I think pretty much everyone this side of the Atlantic breathed a huge sigh of relief yesterday morning as we awoke to hear that Barack Obama was re-elected as leader of the most powerful nation in the world. Completely understandable given that his opposition, Mitt “I like firing people” Romney looked like a surefire bet to start a nuclear war with whoever he could get congressional approval to destroy. Many of us hailed Obama’s victory as proof that the American people aren’t all bible-beating, homophobic gun nuts (which is roughly correct) and chalked one up for progress and equality. If only it were that simple…
First of all, I want to highlight the ridiculous sums of money involved in the election campaign; between the two campaigns there was well in excess of $1.5 billion spent during the presidential campaign. Pretty sickening huh? Here‘s the full breakdown. The fact is that neither of these men can claim to speak on behalf of the American people, based purely on the amount of capital that they pissed away during the worst economic downturn of the last 50+ years. Just think of all the jobs that money could have created, the medicine it could have bought, the new homes that could have been built, all spent on a frantic scramble for power. It’s more than a little disgusting.
Secondly, and I know this isn’t exactly the popular thing to say, Obama really hasn’t had that good a record. The wars in the Middle East continue, with troops still deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama has totally failed to end the War
of on Terror during his four years in power. This has cost the American people billions of dollars whilst multinational oil companies make even more from the exploitative free market reforms enforced upon the two countries. What’s more, he has failed to deliver on promises to restore civil liberties and actually passed an act which allows anyone held on terrorism charges to be held indefinitely. And where would they be held? Why Guantanamo Bay, of course! The infamous torture-and-execution centre is still very much open for business, despite constant promises that he would close it during his first presidential campaign.
What’s more, since Obama was elected in 2008 he has helped American banks fleece thier customers of $468 billion worth of interest payments on customer accounts, thanks to his Zero Interest-Rate Policy. By dropping interest rates to 0%, Obama has allowed the priviliged few at the top of the banking sector to rake in eyewatering sums of money through cutting the amount that banks have to pay customers with savings accounts. There’s a reason Wall Street had no problem with this guy coming into power.
A huge proportion of Obama’s votes in both 2008 and 2012 came from trade unionists and Latinos, and he has well and truly screwed them over too. During the automotive crisis the commander-in-chief supported a “re-structuring program” which allowed car companies to make huge cuts to jobs, wages and employment conditions in order for these massive international firms to maximise profits. Similarly, Obama has overseen the deportation of 400,00 people from Latin America, after assuring voters that he supported naturalisation of currently illegal immigrants. In fact he has done the opposite, sending people back to countries that have been torn apart by crime and poverty as direct result of U.S. foreign policy.
Looking foward to the next four years, I don’t see many reasons for things to change with Obama in charge; the rich will continue to get richer whilst the poor face crushing austerity, all in the name of the economy, i.e. private profit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still VERY glad Romney lost, but that doesn’t mean that I’m happy that Obama won.
Rant over, thanks for reading.