Between Barack & a Hard Place

Between Barack & a Hard Place

I know, I know. Obamaites will not admit it, but for those of us who grew up on the urban playgrounds of America we all know a beat down when we see one and last night the ‘people’s champ’ got the block knocked off his shoulder and received a good ole fashion playground ‘azz whuppin!

Sure, we will hear cries that Romney didn’t detail any of his plans. Sure, we can say that Jim Lehrer was about as effective as the replacement referees were two-Monday nights ago in Seattle. And, sure, we know that the Mitt-iots out of sheer desperation are going to blow up any punch that Romney threw. Still, none of that changes the reality that we ALL know took place last night which is Romney showed Obama the answer to the age-old question, “What did the 5 fingers say to the face?  SLAP!!!!!!”

What last night illustrated more than facts and figures, more than the superiority of one ideology over the other or even the eloquence and debate prowess of either candidate, is that both of these fighters are really corporate capitalist warriors who are on the same team.  This truth of course irked the Obamites who saw their candidate agreeing with Mitt over a wide-range of issues instead of seeking to deliver that knock-out punch and thus distinguishing him from the money hungry, tax avoiding, 47% dismissing, constantly constipated facial expression having opponent that is Mitt Romney.

This is a crucial teaching moment for thinking Americans.  The real truth that was exposed in last night’s debate is the stark and dark reality that both candidates are seeking to woo the American public into preserving the antiquated, outdated and backward-looking platforms of their respective parties and the corporate interests to which they are beholden.

If there was ever a more persuasive and compelling argument to be made for the necessity of a 3rd party candidate that is not aligned to the corporate status quo, last night was it.

For example, in the ‘debate’ over Obamacare (a concept that Mitt and Obama are not all that different on especially since Mitt is seen as its originator to a degree) neither candidate would tell the plain truth about the issue. Neither was willing to even acknowledge the argument accepted almost universally by every developed nation… that healthcare should be removed from the “free market” altogether. Thirty-two of the thirty-three developed nations have true universal health care, with the United States being the lone exception. The lone exception! Is this the exceptionalism that right-wingers want us to embrace?

Let’s examine that exceptionalism further…When health care reform in Massachusetts and national Obamacare are ushered in, they are not universal healthcare at all, but giveaways to the healthcare insurance industry.  In 2010, the United States spent $2.6 trillion on health care, over $8,000 per American. When that customer base is expanded under Romneycare in Massachusetts or Obamacare nationally, insurance industry profits continue to skyrocket.

Neither candidate truly supports universal health care because to do so would require a real restructuring of this system and would immediately bring the candidates into intense opposition from two of America’s greatest pimps – pharmaceutical corporations and the insurance industry.  Jim Lehrer knows very well not to ask the question “should the health of Americans (or anyone nation for that matter) be treated as just another commodity to be traded by big business?

The truth is that Americans are ready to move beyond the archaic 2-pony show that has dominated American politics. Of course, in order to create a wider space for more grassroots political involvement it would require serious campaign finance reform, not to mention the repeal of Citizens United.  However, if we are ever to be free of corporate-owned candidates, who nod to the mythical “undecided” voters under the sponsorship and direction of the corporate elite, this is a war worth waging.  The reality is that it doesn’t matter that Obama got beat down last night, or if Romney gets KOed in the next round, because both fighters are owned by the same corporate interests.

So while Obama seeks to recover from the Bain Capital Beat Down that Romney dished out last night, we Americans should be asking ourselves if we are truly satisfied with being stuck between a Barack and hard place?

About author

H-Soul Ashemu
H-Soul Ashemu

H-Soul "Soul" Ashemu is a prolific writer, speaker, progressive social activist, and communications professional with more than 20 years of experience as an award-winning columnist and radio/television journalist. Soul also lived in Ghana, West Africa for over ten years working in the non-profit and governmental sectors as a communication specialist. Currently, Soul is the producer of two-online publications and a syndicated TV show by the same name Soul Progressive. Soul attended Howard University and USC Luskins School.

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