Nader Was Right: Liberals are Going Nowhere With Obama by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
August 10, 2009

Ralph Nader after the speech - Green Lecture

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

The American empire has not altered under Barack Obama. It kills as brutally and indiscriminately in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as it did under George W. Bush. It steals from the U.S. treasury to enrich the corporate elite as rapaciously. It will not give us universal health care, abolish the Bush secrecy laws, end torture or “extraordinary rendition,” restore habeas corpus or halt the warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of citizens. It will not push through significant environmental reform, regulate Wall Street or end our relationship with private contractors that provide mercenary armies to fight our imperial wars and produce useless and costly weapons systems.

The sad reality is that all the well-meaning groups and individuals who challenge our permanent war economy and the doctrine of pre-emptive war, who care about sustainable energy, fight for civil liberties and want corporate malfeasance to end, were once again suckered by the Democratic Party. They were had. It is not a new story. The Democrats have been doing this to us since Bill Clinton. It is the same old merry-go-round, only with Obama branding. And if we have not learned by now that the system is broken, that as citizens we do not matter to our political elite, that we live in a corporate state where our welfare and our interests are irrelevant, we are in serious trouble. Our last hope is to step outside of the two-party system and build movements that defy the Democrats and the Republicans. If we fail to do this we will continue to undergo a corporate coup d’etat in slow motion that will end in feudalism.


via Truthdig

Copyright © 2009 Truthdig

Chris Hedges is the author of the new book “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.”


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28 thoughts on “Nader Was Right: Liberals are Going Nowhere With Obama by Chris Hedges

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  10. Wow! What a response to yet another excellent piece by Hedges. There may be a temptation here to go cynical. I can understand that very well, having been an activist for decades.
    I would like to point out an activist group that is doing something daring, courageous and inspiring…the 911 Truth movement. I went with to Washington DC to attend and film the AIA convention there and meet with reps from Congress and the Senate to push for a new investigation of the events around 9-11 and call attention to the slopy science of NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The Truth Movement is diverse and passionate. It’s the best thing I’ve ever been involved with.

    On Nader’s points, nothing is ever going to happen until unemployment hits 25-30% unofficially. (The Labor Dept lies about its stats) When people hurt economically, that’s when stuff happens. Stuff means, general strikes, protests in the streets, possible violence, martial law, wide scale labor unrest that will force the big activist unions to close ranks and shut the economy down. Things are simmering right now, but that can’t last for long. We can’t have perpetual simmer. There will be a collapse of the dollar, then things will really heat up.

    To oppose the evil that has become the US corporate-banker state will take organization on a scale never before seen in America. Unions know the way. They just have to experience rank and file take-overs because for the most part, union leadership is hopelessly quagmired in federation squabbles.

    Gandhi showed us the way with work stoppages. This is better than violence but violence is hard to contain once it breaks out on a large scale.

    Join a union now. Reform the ones you’re in and teach everybody how to organize. It’s that or martial law. Easy choice.

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  12. It will take something happening (I mean, actually happening) to the middle class , the way it has been happening to the working class for years, under both parties. But the betrayal from dems hurts more…

    Maybe the middle class lost 1/3 of their IRA”s under this duopolistic scam….the working classes had their traitor unions negotiate their pensions away a long time ago. The Dems didnt do shit.

    The poor never had an IRA to begin with, nor a 401k or anything else. Some had their small homes. Now they dont. The Dems do nothing.

    When the Dems allow insurance “reform” to cut care to seniors and the poor, (rather than asking for some revencue from the rich and regulating banksters salaries) and, then, the GOP cuts social security, under “reform:” and the middle class is all on SSI and Medicaid…maybe the middle class will wake up. It seems that, as long as the deserved ones are reasonably comfortable, they dont really care.

    Its a shame.

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  14. Obama has not one progressive position … not one …

    Go down the list … war … torture … domestic spying … bankster theft and fraud … immigrant raids, the wall … “clean coal, mountaintop removal, superfund stagnation … and last but not least secret deals with Big Pharma behind our backs …

    In fact in many cases Obama is more anti-progressive than Bush!

    You can’t be Pro-Obama and a Progressive too !

  15. we have had more than enough intense shit happen during the bush yaers to wake people up ,to take to the streets by the millions to stop this maddness!!!just the goverments lame story and coverup of 911 should have arroused our citizens to get off their asses and protest,yet nothing!!!!!the open trashing of the world economy and open out right thievery of millions of peoples 401ks,jobs homes,bake accounts and nothing,no
    protests nothing-what the f do these brain dead so called citizens need to make them get angry and protest!!!!!where are!!!!! THE LEADERS WE HAD BACK IN THE 60S&70S i show pictures and proof that the gov lied and was behind 911 every day to everyone i come in contact with and i have yet to meet anyone who gives a shit,they just don’t care!!!!

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  18. This is a brilliant article. There is a phrase Chris Hedges uses about real reform coming not from accommodating the power structure, but by frightening it. Capitalists are truly afraid of the power of the people. That is whey they hire people like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. They want to confuse people into thinking that the capitalist’s interests and their own are identical, when they are exactly opposite. The IWW was once a militant union, which scared the hell out of the capitalists by their tactics. That is one reason wages rose in this country for millions of workers. We owe a lot to people in the past and most Americans know little about them.

  19. I remember that back in the 1950s and 1960s there was an open competition before the world between the United States and the Soviet Union over who could provide the best living standard for the people. The American capitalists were willing to be a little less rapacious toward working people at that time and even allow unions to flourish. Now that the Soviet Union is dissolved, they no longer have to worry and can take the country right back towards 1893, when conditions were extremely bad for everyone but the very rich.

  20. Great article gonna mail it to all my friends and family…btw..I feel pretty good right now (have since I did it about voting for Cynthia McKinney in November 😀

  21. Absolutely “right-on.” Awesome articIe. No one has said it better, and thank goodness people are saying it everywhere, this is the truth of the Left today.

    Yes, it will have to be a crisis. Just like Haymarket Square, or King George sending the soldiers and the tax-collectors, or your neighbor’s kid getting sent home in a box from Vietnam, it will require some horror and crisis…

    What a shame we squandered 2000 and 2004 and let the Republicans steal those elections unchallenged and let the Democrats prove we will indeed get fooled again.

    When the screens go dark and the gizmos don’t work, let’s be ready for inclusion and to Be the Change .

    When the voters and the young people who’ve bought the hype like sheep, bleary-eyed, blinking, come out of their houses, filled with trepidation, walking into a world where the Empire is finally collapsing….. let’s be ready to re-invent the world…..

  22. Nader is right. There is no hope with either the Dumbcrats or the Repugnacans. It has to be a people’s movement from the bottom, but what is going to spark it–another Katrina, a try at a forced vaccination program?

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