you want.

The most important topics to me this time around are: climate-change and renewable energy, education of our youth, science promotion, and since I plan to continue my travels throughout my life – our reputation abroad and peace.

Obama is by far the smartest choice on each of those topics – and I’d love to read someone’s argument to tell me otherwise. Republicans still will not admit that human carbon emissions are bad for the environment and the main cause of climate change. Our primary and secondary school education is embarrassing. The only reason our universities are still the best is from immigration (In 2006: immigrants accounted for 40% of doctorates in science/egineering and 65% in computer science). I don’t even need to discuss science. The Republican party is controlled by a hypocritical ideology that doesn’t get along with science (although, America still has a high percent of research and development, but a lot of that deals with how to kill people).

Another point about this election is McCain’s choice for VP. We saw over the last 8 year how influential a VP can be. Republicans were trying to blast Obama for his inexperience…then McCain gets Palin – who is a complete dolt on anything outside of Alaska. Yeah, she’s a confident and charismatic woman…but listen to her interviews or the debate…it’s not “gotcha journalism” as she likes to say since she did horrible – it’s the plain fact that she doesn’t know the topics she is supposed to know. She doesn’t even understand the VP job. Yeah…let’s hire her!

Watching McCain in the debates, he said, “America’s best days are ahead of us.” What makes you think that? Our country and its citizens are strapped with the more debt than history has ever known. Our amount of debt is greater than most countries GDP’s. In fact, our entire monetary system is based on debt…but according to McCain, America has a strong economic foundation. He seems more interested in trying to make us feel good when people should be anything but feeling good. For certain, Americans are generally hard workers and productive and innovative…but our monetary system is still based on debt.

The last thing I’ll write deals with Palin and something that has really been bothering me. McCain is a good guy and he would be alright as the president, I think - his senate career has plenty of highlights. But Palin is completely out of her league – which is why a lot of Republicans have asked her to step down and you see a record number of Republicans supporting Obama.

It’s not the fact that she thinks the world is 6,000 years old, or that there are rumors about her trying to ban books, or that she inappropriately used tax payer money, or that she tries to use class-warfare and inspires hate, or that she shot wolf cubs from a helicopter, or that she thinks she has foreign policy experience because she’s geographically closer to Russia than the rest of the states, or that she’s a diva. Something that got to me was what she said at a campaign rally: “We see America as the greatest force for good in the world”.

For one, she didn’t have a passport until 2005. She is almost 20 years my elder and I’ve done more traveling and probably read more books. Anyone who has actually looked into America’s foreign policy will immediately see how one-sided it is and how we use our military power to secure more profits for large corporations. How is it that someone who hasn’t traveled much and can’t name a worthy news publication that she reads can think she is right to say that America is the greatest force for good in the world when she doesn’t know the world? She doesn’t even know America. She has no idea.

In short – I’m supporting Barrack Obama. He is not perfect. But, if I’m choosing between McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden (assuming the green party or libertarian party don't have a chance) – Obama and Biden are the two I see as the better solution for the concerns I have with America and the world, and the future. Think about your concerns and those of your kids and their kids, and go from there.

With love,
jake

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