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How Lucky is the United States?

georgephillip

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"Extremely lucky," in the words of the radical philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky, "that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen."

Chomsky, the author of a massive body of work including nearly 100 books and someone who has spent much of his 81 years exposing and deflating the lies of the power elite and the myths they perpetrate, continues:

"Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response.

"What are people supposed to think if someone says 'I have got an answer, we have an enemy'?

"There (Hitler's Germany) it was the Jews. Here it will be illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation.

"Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany.

"The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists.

"I don't think this is all very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election."

Noam Chomsky remembers the Great Depression vividly.
He recalls his entire family often went without work.

Yet he says: "I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime."
 

Dr.Traveler

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I still to this day think we got lucky with George W. Bush. Say what you want about the man, disagree with his politics, question his intelligence, but the facts are these. After 9/11 he could have pushed and became President for life without a lot of effort. He could have used funding the War on Terror to completely dismantle every entitlement program on the books. He could have used the ability to declare people foreign combatants to detain people all over the nation.

Post 9/11 he gained a lot of power, but he could have easily taken more. Thankfully he wasn't interested in that.

As for the rest, I think there's a possibility for a idealogue to come from both sides. I think the leaderless nature of the Tea Party makes it ripe for coopting and converting to a power base for a very charismatic leader, but I also think the Left has many groups that could just as easily be manipulated to support a rise to power.
 

Avatar4321

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I still to this day think we got lucky with George W. Bush. Say what you want about the man, disagree with his politics, question his intelligence, but the facts are these. After 9/11 he could have pushed and became President for life without a lot of effort. He could have used funding the War on Terror to completely dismantle every entitlement program on the books. He could have used the ability to declare people foreign combatants to detain people all over the nation.

Post 9/11 he gained a lot of power, but he could have easily taken more. Thankfully he wasn't interested in that.

As for the rest, I think there's a possibility for a idealogue to come from both sides. I think the leaderless nature of the Tea Party makes it ripe for coopting and converting to a power base for a very charismatic leader, but I also think the Left has many groups that could just as easily be manipulated to support a rise to power.

I dont see how he possibly could have done anyt of that stuff.

And I disagree with the article completely. We have a charismatic President right now. Ill give him that. But a majority of the population still pays attention to the issues and not just charisma. It's not that we've gotten lucky. It's that we have a society that can easily inform themselves of the facts and understands what policies we want to engage in.
 

uscitizen

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Chomsky for president!

He is a wise man, far wiser than any president in my lifetime.
 

Mr. Peepers

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Chomsky for president!

I concur!!! A brilliant, thoughtful, objective "calls it like it is" writer. His philosophy and writing makes you think, whatever your partisan bent. And everyting is backed up with pure fact.
 
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georgephillip

georgephillip

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I still to this day think we got lucky with George W. Bush. Say what you want about the man, disagree with his politics, question his intelligence, but the facts are these. After 9/11 he could have pushed and became President for life without a lot of effort. He could have used funding the War on Terror to completely dismantle every entitlement program on the books. He could have used the ability to declare people foreign combatants to detain people all over the nation.

Post 9/11 he gained a lot of power, but he could have easily taken more. Thankfully he wasn't interested in that.

As for the rest, I think there's a possibility for a idealogue to come from both sides. I think the leaderless nature of the Tea Party makes it ripe for coopting and converting to a power base for a very charismatic leader, but I also think the Left has many groups that could just as easily be manipulated to support a rise to power.
Do you think maybe Dick Cheney gave some thought to anointing Dubya president-for-life? Cheney came to my mind immediately when I read your "Evil Overlord" quote.

If we ever see an American Hitler, I would expect him to come from the US Military. A 21st Century Smedley Butler might help to restore some of the vital center in this country that Chomsky sees slipping away.

The US left makes a herd of cats look organized.
It's hard for me to imagine they could ever agree on an American Stalin, but there's always Huey Long as a role model.
 

