A Marxist in the White House… Not

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MIAMI – Obama is losing popularity now into his sixth year in office with the average job approval rate down in the 40s.

What abominable atrocities has Obama committed against his constituents? Let’s put aside the accomplishments big or small – like the improvement of public school nutrition, creation of numerous programs to zap corruption, or the support of renewable energy. According to his critics, the dark side includes dubious statements like saving the auto industry, trying to give the population healthcare, not closing Gitmo, and even universal etiquette standards like bowing to Japan’s emperor and shaking hands with Cuban President Raul Castro. quote

Not to mention that some still throw the “communist” label his way.

A revolutionary Marxist in the White House would have by now declared all monthly mortgage payments illegal, expropriated private property, eliminated the bourgeois, etc. So panicked extremists … rest easy. The communist party has no privileged connection with the White House. At most we could brand Obama a Social Democrat for attempting to curb the ravaging excesses of capitalism by means of gradual reforms.

You can’t accuse President Obama of being a dictator. A lengthy debate can be sustained about the quality, structure or efficiency of our shattering Democracy, but in the end we still have our vote. The country isn’t showing any real signs of transforming into a tyranny overnight because the president wrote out a few executive orders without summoning congress. This time saving practice does not put at risk the now revered separation of the branches of government: judicial, legislative or executive.

Instead of focusing only on Obama’s executive powers, a watchful eye should rather be vigilant of the extreme, multi-million dollar lobbying practices happening right under our noses. Businessmen like the notorious Koch brothers are allowed to inject $45 million dollars to buy their share of control in Congress through their self-created “Americans for Prosperity” Organization. The undemocratic nature of this systematic routine clashes with the spirit of the constitution and yet it hasn’t started a Tea Party-led military coup in Washington.

A retired army veteran, Col. Harry G. Riley, is planning a massive revolt called “Operation American Spring” scheduled for May 16. He not only intends to gather millions for the “Constitutional” removal of the president, but also the Vice President, the Senate Majority Leader, the House Speaker and even Nancy Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, among others.

It is not quite original, as this is the typical far-right response when it doesn’t accept what the majority votes for. When the system’s laws are ever so slightly used for unconventional, democratic purposes they are feisty in declaring everything to be unconstitutional. Thus they demand an urgent kidnapping of power via military aid to restore the betrayed principles.

Bearing in mind that the current global context of our time is nowhere near that of 1776, when the United States declared its independence, it seems irrational to attempt to behave in an identical manner of centuries ago.

Misinformed individuals who cry out hysterically that our president is planning to usurp complete power are being emotionally manipulated by Machiavellian fantasies. Barack Obama’s term will end on 2016, and we will watch how he steps down to give the presidential chair to the new winning candidate.

How can we blame Obama when other presidents with very similar jobs but radically different politics are undergoing eerily similar scenarios? Take Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain’s conservative “Popular Party”. He is being urged by protestors to resign while steering a nearly bankrupt country stricken with record-breaking unemployment rates, jaw-dropping poverty statistics and plagued with over-the-top debts. What does a political party that has even been accused of fascism have in common with our Democratic party? Not a thing. It’s just that we’re all tied in some way to a sinking global economy.

I jump to the economic crisis since popularity scores go hand in hand with economic outcomes. Perhaps some of Obama’s critics would like to appear more academic and non-materialistic in judgment, but at the end of the day your voter’s bank balance decides his speech. What would have happened if Romney had won? Aside from whatever business tactics he might have developed in the private sector, it would take more than sneaky maneuvers to avoid the pangs of this global economic crisis. I’m thinking more along the lines of magic.

No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, but our western democracies have hit an iceberg that won’t disappear by neoliberal blows or free market elixirs. If jittery, anxious voters put a Republican in office in 2016, in an attempt to help the economy, the GOP might resort to the old handbook for quick solutions: war.

It is a tragic fallacy that wars give lagging economies an upward boost. The old, already debunked myth was partially established, since right after the Great Depression the U.S. was thrown into World War II, and many believed that warfare and its production of armaments created jobs. In fact, wars are never magically financed; they are paid either through enormous debt or rapid increase of taxes. Either way the people pay the price, both in human loss and in money.

Republicans could try to fool us with this distasteful trick, but our anemic economy will never benefit from a sick form of blood transfusion from far-away battlefields.

At least Obama finally got us out of Iraq.