Skip to content Skip to footer

Bullying and the Power of Pity

Pity is a powerful tool. And President Obama wields it with mightu2014saying recently that the Republicans are just u201ctrying to mess with meu201du2014in his ongoing Iu2019m-the-good-guy posturing with a Republican party that seems very happy to oblige the boogeyman bully role.

Pity is a powerful tool. And President Obama wields it with might—saying recently that the Republicans are just “trying to mess with me”—in his ongoing I’m-the-good-guy posturing with a Republican party that seems very happy to oblige the boogeyman bully role.

It’s a cruel joke played by both parties, and the lot of us—the 99%, as it were—are the butt of it.

Reckless governance with no impunity is on the menu today, and the current government [show off?] shutdown is symptomatic of that.

Read the headlines. It’s all there.

Yet, solely blaming the Republicans for supposedly blocking our Nobel Peace Prize, war mongering president from being the great man we want him to be is not only delusional, but a fantastic cop out.

Some truth as to why:

In 2008, when elected as president, Obama and the Democrats had control of every aspect of the federal government: the White House, House of Representatives and Senate. To this, Obama and the Democrats were poised to reshape the Supreme Court, and with an unequivocal “Yes We Can” mandate from the American people, who had just elected Obama by a landslide.

In the last 5 years, Obama has taken acquiesce and the art of caving-in to new heights; squandering a whole lot of enthusiasm and support, and thus alienating much of his base. So that now we see the 24-hour, three ring circus in Washington D.C., also known as the federal government, in a shameless display of just how willing they/it is to throw us all under the proverbial bus in the interest of their own self-interest.

In the run-up of the 2008 election and thereafter, Obama assured a renaissance. That’s what the public asked for, and voted for, but not what we got.

Obama has in fact served up more—way more—of the same, of George W. Bush’s extremist, neocon agenda. To the extent, that President Jimmy Carter is on the record these days as saying America has no functioning democracy. And this then begs the question: what kind of governance do we have?

In addressing that I wrote an article this past summer, entitled “The New American Confederacy.” And in the piece, I point the finger at Democrats and Republicans alike—echoing among others, what Dr. Cornel West has been saying for years: that the US has been increasingly niggerized since 9/11, by way of a government of plutocracy in service to a “casino capitalism” oligarchy.

Investing in the present means creating a better future, and war is not the answer to America’s better future. Neither is fanatical, governmental secrecy—a la NSA—wrapped in pious rhetoric about democracy, nor corporate hoarding and greed heavily marinated in the cowardice of a warped, capitalistic elitism.

Vision supported by action is what creates a desired outcome. That is what I see, and it too is my experience. Which is to say: we create what we believe, and inevitably, that which we believe we ultimately enshrine as “truth.”

As well and unambiguously, I’ve discovered that victimization and blaming is usually about not taking responsibility.

Twenty years ago I began reading the writings of Louise Hay, whose empowering words of wisdom have helped millions elevate themselves to a better place.

In her book, You Can Heal Your Life, while offering up universal pearls of truth to the readers, towards the end of the book Hay tells her personal story, which included a lot of abuse in childhood, and a battle with cancer as an adult, which she won.

“All is well” is perhaps Hay’s most memorable affirmations, which is to say that through her own belief system, it was Hay’s determination for all to be well, which created the space in her life to heal, and become well—not just to survive, but to thrive, which she has—now standing at the helm of a robust international publishing house that counts the top names in wellness, like Dwayne Dyer, as authors.

What Hay created, and what our government has the opportunity to create is not mere pie-in-the-sky.. It’s about affirming what we desire and require through an articulated mission, plus action, and a lot more action in direct support of that mission. In the context of the US government what was wanted and needed when Obama got elected, and is now still wanted and needed, is a resounding New Deal, or if you will, a Works Project Administration (WPA) for the digital age; the centerpiece of which would be jobs, jobs, jobs that support a robust working and middle class. As in: enough with the lofty speeches.

Less talk more action!

Just like the headlines of austerity, the headlines of yes-we-can create wealth for this nation are before us too; as outlined, for instance, in a recent article by Gar Alperovitz, entitled “Five Years After the Big Bailout: Time to Begin Building a “New Economy”.”

History has shown us what to do to get out of a great recession, or depression. So, that’s not in dispute—we have the answers already.

Hence, the question is not what to do, but if we’re willing to make our leadership follow through.

​​Not everyone can pay for the news. But if you can, we need your support.

Truthout is widely read among people with lower ­incomes and among young people who are mired in debt. Our site is read at public libraries, among people without internet access of their own. People print out our articles and send them to family members in prison — we receive letters from behind bars regularly thanking us for our coverage. Our stories are emailed and shared around communities, sparking grassroots mobilization.

We’re committed to keeping all Truthout articles free and available to the public. But in order to do that, we need those who can afford to contribute to our work to do so.

We’ll never require you to give, but we can ask you from the bottom of our hearts: Will you donate what you can, so we can continue providing journalism in the service of justice and truth?