Truthmatters

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I still to this day think we got lucky with George W. Bush. Say what you want about the man, disagree with his politics, question his intelligence, but the facts are these. After 9/11 he could have pushed and became President for life without a lot of effort. He could have used funding the War on Terror to completely dismantle every entitlement program on the books. He could have used the ability to declare people foreign combatants to detain people all over the nation.

Post 9/11 he gained a lot of power, but he could have easily taken more. Thankfully he wasn't interested in that.

As for the rest, I think there's a possibility for a idealogue to come from both sides. I think the leaderless nature of the Tea Party makes it ripe for coopting and converting to a power base for a very charismatic leader, but I also think the Left has many groups that could just as easily be manipulated to support a rise to power.

He never would have been elected president for life.

He had to cheat to become president
 
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georgephillip

georgephillip

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I still to this day think we got lucky with George W. Bush. Say what you want about the man, disagree with his politics, question his intelligence, but the facts are these. After 9/11 he could have pushed and became President for life without a lot of effort. He could have used funding the War on Terror to completely dismantle every entitlement program on the books. He could have used the ability to declare people foreign combatants to detain people all over the nation.

Post 9/11 he gained a lot of power, but he could have easily taken more. Thankfully he wasn't interested in that.

As for the rest, I think there's a possibility for a idealogue to come from both sides. I think the leaderless nature of the Tea Party makes it ripe for coopting and converting to a power base for a very charismatic leader, but I also think the Left has many groups that could just as easily be manipulated to support a rise to power.

I dont see how he possibly could have done anyt of that stuff.

And I disagree with the article completely. We have a charismatic President right now. Ill give him that. But a majority of the population still pays attention to the issues and not just charisma. It's not that we've gotten lucky. It's that we have a society that can easily inform themselves of the facts and understands what policies we want to engage in.
I think it's a huge stretch to say the majority of US citizens pay attention to any but the major blips on our political radar. For example, most citizens probably noticed when Joseph Andrew Stack crashed his small plane into an office building in Austin, Texas, hitting an IRS office and committing suicide.

How many of us realized Stack left behind a manifesto, explaining why he choose this particular ending to his life? Noam Chomsky found the document worth reading and commenting on:

" (Stack's) story begins when he was a teen-aged student living on a pittance in Harrisburg PA near what once was a great industrial center. His neighbor was a woman in her 80s, surviving on cat food, the 'widowed wife of a retired steel worker. Her husband had worked all his life in the steel mills of central Pennsylvania with promises from big business and the union that, for his 30 years of service, he would have a pension and medical care to look forward to in his retirement.

"'Instead he was one of thousands who got nothing because the incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their retirement. All she had was Social Security to live on..'"

If enough Americans are forced through no fault of their own to exist on cat food, you can bet your life there will be a million Joe Stacks.
 
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georgephillip

georgephillip

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Chomsky for president!

He is a wise man, far wiser than any president in my lifetime.
Maybe too wise to waste on the presidency. I would prefer to see all presidential wanna-bees sit down individually for a televised one-on-one conversation/debate with Chomsky on the subject of "American Exceptionalism."
 

Immanuel

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I still to this day think we got lucky with George W. Bush. Say what you want about the man, disagree with his politics, question his intelligence, but the facts are these. After 9/11 he could have pushed and became President for life without a lot of effort. He could have used funding the War on Terror to completely dismantle every entitlement program on the books. He could have used the ability to declare people foreign combatants to detain people all over the nation.

Post 9/11 he gained a lot of power, but he could have easily taken more. Thankfully he wasn't interested in that.

As for the rest, I think there's a possibility for a idealogue to come from both sides. I think the leaderless nature of the Tea Party makes it ripe for coopting and converting to a power base for a very charismatic leader, but I also think the Left has many groups that could just as easily be manipulated to support a rise to power.

I dont see how he possibly could have done anyt of that stuff.

And I disagree with the article completely. We have a charismatic President right now. Ill give him that. But a majority of the population still pays attention to the issues and not just charisma. It's not that we've gotten lucky. It's that we have a society that can easily inform themselves of the facts and understands what policies we want to engage in.

