September 18, 2012
The Montpelier Manifesto
Barack Obama and the Temple of Doom
by THOMAS H. NAYLOR
The defining image of the Obama White House is a culture of so-called smart power and death – F-35 fighter jets, unmanned killer drones, Navy Seals, Delta Force death squads, and more recently, the White House kill list. In an act of unprecedented arrogance, President Obama has granted himself the authority to order the assassination of anyone, anywhere, anytime, with no questions asked, no trial, no due process – just pure law of the jungle.
And what has been the response of the political Left in Vermont to this egregious behavior? Stony silence. Neither Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy, Peter Welch, Peter Shumlin, nor Bill McKibben has uttered a whimper. The political Left in Vermont is morally and intellectually bankrupt, but so too is the political Right.
The November election is much ado about absolutely nothing. It will make not one whit of difference whether Obama or Romney wins. Regardless of the outcome the real winners will be the big banks, the big oil companies, the big pharmaceutical companies, big military contractors, and the tiny state of Israel.
There is only one fundamental question which really matters and it will not appear on the ballot anywhere. “Is there any justification whatsoever for the continued existence of the largest, wealthiest, most powerful, most materialistic, most environmentally toxic, most racist, most militaristic, most violent empire of all-time – an empire which has lost its moral authority and is unsustainable, ungovernable, and unfixable?”
A number of political groups persist in the belief that the U.S. government is still fixable. They include Ron Paul supporters, the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and 350.org. Although these groups have quite different views on what it will take to fix the empire, they each represent major distractions diverting public attention away from the fact that our nation is beyond repair. Until we come to terms with this reality, all is naught.
As you reflect on Barack Obama and the Temple of Doom, I leave you with two thoughts.
Please help us extricate tiny Vermont from the American Empire so it can join the community of small, self-determined, democratic, nonviolent, affluent, socially responsible, cooperative, egalitarian, sustainable, ecofriendly nations such as Austria, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland.
I invite you to consider The Montpelier Manifesto calling for the peaceful dissolution of the immoral, corrupt, decaying, dying, failing American Empire. Not unlike its predecessor, the 1963 Port Huron Statement issued by the Students for a Democratic Society, The Montpelier Manifesto is aimed at all citizens of the United States, not just those living in Vermont.
Finally, in the immortal words of our very own Irreverend Ben T. Matchstick I bid you farewell in the name of the flounder, the sunfish, and the holy mackerel.
Thomas H. Naylor is Founder of the Second Vermont Republic and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University; co-author of Affluenza, Downsizing the U.S.A., and The Search for Meaning.