Into the Arms of Despotism?

After watching some public television tonight, and an interesting round-table political forum full of experts and journalists I've never heard of, I got to thinking, and that is always dangerous.

There was a unanimous consensus that the general public was craving change from the Bush regime so badly that they are looking to elect anyone who isn't Bush. The sentiment is echoed on the "Anyone but Bush" bumper stickers one sees about town. More than a desire for change, however, is the fervent nature of new political followers. I know that we all understand the need for change, the need to get away from Bush and Cheney style politics, and generally speaking, an overhaul to fix what ails this country. However, the fact remains that Bush isn't running for re-election, so why are we still pushing for anyone but Bush? We already have that demand covered.

The worrisome part of the new political climate among the masses is the rate at which it is moving. You might be thinking to yourself at this moment, "But wait, Anok? Aren't you constantly calling for change, for action? Immediately at that?" Why yes I am, and I would not go so far as to say that the fever pitch of political change is a bad thing. We do need change, and we do need it quickly.

The concern comes into play when you begin to analyze the international and national climate alike, with regards to change that has already occurred, stability, or lack thereof, and history. In every history book there is a warning, a big red flag that pops up with regard to political change. It happens, typically, when the masses feel that they haven't been listened to or treated fairly, and begin to clean house, and enthusiastically support the "bringer of change". It is a mob mentality issue, that is to say, we can all get caught up in it.

History also tells us that the kind of sweeping reconstruction we are clamoring for doesn't always go badly, but when it does, it does so with paramount repercussions.

The problem isn't the call for something different, but rather the impassioned, and sometimes blind following it creates. It leaves a power vacuum of sorts, and if the wrong person fills the vacancy, or says exactly what the mob wants to hear, we could be in a lot of trouble. The Bush administration has left gaping holes in the security of the average citizen's privacy, and constitutional rights. It has mocked the constitution on many issues, and even thumbed it's nose at international laws and treaties. What that does is propagate an imbalance of power geared towards a president and his or her second in command. The damage to governmental checks and balances has already been done, and most fear will get worse. Should the wrong sort of person get into a position that already grants too much power to the country's leader, the next step isn't hard to imagine. Neither Congress nor the populace will have the power to stop the US from becoming a dictatorship.

Hopefully, if you are an optimist you may already be thinking this, the presidential candidates are not corrupt, or will not succumb to the drug like effects that power has on a person. Hopefully, we will not fall for a candidate who wants change, only to realize a day later that the kind of change he or she will initiate isn't quite what we had hoped and dreamed of. That doesn't mean, however, that we should throw caution to the wind. In fact, a regime change such as the one to take place in one year's time, is or should be, the cause of sleepless nights and heartburn. At least, to the political junkies out there reading everything in print, and even picture books too.

The international cooperative efforts, otherwise known as the globalization of economic, political and military powers, has destabilized the international community more so than it has benefited the safety of the world. In an age with new technology, international "easy access" policies, quick transportation, and online communities that open up dialog and organization across the globe, the game of political tug of war just got a bit nastier, and more dangerous. Prior to World War II, the world, with all of its problems, still had base countries who maintained a certain degree of autonomy and certainly the sheer power of a very real threat. Russia was Russia and Germany was a power unto itself, the US had a powerful military and a particular aptitude that generally helped anchor the world with some modicum of peace and security. There was a stability there, without the financial ties and energy dependence, and fight for domination the large, powerful countries could stand fairly well on their own, and the reputation alone seemed to be enough.

Today, as we can all plainly see, this is not the case. Contrary to days of yore small groups of people can now get together and create a great deal of damage to a country using these new technologies. That might sound like a call of fear towards terrorism, but it isn't, it is simply a statement of fact. Governments can spy on other countries, as well as their own with much more accuracy, and could theoretically pin point and target particular groups for the simple sake of dissent or harassment.

Should the mob get too excited, a little too enthusiastic about the idea of change, the seemingly impossible could happen. If the country collectively lost its ability to reason, and see clearly a unified, yet non aggressive vision for the future the door for a despot will be left wide open, no keys required.

I personally live in a world of reality, and I feel that should something like that happen, should we jump off a dangerous cliff simply to get away from some wolves, the world as a whole would not recover from the consequences, nor would anyone be able to stop it.

That is not to say that you shouldn't support who you want to support, it is only a cautionary thought meant to encourage the average citizen out there to keep themselves from dying because of an overdose of political enthusiasm. We cannot settle for just "Anyone but Bush". We cannot let passion cloud sound judgment. We cannot fall prey to the same tactics and political use of mass hysteria, fear, propaganda, and desire as our predecessors have.

We must encourage change, we must pave the way for progress, however we must not lose sight of the ultimate goal.

Related post: Dictatorship in America?


Anonymous said...

I've noticed this as well. The "vast right wing conspiracy" refers to this as "bush derangement syndrome" from time to time.

I think you make some great points. A "mob" feeling would be bad for stability. I agree that change is needed, although my own sentiments are different, and that we must keep our heads about us.

Dave Dubya said...

We know McCain would not relinquish any of Bush's ill-gotten powers, but what about Clinton or Obama? God only knows what kind of deals they have made with whomever to get this far.

Too bad this is the kind of question the corporate media would never ask.

an average patriot said...

Good one Anok!
I have to say that now that Romney threw his hane in whith McCain we are in serious trouble as Hillary never will, we will remain divided, and Mccain and Giuliani will get in guaranteeing a continuation of Bushs nightmare and Bush will not have to declare martial law.
We want change and can't stop pushing for it but it won't happen. After watching Romney's speech today and hearing the chilling call to arms against the enemy of America Democrats and hearing the rallying cries and cheers man we are fighting a serious uphill battle but we must persevere.
There are still too many who think we're crazy and will never realize what we are up against like my brother in law who thinks I'm a cerazy fanatic!

Anok said...

Thanks for the comments, guys!

To me, it is a sad and disturbing situation when two seriously opposing sides can take one look at the current SNAFU situation, and agree with each other. Thats not to say that unity is disturbing, but rather it is a testament to the really bad state of affairs...when things re so bad, even enemies become friends!