I agree I don't see how President Bush could have accomplished any of those tasks.

As for President Obama, yes, he is charismatic, but the premise of the OP is that we are lucky that a charismatic AND honest individual has not arisen. President Obama is charismatic... he is not honest.

Immie
 
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georgephillip

georgephillip

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Chomsky for president!

I concur!!! A brilliant, thoughtful, objective "calls it like it is" writer. His philosophy and writing makes you think, whatever your partisan bent. And everyting is backed up with pure fact.
It's no accident the business press advises their readers to ignore Chomsky at their peril. And Noam advises his readers to pay attention to the unvarnished corporate truths that can only be found when capitalists speak to each other.

Right now I expect many conservatives and progressives would enjoy watching Chomsky grill a corporate rock star like Lloyd Blankfein or John Paulson.
 
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georgephillip

georgephillip

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I still to this day think we got lucky with George W. Bush. Say what you want about the man, disagree with his politics, question his intelligence, but the facts are these. After 9/11 he could have pushed and became President for life without a lot of effort. He could have used funding the War on Terror to completely dismantle every entitlement program on the books. He could have used the ability to declare people foreign combatants to detain people all over the nation.

Post 9/11 he gained a lot of power, but he could have easily taken more. Thankfully he wasn't interested in that.

As for the rest, I think there's a possibility for a idealogue to come from both sides. I think the leaderless nature of the Tea Party makes it ripe for coopting and converting to a power base for a very charismatic leader, but I also think the Left has many groups that could just as easily be manipulated to support a rise to power.

He never would have been elected president for life.

He had to cheat to become president
It's hard to imagine Bush could even have been elected president-for-life, but had enough Americans publicly questioned how two planes pulverized three skyscrapers at virtual free-fall speed, Bush/Cheney might have felt the need to "temporarily" suspend all Constitutional guarantees.
 
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georgephillip

georgephillip

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I still to this day think we got lucky with George W. Bush. Say what you want about the man, disagree with his politics, question his intelligence, but the facts are these. After 9/11 he could have pushed and became President for life without a lot of effort. He could have used funding the War on Terror to completely dismantle every entitlement program on the books. He could have used the ability to declare people foreign combatants to detain people all over the nation.

Post 9/11 he gained a lot of power, but he could have easily taken more. Thankfully he wasn't interested in that.

As for the rest, I think there's a possibility for a idealogue to come from both sides. I think the leaderless nature of the Tea Party makes it ripe for coopting and converting to a power base for a very charismatic leader, but I also think the Left has many groups that could just as easily be manipulated to support a rise to power.

I dont see how he possibly could have done anyt of that stuff.

And I disagree with the article completely. We have a charismatic President right now. Ill give him that. But a majority of the population still pays attention to the issues and not just charisma. It's not that we've gotten lucky. It's that we have a society that can easily inform themselves of the facts and understands what policies we want to engage in.

I agree I don't see how President Bush could have accomplished any of those tasks.

As for President Obama, yes, he is charismatic, but the premise of the OP is that we are lucky that a charismatic AND honest individual has not arisen. President Obama is charismatic... he is not honest.

Immie
Obama is at least the liar Clinton and Bush were, yet many on the left seem incapable of judging him by the content of his character and policies.

Given the current frail nature of advanced capitalism, I don't see how this republic survives another six years with Obama at the helm.
 

Immanuel

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I dont see how he possibly could have done anyt of that stuff.

And I disagree with the article completely. We have a charismatic President right now. Ill give him that. But a majority of the population still pays attention to the issues and not just charisma. It's not that we've gotten lucky. It's that we have a society that can easily inform themselves of the facts and understands what policies we want to engage in.

I agree I don't see how President Bush could have accomplished any of those tasks.

As for President Obama, yes, he is charismatic, but the premise of the OP is that we are lucky that a charismatic AND honest individual has not arisen. President Obama is charismatic... he is not honest.

Immie
Obama is at least the liar Clinton and Bush were, yet many on the left seem incapable of judging him by the content of his character and policies.

