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 Blooming Stars

Magic Wand

             The election in the US is going to be on November 6, 2012. All the hype about the election is in the air. People want a quick fix not knowing what got us where we are. They want someone with a magic wand to wave away all the problems. And the politicians are all eager to tell what the people want to hear. This is also a draw-back of democracy as it is now. Persons are not ready for tightening their belts. They do not want to change their lifestyles with regard to unwanted spending. The current democratic climate does not attract to politics the right kind of enlightened candidates with a vision in India or in the US. People are not ready for enlightened politicians. I watched both the presidential debates in the US. I was amused by the Republican candidate telling that he is going to improve the lot of the common people. Yet he, earning about 20 million dollars (10 crores of rupees) last year, paid 14% in income taxes compared to my 15% taxes for my income that is about 1/333 part of his income.

            Now most people know that the global economic slowdown and the economic melt-down in the USA are due to the bad policies of a previous two-term republican president toward the end of whose second term the American economy came to the verge of a collapse even though he had inherited a budget surplus from his democratic predecessor. In his watch the rich became richer and the poor became poorer. Jumping into the Iraq war sacrificing thousands of lives of Americans and allies and many times that of Iraqis, and spending billions of dollars, without adequate scrutiny of facts and international consultations with saner nations was a very serious and costly blunder. As a result the American economy is hemorrhaging; American morale is drooping. The rate of poverty and inequality is increasing. To berate the current president for helping with social programs and to ask for unreasonable increase in budget for armed forces by the Republican contender, when the armed forces themselves are not asking for increase, are unacceptable.

            9/11/2001 (the blow-up of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001 killing about 3000 human beings by fanatic Islamists), another tragic blot – a deep scar of abominable crime - on humanity made another bad turn for humanity. That tragic event dealt a crippling blow to trust among humans. Now everyone is seen as a potential criminal. Instead of using that tragic event for a much-needed soul-searching and serious examination and evaluation of US global policies, defensive and security concerns have taken over the national psyche. There is a pall of fear hanging over the entire landscape. The idea propagated is that nobody is and can be safe anywhere. The terrorists won in that the most powerful government and its institutions have become captives to debilitating fear. We, nay, all nations, need to examine policies and practices with regard to human rights and aspirations of all peoples before engaging in massive outlay of scant financial resources for security in order to prevent such future events. We may need less security if we begin to treat everyone with due respect. But then wise leadership with a global vision is very scarce in supply. Leaders pandering to arrogance and superiority in muscle power and an eventual arms race in a very volatile world to gets votes in an election are not advancing hope for humanity. No national leader worth one’s salt can ill afford to ignore global human rights and aspirations in a fast-changing world.


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