To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, December 2, 2022


Unavoidable Conclusions



VernTurnerThere comes a time when one has to draw conclusions that one would rather not draw. I just re-read one of my earlier books and was surprised at how many times I repeated the same theme, with the same evidence and with the same passion. The re-read exposed several main points to be hashed over and over, most of them related to Barack Obama being our president and how our form of socialistic capitalism is being perverted and altered to undermine our democratic republic.

Repeatedly, there are essays about Glass-Steagall and how it worked and why it was repealed. I stomp into dust the vagaries of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and its blank check for corporate America to yield influence over our national governance. I took Milton Friedman and his puppets, Ronald Reagan and both Bushes, to the woodshed for mindlessly following the tenets of Supply-Side Economics, the operating system that has destroyed [and continues to do so] many economies, large and small, throughout the world.

Frankly, I surprised myself at how many ways I could say the same things about the same topics.

Honestly, I just can’t do it anymore because the proof is in the pudding: The extreme, supersonic lurch to the right by so-called conservatives over the last 30 years, or so, has created a nation in which I did not reside until my 40th birthday. Since then [1982] we’ve been careening toward a precipice for failed nations at an increasing rate.

It began in earnest with the election of Ronald Reagan, the most overrated president whose administrations received a new league record for criminal indictments, a record that still stands. St. Ronald lied to us about taxes, Granada, the Soviet Union’s ability to kill us, the Panama Canal, Lebanon, labor unions and the infamous arms-for-hostages deals with Iran.

We can only imagine how loud the screeching for impeachment would be today if President Obama got caught in any of these shenanigans. Instead, schools, aircraft carriers and countless streets are named after “the Gipper.”

Bill Clinton, lied to us, too, but meantime created a “pay-as-you-go” budget scheme and a Workfare program to put chronic welfare recipients to meaningful work. These things, among other ideas, created a $200 billion budget surplus.

While doing these things he endured a first-of-its-kind negative media blitz sponsored by the political right wing, aka the Republican Party. They tried to impeach Clinton, but somehow couldn’t come up with sufficient “high crimes and misdemeanors” attached to it, especially since his accusers were hustling their own mistresses into hiding.

It tasks me to list [again] the horrors of both Bush presidencies. It is too long for this piece, but is easily found everywhere not spelled Heritage Foundation – and the like.

During these most recent Republican administrations the damning of the pBill resident, their administrations and anything they tried to do, were not overtly obstructed, there was no back-peddling on ideas by one party or the other and there was totally insufficient checking and balancing of the usurpation of the power to make war from the Congress by the Executive.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, not the president. The War Powers Act is a heinous piece of legislation giving presidents the power to send in military power whenever they see fit; it totally flies in the face of what the founders envisioned.

Every president since Kennedy has used these powers to put our people in harm’s way causing the deaths of millions of other people around the world.

Since we haven’t learned from our mistakes and wrong turns since 1981, there can be but few conclusions: Money and corporate power is now our governing philosophy.

Anything that causes any discomfort for businesses and their moguls is wrong and needs to be quelled or outlawed. Any political action that actually benefits anyone but the richest citizens must be attacked and ignored at all costs. Taxation is evil and we’ll just have to make do with what we have … unless it’s something for the military. Any new revenue streams are dangerous and must be avoided. Working classes will just have to “eat cake” since we choose not to support them in their hours of need irrespective of the circumstances – like sending their jobs to China.

Finally, the most poignant conclusion that may be drawn in today’s news and political environment is that we have a brown man in the White House, and anything he does or tries to do is not going to happen. No subtleties here: Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP are openly defying this president’s actions or ideas even when they are their own in origin.

Every lie coming from rightwing talk radio, the Tea Party blabbermouths and John Boehner underscores how racially divided this country still is. We were not ready for Barack Obama or any other person of color to be our president even though it was the right thing to do.

Some will say I am playing the race card. Well, yes, I am, because it’s the card that is on the top of the deck. It is the card that must be played. It is the obvious conclusion to political events surrounding this administration.

Even good news is spun into anti-Obama hate rhetoric. It’s disgusting. I’m ashamed of what is being trotted out as representing the nation. Shame on the media. Shame on the Republicans. Shame on all those who lead with the hate card instead of the “best-ideas-for-the-United-States card.

Vern Turner is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. He lives in Marble Falls, TX, where he writes a regular column for the River Cities Daily Tribune. He is the author of three books – A Worm in the Apple: The Inside Story of Public Schools, The Voters Guide to National Salvation and Killing the Dream: America’s Flirtation With Third World Status – all available through


Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.