We're in for a wild ride. Exponentially accelerating technological, cultural, and socioeconomic evolution means that every year will see more developments than the previous one. More change will happen between now and 2050 than during all of humanity's past. Let's explore the 21st century and ride this historic wave of planetary transition with a confident open mind.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Barack Obama is Losing at Political Chess Since Opposition is Preparing to Knock Over the Board

Oligarchic interests are changing the rules of political accommodation by actively goading Obama to become dictatorial. They're preparing to knock over the chess board. Escalation from such tactics during economic crisis is troubling


The recent wave of town hall theater stirred by proxies of transnational corporations (media outlets that they own who then rally the uneducated rural elderly) has been remarkably effective at unnerving president Obama. It cornered him into giving ridiculous "socialism/death panel" arguments power by paying attention to them. Obama didn't just start paying attention to hysterical slander but actually diverted his time and energy to travel the country on a public relations offensive. Of course that will just create a cycle of escalation since the media demagogues now know how they can waste a lot of the president's time. They will thus fine tune a new wave of insane allegations and repeat the process on a larger scale in short order. The poor elderly religious people (whose lives and psychological temperaments have gotten worse in recent decades due to erosion of national strength by globalization) now think that their slogans have more validity due to Obama's reaction.

They think, "why is he selling his proposal so much? It must be as bad as we hear on television." Rural people and Americans in general aren't used to a micromanaging president who tries to explain things in detail. They are used to being completely shut out and ignored by their executive leadership. If anything, a responsive president at this point does not fit an archetype of what a president should be and may thus appear weak.

Any neutral observer would quickly conclude that the rabid opposition to healthcare reform is a crazy or grossly exaggerated tactic by the opposition. After all, Obama's plan is to preserve the oligarchic middlemen of insurance companies rather than ending their existence as inefficient regional monopolies (as a true reformer would do). However there is reason to the madness and we have seen this technique used many times before.

Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger once came up with a strategy that relied on acting erratic, unpredictable, and well, "crazy" to unbalance geopolitical opponents. Nixon's administration created a perception that it is capable of lashing out with disproportionate amount of force for silly reasons. It also showed that it can act with a lot of restraint in situations where force is expected. The threat of nuclear escalation over the Yom Kippur War and the bombing of Cambodia made Soviets and Vietnamese tread cautiously when dealing with the White House. It is a tried and true prison strategy of creating deterrence by violently attacking somebody with disproportionate force for a small offense. Nixon, Kim Jong Ill, and George W Bush have all used the tactic of a madman to slow down or stall behavior of more thoughtful saner global players.

Barack Obama's key weakness is that he is prudent and logical. Just like the first black baseball players, Obama feels (rightfully so as we now see) that he cannot make any mistakes and that he has to approach everything to the maximum of his ability to prove himself. He knows he is already dealing with a very uneducated and basically third world nation that still has a sufficiently large racist regional element. He knows that he has to appear close to perfect since character quirks that would seem acceptable in white presidents may very well sink him.

He will thus try to think a number of moves ahead like a good chess player when moving forward with anything. That becomes rather difficult when the madman tactic is used against him. A logical strategist would not expect an intense overreaction to the act of raising the tax on oligarchs a few percentage points. Neither could have Obama anticipated that he will basically be called a Nazi for preserving the status quo of the old regime through minor modification. The anti-healthcare reform slander campaign by transnational oligarchs in recent weeks is as ridiculous of an overreaction as Kissinger's threats to potentially get US involved in a nuclear war during the Yom Kippur conflict. It is the equivalent of a chess player moving a lot of his pieces (and losing a long term position on the board) to defend against a minor provocation by a pawn.

It would have been much more rational for Obama's opposition to allow him to get a disappointing modified bill get passed. Progressive democrat perception of Obama as a reformer would have run out of steam quicker this way. Instead, oligarchs chose to expand a lot of political capital on a minor issue. This will be counterproductive in that Obama administration will treat opposition as the world does North Korea. Total alienation and counter slander.

If the madman tactic is used all the time then various parties will begin to join and find ways to isolate and weaken the madman rather than attempt constructive mutually beneficial dialogue. It now appears that GOP is bent on being uncooperative all the time. The national perception towards the republican leadership (overlooking a collapsing regional party) has decisively shifted towards viewing them as completely unreasonable and erratic.

This will result in a predictable move by Obama administration towards a more authoritarian populist direction. The president will begin using all the tools available to the executive branch to push through restructuring and preserving of American style capitalism. He has secured the backing of more oligarch clans by being elected and thus more money is supporting him behind the scenes.

GOP strategists know full well that they can't stage a repeat of 1994 congressional sweep by sinking Obama's agenda early on like they did Bill Clinton's (regardless of their proclamations in the media that they hope to repeat history). The national demographics have changed and dynamics are very different now. It is thus very troubling that GOP strategists are forcing Obama administration to become dictatorial (which he will do while his approval is still relatively high and while he still has a lot of political capital). It is purposeful blatant disregard for social stability and the national fabric by regional actors. We know how even knocking the chessboard over can be planned in advance.

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