February 2012        

International

“The greatest competition of ignorance and idiocy I’ve ever seen”


Looking at the candidates being proposed by the Republican Party for the presidency of the United States, one can easily agree with Fidel Castro’s comment in January that the selection procedure was “the greatest competition of ignorance and idiocy I’ve ever seen.” This short comment accurately sums up also the choice Americans will have in November.
     With procedures under way to select the candidate who will challenge Barack Obama for the presidency, there seems to be one essential qualification for the job: money, and masses of it. Whoever is selected by those people in November who bother to go out and vote, the outcome will be the same for working-class Americans.
     Republican or Democrat, the pool of choice is infested with money-hungry sharks. These men who would be leaders know the suffering their policies will inflict on the working people of America, and they simply don’t care. All of them have accumulated a vast wealth through the unfair privileges offered by capitalism. They have built up empires on the backs of the slaves that are the average American workers.
     Given the fact that the differences between the two parties are minimal and superficial at best, the outcome of the election will mean further agony for the hardest-hit in the United States.
     Mitt Romney, the former leader in the Republican selection race, has a personal wealth of over $200 million. Most of it is stashed away in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. Known as a vulture capitalist, Romney made his money by buying small companies, sacking their low-paid workers, and then selling them off for a massive profit.
     Romney was a Mormon “missionary” and a prominent figure in that organisation. He receives $370,000 a year as payment for speaking at social occasions. One such payment would take an average American seven to ten years to earn, yet Romney refers to it as “not that much.”
     Then we have Newt Gingrich, who has a fortune of $11 million, and refuses to disclose how he obtained it. It is known, though, that he earned a massive sum working for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, a government-sponsored bank, at different dates between 2000 and 2008. This is the bank that heralded the collapse of the economy and was known for its crooked and greed-driven dealings.
     Gingrich has also been known to be paid up to $40,000 for a speaking occasion. He is a racist, and has referred to the Palestinian people as “an invented people.”
     Rick Santorum is another Republican Party bigot who is known for his personal crusade in the US Congress against workers. In March 2006 he voted against raising the minimum wage by one dollar—a man who has a fortune of $2 million and who earned $174,000 a year from his senator’s salary alone.
     Santorum, like Gingrich, is known for his racism and xenophobia. He has also compared homosexuality to incest.
     The last of the Republican Party hopefuls is Ron Paul. He is a Texan “libertarian” who wants to remove altogether the welfare state (what exists of it). He is also paid $174,000 in congressional salary, in addition to his personal wealth of $3 million.
     The fact that Obama himself is a champion of corporate interests, had a wealth of $1.3 million before becoming ppresident and also had strong ties with capitalist financial institutions means that this race has two horses that come from the same stable: Corporate America.
[AF]

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