Opinion / Han Dongping

Obama's second term class war

By Han Dongping ( Updated: 2012-11-14 13:24

Obama's second term class war

The famous American comedian Jon Stewart commented before the election that Obama was the luckiest man in the world because he had an opponent like Romney who made his re-election easier despite the dire US economic situation. The comedian also concluded that Mitt Romney was the second luckiest man in the world because his opponents in the Republican primaries made so many mistakes that he was able to win the Republican nomination.

Some Obama’s supporters were disappointed by his performance in his first term. Diplomatically, he received the Noble Peace Prize while he stepped up the US military campaigns. Obama’s administration supported the bombing of Libya, killing hundreds and thousands of innocent people. To add insult to injury, the “liberators” billed Libya over 50 billion dollars for their services, which amounted to Libya’s oil revenue for the next fifty years. The Libyans will learn that their troubles have just begun.

Obama’s Libya doctrine demonstrated the US has chosen to stand with Western colonialism again, like Truman did after World War II, in supporting the French and British colonialism despite US anti-colonial traditions of the past. As a result, the US lost the moral high ground among third world countries.

Obama’s intervention in Libya will be another turning point for American foreign policy. The death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his bodyguards in Benghazi is only the beginning, and America’s trouble in Libya and the surrounding regions has just started. I hope that Obama and his administration see the writing on the wall as soon as possible before it is too late.

The backbone of American power is its military-industrial complex, which generated wealth by selling weapons, and guaranteed American control of the international financial system.

Whoever dared to challenge US’s dominance over the international financial system, will have to face the US military threat. As the Euro emerged, the US and NATO started bombing the former Yugoslavia, creating a mess in the backyard of Europe. Saddam Hussein of Iraq threatened to abandon the US dollar as the settlement currency for its oil, and therefore, Iraq became part of the axis of evil and Saddam was eliminated by the American military. Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea refused to accept the US dollar for their trade, and they are all part of the axis of evil, facing constant military harassment by the US.

The US economy is in very bad shape right now, but the US military is still an unstoppable force in the world.

I hope that the US government and the American people have learned some lessons from its military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan and decide to stop waging any more wars. But ultimately, it is up to the people of the whole world to make a joint effort to prevent the US government from engaging in more senseless wars.

Obama was able to win re-election mostly because of his domestic policy. During his first term, spending on Medicaid and scholarships more than doubled, amounting to a trillion dollar deficit.

Many of Obama’s opponents had already accused Obama’s policy as class warfare. Of course, it is class warfare. What else can one expect in a class society? Politics is about who gets what, how, and when. The rich want to cut taxes, but the poor want to have benefits which they believe they deserve.

In order to please both sides, the American politicians have been borrowing money to cut the taxes for the rich and to provide benefit for the poor at the same time. But you can only mortgage your future and your children’s future for so long, because the money borrowed has to be paid back sooner or later.

Therefore Obama and the Republican controlled House will have to engage in more class warfare to fight out a middle ground for the country’s future in the next four years. That is what politics is all about.

In good economic times when the US government had more money to spend, it was relatively easy for both parties to find more leeway. But with a looming national debt crisis and a large budget deficit, compromising will become harder.

More importantly, the poor and the minorities in the US are becoming more politically savvy and they are participating in the democratic game more actively than ever before, which will push Democratic Party leaders to fight for their benefits more aggressively.

I strongly believe that this class warfare will drive the US forward to a better future, and America’s future will be better because of it.

The author is a Professor of Warren Wilson College in the US.

The opinions expressed here do not represent the views of the China Daily website


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