I know it’s easy to get caught up in the 5 month Presidential bitchfest that is ahead of us, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter nearly as much as the incessant coverage would suggest. Obama’s policies and Romney’s policies aren’t so drastically different, as is evidenced by the fact that Obamacare was shaped based on a model created by Romney while he was governor of Massachusetts. Obama is a middle of the road pragmatist who drifted towards the center after the 2008 primaries and Romney is a middle of the road pragmatist who is in the process of drifting to the middle for the general election after getting into a conservative pissing match with Mssrs. Santorum & Gingrich. Despite what either side says, the world will not end if either of these men is elected president in November. If we survived 8 years of Bush/Cheney, then we would be able to make it through 4 years of Sir Mitt’s reign (which, knock on every piece of wood within a 50 mile radius of me, won’t come to pass).
It is a different story in Europe, and more specifically, in Greece. I don’t want to come off as some sort of paranoid doomsayer who takes things out of proportion, but Greece is evolving into a fascist state before our eyes. I wrote a while back about the Greek party Golden Dawn which won 7% of the parliamentary vote in the May elections, but things continue to get worse and worse. People are dying in Greece. Ethnically motivated violence happens everyday. Suicide rates are up 40% in the past year. A recent piece in UK’s The Guardian reported that the rate of HIV/AIDS in Athens has risen 1450% in the past year and no, that was not a typo. One year, 14.5 times as many HIV cases in the nation’s capital. Public health programs have been gutted, needle exchange programs scrapped and healthcare made less accessible. Immigrants and other undesirables are rounded up daily by “sanitary police” and held indefinitely. Euphemistic terms like “sanitary police” are a hallmark of fascistic and totalitarian rule. Hitler’s Third Reich had the SS, or Schtzstaffel, which meant Protection Squadron. Mussolini’s Italy had the Blackshirts or MSVN (Voluntary Militia for National Security). Stalin’s Soviet Union had the NKVD or Peoples Commisariat for Internal Affairs. All of these groups committed some of the most inhumane atrocities ever registered in human history with names that sounded harmless enough.
You may be reading this and thinking that I’m overreacting. If all of this was truly going on, then we would hear more about it on the news, wouldn’t we? It would be nice if that were the case, but I don’t believe so. The worst about situations such as these only come out after the smoke has cleared. Right now, the idea of a political party advocating a minefield placed at the border between themselves and another country seems laughable and absurd. But, often enough the absurd has a way of becoming reality. Everything is set up nicely and the conditions are perfect. A country with sky-high unemployment, immense debt and no clear path to recovery. They are being held with their feet to the fire by other nations placing austerity demands on their behavior in return for life-sustaining loans. There is ethnic strife and racism boiling over into mass hysteria and mob violence. Tell me we haven’t seen this movie before.
Here is a link to a blog, the many faces of (new) Athens:
The blogger is a Greek-American who has been living in Greece for the past 15+ and is recording what he sees happening in his adopted country. It is worth a read…I promise.
Categories: Social Justice