The world’s great land of opportunity has already cracked two great glass ceilings in one fell swoop with its 2008 presidential election campaign. A Black man and a White woman became the contenders for candidacy in the presidential election on the Democratic ticket, one of the country’s two major political parties. Those cracks at the national level are now set to resound at the global by overturning millennia-long presumptions about human relations.
The Republican Party, as the other major party in the United States, has made election of the Democratic slate mandatory if the country is not to regress into the Dark Ages well beyond the country’s 1776 birth to the pre-Darwinian. By nominating an acknowledged war-hero but a loose-canon candidate as its uncontested presidential candidate, America’s conservative party has unleashed onto its slate a vice-presidential candidate who would undo monumental strides in liberating human potential the world over.
The vice-presidential candidate, a heartbeat away from a president in advanced age, is a woman who opposes choice, belongs to a church that “prays away the gay” and is such a political neophyte she needs a media-shield and concessions in a debate with her counterpart. She refuses to cooperate in an investigation in her home state of Alaska even as her Party is hounded by eight years of fallouts from cover-ups of Constitutional violations, smear tactics, torture and a treasonable manufacture of grounds for war. She conducts her business in the same secrecy that has led to a crash of America’s financial institutions and is presumably running for the highest seat in the country in the blind belief that a scared American public in a storm will cling to the security of a devil that is at least known.
The known devil on which the conservative element in the United States is operating is the primitive tactic of intimidation and of dictating how others should live based on personal ideology and a forcing of national views onto others, through war if necessary. In reality, however, the big picture of history shows that diplomacy makes the big gains in social and political advances while wars enrich arms manufacturers and users, including in the modern world, terrorists adept at the colonial tactic of “divide and conquer.”
Certainly threats exist. Competition among nations is as fierce as among Wall Street traders. But interdependence among the world’s 200 countries has implications that must be addressed if the world itself is to continue.
The global climate change that influences migratory patterns of fish impacts on the fishery industry and affects the economy of every one of the world’s 200 countries. Diseases that travel on airplanes don’t apply for visas. Natural resources such as oil and water, through rivers, lakes, seas and oceans, don’t stop at national borders.
Invasion has proven ineffective in ensuring free flow. Negotiation is the keyword of the modern world and that implies engagement. Engagement with the world means getting to know the world’s people so as to know who are the friends and enemies. In the modern global world, it is no longer possible to rely on an authority’s word about a situation that can lead an American family into losing sons and daughters to a misguided national war misadventure.
The wake-up call presented to the American people by the 2008 presidential election has less to do with race or gender than it has to do with old order versus new. The vote in November will decide whether America goes forward on the secretive, defensive, blustering posturing that has led to the country’s decline, or whether the country engages with the world in a revolution to oust the historic business-as-usual through aggression and threats and to engage with the new order on an adventure into the unknown with people of every nationality, race, color, ethnicity and cultural norm.
The jury is out on the decision of how the country will go until the November US election. The choices, however, are clear.
One choice is to lead the world in a revolutionary new direction that smashes current presumptions about race, gender, nationality and entitlements based on the outdated maxim of “might makes right” by turning the saying around into “right makes might.” The other choice is to go the way of all previous great empires and to fade into oblivion due to blindness to change.
Helen Fogarassy is a New York based internationalist writer who has worked on a contract basis with the United Nations for nearly 20 years. She is the author of a suspense novel, The Midas Maze, about murderous hijinks in UN/US relations. She is also the author of The Light of a Destiny Dark, a novel about the Euro-American cultural gap through Hungarian eyes, and a nonfiction eyewitness tribute to the UN’s work, Mission Improbable: The World Community on a UN Compound in Somalia. All are available on the major web bookstore sites.
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