"Gulliver's Travels" is generally thought of as a children's book. That's because people read a simplistic adaption with its funny drawing of little men tying up a giant Gulliver. The real story by Jonathan Swift is a lengthy, biting adult satire and head-on criticism of British royalty and government, not to mention lawyers and anyone else Swift could get his scathing humor upon. Well, Swift was Irish, so a bit of poking of the lordish Brits is expected. The story is classic intellectual insult of the 10th degree. Hard reading, I might add. I'd take it five pages a day with a John Grisham novel on the side for casual reading.
Sometimes I feel a political bitterness similar to that Swift exudes. It has cropped up on two occasions this past week, one dealing with America the other with the Philippines. It lacks humor, I fear.
I'll take America first.
The American Ship of Fools
I have for some time thought Mitt Romney, as Captain of the Good Ship America, would represent the nation as George Bush did. As a ship of fools. I find Mr. Romney both stiff and pedantic, as well as unprincipled. Willing to shift a viewpoint because he might get more votes, not because it is good for America.
|Aspiring Captain Romney|
He has been predictably nasty in criticizing President Obama, whom I hold up as an intellectual and leadership giant among American presidents, the lagging economy and a few gaffes being simply the realities of a difficult job. One of the criticisms of the President that Mr. Romney makes is that President Obama is an "apologist" for America on the international stage. As if President Bush had the right tack, unilateral arrogance and unmitigated sneering at other countries. And he suggests Mr. Obama doesn't understand business, as if the only people who do are vulture capitalists like the Snobster.
Well, Mr. Romney is learning that playing the diplomatic game requires exactly the kind of respectful nuance that President Obama gives other leaders and nations. Starting his tour of Europe, the Mittster succeeded in offending all of England by sneering at the preparation the Brits have made regarding the Olympics. After all, Mitt ran the Olympics in Salt Lake City a few years ago, so he knows how to do it. British Prime Minister Cameron shot back that it is easier to run an Olympics "in the middle of nowhere". So you know Romney blew that one big time. And given the box he has built for himself that look a lot like a political coffin, he cannot apologize for his poor choice of words.
He also failed to remember the name of a British dignitary standing right next to him. And an aide started the whole trip off by suggesting (black) Mr. Obama can't really understand Brits like (white) Mr. Romney can. Boy howdy, that raised a stink across America, white and black.
This U.S. presidential campaign is nasty. It reflects the anger building in America as more and more people are pushed into extremes by loud, manipulative name-calling entertainment scavengers like Rush Limbaugh. Although an ardent capitalist, I turned against the whole Republican method, manner and madness a couple of years ago when the Chair of the Republican Party suggested that Republicans are the "real Americans". Then what the hell was I doing in Viet Nam with my independent ass on the line, Mr. Steele?
They are idiots, the whole party. Unprincipled in their closed-minded extremist principles. Dealing for their own advantage, not the public's. I would almost swear they were schooled in the Philippines. A lot of democrats are also scurrilous and skunky, congressional leaders Pelosi and Reid amongst them. They play the vindictive card as if they trained on Mindanao.
If Mr. Romney is elected President, the U.S. is gone for good. Destined to the historical waste heap of arrogant superpowers, sooner rather than later.
The Philippine Ship of Fools
You know I support President Aquino, right? I think he is good for the Philippines. His anti-corruption stance has slammed the door on big ticket theft. The economy is ticking along nicely, whether by accident or design, who knows. But the stability is by design. The increase in debt ratings to near investment status, the roaring stock market, the glowing international press. That can be placed squarely on the reputation and deeds of Mr. Aquino.
- "A good guy. Not corrupt. Honest. Sincere."
Then let me ask you, have we been tricked? Led by the bright yellow glow onto a ship, a rusty barge, filled with Filipino and transplanted fools?
IS IT TRUE?
- Is it true that the allocation of development funds (pork) is blatantly political, rather than business-like and objective, to build a better Philippines? If so, do Secretary Abad and his financial people not understand that this is a form of corruption? It is the nasty trade of favors that sets aside the PEOPLE'S INTEREST in favor or the favored? Does the "good" Mr. Aquino not understand that this is the same value stream that leads to corruption? Funds to the favored? I don't like the Arroyos either, but why punish the decent Filipinos who live in their districts by withholding development funds?
|First Mate Abad|
- Is it true that the investigations of Ms. Arroyo and Mr. Corona were amateurish and incomplete? If so, what the hell is Ms. De Lima doing on the roster of Supreme Court Chief Justice nominees? I thought we were interested in competence. Is this another one of those "favor" deals?
- Is it true that Chinese fishing boats are ripping up coral just off the coast of Palawan, and the Philippine Coast Guard is not permitted to try to stop it in favor of "diplomatic discussions"? Have you ever tried to have a diplomatic discussion with a bully in heat? Because that is what China is behaving like. The Administration won't undertake specific acts to defend Philippine soil . . . er, seas, resources, whatever? Do I hear the grunting sound of a nation rolling over?
- Is it true that SALN reports of legislators are "off limits" to public inquiry? Giving the authors the time to doctor the paperwork of these documents that assure a properly manipulated "transparency"? In other words, transparency only counts when it can be used to nail an opponent, like Mr. Corona? Do you grasp how CORRUPT that thinking is? To HIDE transparency documents?
The legislators are behaving like that paragon of transparency, Mr. Mitt Romney, who refuses to release his tax reports for years prior to 2010. Running and hiding. THESE are people who represent us, or want to?
And thus, we go full circle on our destiny-bound Ships of Fools . . . to the rocks, to the rocks . . . where the sexy sirens of greed and self interest call seductively for our kind trust, generous handouts, and enduring penchant for being played as fools . . .