Some of the more unsettling things about the outcome of the Cold War, are American attitudes towards globalism, lack of participation in the world community and an allergy toward diplomatic leadership. With these attitudes, one must ask, “why did America fight the Cold War?”
Clearly, the Cold War was an all-out global assault to win supremacy of all planetary politics, labor, ideas and resources. With that victory, America passed beyond the role of a “superpower” and became a meta–power. No other country could match American production, power, cultural influence and economic prowess. But after the elevation to meta–power, the U.S. federal government began a long process of withdrawal from its responsibility of global stewardship, eradicator of poverty, guarantor of democracy and human rights.
But if America did not want to assume those responsibilities why did the federal government fight so hard to win the Cold War? Did the government not understand what it meant to win that war? Why was the Congress negligent in providing funds to rescue third world countries from horrific poverty, hunger and from a lack of healthcare and education?
Looking back, Congress did not spend money to INCREASE healthcare and educational benefits to its own citizens, yet tax revenue increased, Congressional budgets inflated to unprecedented levels but social services declined more sharply than any other time in American history other than the U.S. Civil War.
I think the problem is two fold. One side of the denial is the lack of understanding of world issues by the American people. After 2 decades of living wage contraction, lower educational standards and sharp increases in poverty, Americans may feel a great deal of betrayal on behalf of the federal government.
NAFTA was hailed to be the salvation of the working poor in America; it would eradicate homelessness across the nation and raise the living standards of the citizens of Mexico. The double tap of NAFTA and GATT resulted in the largest transference of wealth out of the pockets of American (and Canadian and Mexican) workers and into the accounts of transnational corporations. The trans–national’s have seen the greatest economic boost ever recorded. The mixture of transnational funding of elections and the outright disempowerment of workers has led to a “heads-down” mentality of most Americans. They are so focused on finding a “decent” job, they do not feel compelled to try to find solutions to world hunger.
The other side of the denial is a corrupt U.S. federal government. It is difficult to look at recent political events and not feel that democracy is a scarce artifact in America.
The appointment of George W. Bush to the Oval Office by the Supreme Court, the Enron financing of the Bush Campaign, the withdrawal of the Bush White House from environmental standards, the bullying of other world leaders and a complete lack of leadership in the securing of a Palestinian state all contribute to American malaise.
I offer these as reasons, not excuses.
Since America is a meta–power and has the moral responsibility to work for the betterment of ALL people, it is up to those of social consciousness to demand a non-corrupt, non-corporate government.
There is no reason why America cannot fully educate its citizens, provide universal healthcare and guarantee a living wage to all workers. There is no reason why America cannot work with others to provide a clean and safe environment, to guarantee human rights and eradicate poverty on a global scale.
The only block to this is simple human greed.
Declining world-wide attitudes towards America is proof that America cannot have things both ways. It cannot bare a face of ultimate power and then don the mask of nonchalance.
It is time for Janus to step down from the throne.
Storm Bear Williams has been involved in politics and political activism since 1980. He was a Presidential candidate in 2000 and received 12% of the Reform Party primary vote; all of it write-in. Mr. Williams went on to form the Pagan Unity Campaign and write the Pagan Bill of Rights in an effort to extend religious and civil rights for Pagans living in America. Currently, Mr. Williams edits the Nausea Manifesto; a political website that has been in operation for ten years.