Given the current frail nature of advanced capitalism, I don't see how this republic survives another six years with Obama at the helm.

I agree regarding the Clinton, Bush statement.

I think we will survive the next six years.

I am, however, afraid that our time is running out. We are eating ourselves up from the inside out. All the other great civilizations have collapsed. I don't think we will be any different. Unless, of course, the end of time comes before we succeed in destroying ourselves.

Immie
 

Polk

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I agree I don't see how President Bush could have accomplished any of those tasks.

As for President Obama, yes, he is charismatic, but the premise of the OP is that we are lucky that a charismatic AND honest individual has not arisen. President Obama is charismatic... he is not honest.

Immie

Obama is well-spoken. Charismatic though? I wouldn't say so. He's very level, which comes off to people as cold.
 

Polk

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As for Chomsky's comment, he's generally way out in space, but he's right on this issue. The setup of our government makes it extremely vulnerable to the type of leader he describes. If you look at other nations which have used our Constitution as a model, they've been plagued with unstable governments for exactly that reason.
 

Immanuel

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I agree I don't see how President Bush could have accomplished any of those tasks.

As for President Obama, yes, he is charismatic, but the premise of the OP is that we are lucky that a charismatic AND honest individual has not arisen. President Obama is charismatic... he is not honest.

Immie

Obama is well-spoken. Charismatic though? I wouldn't say so. He's very level, which comes off to people as cold.

I'd have to disagree with you. I think he is generally a charismatic person.

When I first heard about him, I thought, now there is a man I can support as President. Of course, by the time the elections came around, I literally despised both parties and you could not have gotten me to vote for either main party candidate if you held a gun to my head and dared me not to vote for one of them.

Immie
 

Dr Grump

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I still to this day think we got lucky with George W. Bush. Say what you want about the man, disagree with his politics, question his intelligence, but the facts are these. After 9/11 he could have pushed and became President for life without a lot of effort. He could have used funding the War on Terror to completely dismantle every entitlement program on the books. He could have used the ability to declare people foreign combatants to detain people all over the nation.

Post 9/11 he gained a lot of power, but he could have easily taken more. Thankfully he wasn't interested in that.

As for the rest, I think there's a possibility for a idealogue to come from both sides. I think the leaderless nature of the Tea Party makes it ripe for coopting and converting to a power base for a very charismatic leader, but I also think the Left has many groups that could just as easily be manipulated to support a rise to power.

He could not have done no such thing while the Dems ran your Congress...
 

Polk

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I still to this day think we got lucky with George W. Bush. Say what you want about the man, disagree with his politics, question his intelligence, but the facts are these. After 9/11 he could have pushed and became President for life without a lot of effort. He could have used funding the War on Terror to completely dismantle every entitlement program on the books. He could have used the ability to declare people foreign combatants to detain people all over the nation.

Post 9/11 he gained a lot of power, but he could have easily taken more. Thankfully he wasn't interested in that.

As for the rest, I think there's a possibility for a idealogue to come from both sides. I think the leaderless nature of the Tea Party makes it ripe for coopting and converting to a power base for a very charismatic leader, but I also think the Left has many groups that could just as easily be manipulated to support a rise to power.

He could not have done no such thing while the Dems ran your Congress...

At the time of the attack, the Republicans controlled the House and had de facto control of the Senate (they were a 51-49 minority officially, but Blue Dogs were so terrified of them that they acted as functional Republicans).
 

Samson

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"Extremely lucky," in the words of the radical philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky, "that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen."

Chomsky, the author of a massive body of work including nearly 100 books and someone who has spent much of his 81 years exposing and deflating the lies of the power elite and the myths they perpetrate, continues:

"Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response."

I haven't read anything of Chomsky except this small example.

Either the quote was taken out of context, or Chomsky is a "partisan hack."

MLK was charismatic (AND a preacher:eek:)

JFK was charismatic

Ghandi was charismatic

Are all these "such obvious crooks?":confused:
 

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