Random Thoughts

This Election is About Joe, The Dumber

In 2008 the election may have been about Joe, the plumber, but in reality all US elections are really about Joe and Jane the dumber.

Many decades ago Mencken, a shrewd but clear observer, announced that nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public and that statement has remained true throughout the existence of the nation. There are good reasons to be upset at the Republicans and Democrats who have become nothing but slaves of vested interests without integrity, honesty, courage or decency.

What is amazing is the abysmal ignorance and dearth of thinking of the electorate with attention deficit disorder. They can be blinded by anger or hate to blaming illegal immigrants, intimidated by fear at the mere mention of terrorism, to cast their vote in favor of some demagogue without any strategy or plan or even worse, to be made complete fools by Republicans who have now changed their name to Tea Party hoodlums and who caused the present financial debacle and with their plan of more tax cuts for the rich and gutting the safety net put in by FDR, will cause even more financial catastrophes. This is not an endorsement of the Democrats who want to spend us into crushing debt with a promise of prosperity.

Look at the new UK government. It has cut defense spending, social spending, pensions and is willing to return to a path of fiscal sanity. Greece, Spain, Iceland, Latvia, Ukraine and a host of other countries have bitten the bullet and cut spending drastically. America rejects the bitter medicine and continues unwinnable distant wars out of fear, hubris and obstinacy, even though they serve no vital interest or offer existential threats.

The Republicans want to eliminate Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, while cutting taxes for high earners, and the Democrats want no cuts and live in delusion that exorbitant taxes only on the well off will solve the deficit and all problems. The elderly want to live forever and are unwilling to be denied even marginally useful expensive treatments of questionable efficacy, which may prolong their life for a few weeks with worsening of its quality, but only at the expense of the government or others. They want to transfer their assets to their heirs and have Medicaid pick up their nursing home expenses. Doctors and hospitals partly due to fear of litigation, but mainly out of greed for higher incomes, don’t hesitate to put even demented bedridden patients on life support machines and perform operations and procedures to prolong the agony of the dying.

I can understand and still condemn the hatred of the Obama health plan by businessmen. It will raise their overheads and reduce their profits. Similarly I can understand and condemn the mean spiritedness of the elderly who may have to accept some waiting or rationing of unnecessary, non-urgent, non-effective or prohibitively expensive healthcare. What is amazing is that both these parties do not want a single payer government run health insurance system with low overheads, no profit and supervision by doctors and nurses. At least the rich and elderly lack a Christian spirit and are just mean, but the average (not rich) Joe and Jane who reject the Obama health plan and votes Republican, Libertarian or Tea Party are just plain dumb and stupid and prove Mencken right. 

They say people get the leaders they deserve and that is how we got Obama. He is a smart hypocrite who is an expert in manipulating the system. His dumping of his pastor who spoke the truth, to avoid harming his shot at the presidency and his accepting the Nobel Peace Prize while waging two wars, continuing rendition and torture at Guantanamo and Bagram speaks eloquently of his priorities.

A recent minor decision of a similar nature was his dropping the Amritsar portion of his upcoming trip to India. He wanted to show his ecumenical side and appeal to the Indian vote in 2012 elections. When he was told that he would have to cover his head (A Sikh religious custom) and thus look somewhat like a raghead (a derogatory word for turbaned Muslims) and reminded that after 9-11 some nut in Texas or Arizona shot a Sikh gas station worker thinking he was a Muslim, Obama dropped the visit to Amritsar.

He has enough problems with his name Barak Hussein, a Muslim father and Rush Limbaugh and Dinesh D’Souza like nuts labeling him a Muslim and did not wish to give them further ammunition. After all there are not many Sikh voters in America and not even enough Indian American ones to worry about, so the US not informing the Indian government that David (Daud Gilani) Headley was a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative even though they may have known it a few years before the Mumbai terrorist attacks is not important for America just like arming Pakistan.

Manmohan Singh is not that important either and he can always be bullied, browbeaten or ordered to do what America and Obama want. He, like some other prominent Sikh leader quoted by the New York Times, maybe unhappy or be stupid enough to complain that Queen Elizabeth And Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the Golden Temple of the Sikhs in Amritsar. They need to be reminded that the Sikh and Indian votes are important in the British and Canadian elections.

As President Truman said when he reneged on FDR’s promise to King Saud regarding Israel and Palestine, “There are not enough Arab American votes (or campaign financing or media) for me to worry about”. Obama won’t treat the Chinese that way now, though America may have done so in the past. As to the Indians, Roma and Palestinians, they are the chosen people and Lot is currently in the intoxicated phase and otherwise occupied to bother about the present day Sodom and Gomorrah and the fire and brimstone raining on them.   


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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