Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bridging the “Two Americas”: An Overlooked Foreign Policy Issue?

Ever since the 2004 US vice presidential hopeful John Edwards shed light on the issue of (mostly economic) disparity of the “Two Americas”, no follow-through has been done to alleviate the “alienation”. Does Foreign Policy experience start here?

By: Vanessa Uy

Its been four years since John Edwards first brought the issue of “disparity” between the “Two Americas” into the media spotlight. Of those four years that has passed, almost –if at all – has been done to address this issue. Despite the fact that the disadvantaged part of the “Two Americas”, were largely made up of African-Americans and other cultural minorities in the US.

Ever since the Civil Rights movement began in the turbulent decade of the 1960’s, the divisive politics that engendered a schism of the perfect American Union was finally addressed. From the Native Americans who were virtually made “foreigners” in their own country to the African-American community who never got a fair share of the American Dream ever since Abraham Lincoln declared the Emancipation Proclamation. When it comes to healing the rift between the European Anglo-Saxon majority (hegemony?) and those on the other disadvantaged America – the cultural minorities alienated to the point that they feel as if they are foreigners in their own country. There’s progress for sure – albeit a painfully slow one.

One issue that became de rigeur in the 2008 US Presidential Race is Foreign Policy. No one in his or her right mind wishing for that much-coveted position in the White House will ever make a speech about “Foreign Policy Begins at Home”. It could be tantamount to political suicide. And yet, the ill-conceived policies of the past US Administrations had virtually created an another America. An America that’s not only disadvantaged financially, but also left out of their rights to reap the benefits of all the good things that America’s Founding Fathers had fought for. The divisive politics that lead to this was exemplified by that January 28, 2008 Newsweek cover story about how President George W. Bush and his neo-conservatives destroyed America.

The present Bush Administration not only widened the rift further between the African-American community and White America, but also made all of America’s ethnic minorities – especially Americans of Arab descent – virtually foreigners in their own country. Since the Republican Party / GOP ‘s selection of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as their Vice Presidential candidate. The GOP used the Foreign Policy experience issue to criticize their Democratic rivals. Yet they are oblivious of the Bush Administration’s folly of government mismanagement of creating a “Foreign Policy” crisis right on American home soil – i.e. the schism of the “Two Americas”.

Strangely, the Alaskan governor and Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin has been “discretely quiet” about the Native Americans / First Nations people in Alaska protesting against the wholesale crude oil exploration on their ancestral lands which could lead into widespread environmental degradation. Governor Sarah Palin has been also “discretely quiet” about the “good” things she has done to the Native American / First Nation community in Alaska during her tenure as governor of that state. Alaska may be close to Russia but I wonder if Governor Sarah Palin had ever been close enough to a Russian TU-95 Bear to make her ears ring for three straight days. Where is the Foreign Policy experience there? Yet Sarah Palin tried to single-handedly wipe out the progress made by the Women’s Liberation movement during the past 30 or so years with her overtly misguided NAZI / Ku Klux Klan-leaning “Pro-life” stance.

While the Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama had worked with inner city youths in his home base of Chicago, Illinois. Especially Chicago’s South Side famed for it’s disadvantaged African-American communities left out of the American dream. Barack Obama had been very busy working on schemes to make these disadvantaged communities a contributing and prosperous part of America. To me, this is Foreign Policy in action on American home soil aimed at alleviating the damage made by the divisive and obstructionist politics of Bush Administration Neo-Conservatives. And yet the real issue is conveniently spin-doctored to fit into the lipstick on a pig / lipstick on a pit bull-soccer mom rhetoric and demagoguery. Wlth this make the 2008 US Presidential Elections even more interesting?


Sisto said...

Semantics be damned! I too agree withyou that Foreign Policy issues need not be bound and / or defined by geography. The current Bush Administration and Neo-Conservatives' alienating ethnic minorities since day one of their tenure - especially their indifference that led to the "Alienation" of the Native American and the African American community - is a serious Foreign Policy oversight. Virtually making these ethnic groups foreigners in their own country. Sarah Palin's cluelessness with regard to this issue has inadvertently turned her into a de facto neo-Nazi by ignoring the aspirations of disadvantaged ethnic minorities especially Native Americans. Which is kind of sad really given that Sarah Palin's husband - Todd Palin - is one-eighth Yup'ik Eskimo.

Apple said...

America needs to move away from the "Lipstick on a pig" issue fast and concentrate on the real issues like how to save the Wall Street economic mess that threatens to destroy our cherished global economy. On Sarah Palin issue number one: why isn't she busy telling anyone about his Harley Biker look-alike husband is part Yup'ik Eskimo? Hillary Clinton was busy telling everyone about her Octoroon - one-eight African American - staff when she ran for the US SEnate. Issue number two: Not only Sarah Palin is an unabashed lebensborn Nazi because of her White-America only Pro-Life views but also her Pro-Life stance has single-handedly destroyed the progress made by the Women's Liberation movement of the past thirty years.

Venus said...

Wasn't this controversy started when Governor Sarah Palin was still the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska? By making victims of rape pay for their forensic processing fees, Governor Palin did indeed roll back the progress made by every Womens Rights movement on American soil during the past 30 years. Governor Palin single-handedly destroyed the progress made by womens rights movement which so far Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione, Larry Flynt and that misogynic Guns N' Roses frontman W. Axl Rose had failed. Every woman on the face of the planet should take a stand against Governor Sarah Palin.

Sherry Rashad said...

Please check out my blog at
which is more of the same, I think?
I too will agree that Governor Sarah Palin is a threat to women everywhere. We can afford to be innocent as Pat Benatar said. Women should not be made to pay for their rape kits. This is uncle sam's responsibility.

May Anne said...

I thought the two Americas Sen. John Edwards was refering two was between this Eropean "Ideal-State" where everyone of every color, nationality, or creed can live out their ideals, and the ugly one that was started by Aryan Nation founder Richard Butler (Note guys he died back away in September 2004 - good riddance by the way) which sadly Gov. Sarah "Rape is not a Crime against women" Palin was advocating. You don't have to tell us twice to vote for Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden this November.

Mischa said...

Comedian Bill Maher talked about the "Two Americas" on his latest movie Religulous. One being the idealized European utopia probably born of Montesquieu's political musings where everyone can socially advance themselves regardless of religion, race or creed. The other one is about this evil America being run by the Ku Klux Klan / Aryan Nation / Bush Administration Neo-Conservatives which ruined the "American Dream" live on CNN and on the BEEB / BBC. Has Gov. Palin even heard of Tori Amos' Little Earthquakes album?

Yvette said...

First of all, when a Soviet-era Tu-95 Bear flies below radar like under 300 feet, it's counter-rotating gas turbine engines are so loud (even has a discernable harmonic signature easily visible on a "cheap" Fast Fourier Transform program to us Hi-Fi enthusiasts) that they can be picked up by submarine listening passive sonar devices.
Most of all, is Governor Palin busy saying to everyone around the world that she's an out-and-out NAZI/racist? Even her supporters resort to redressing/jazzing-up a stuffed monkey used in the avant garde electronica band Air's MTV video Sexy Boy as an effigy of Barack Obama. I'm shocked! I'm even more shocked that during one of Gov. Palin's rallies that her supporters nearly lynched an African-American camera technician.
She really is a villain born out of a Tennessee Williams - style dramatization of racism in America.

Letiche said...

Despite of the proof that Gov. Palin is a racist NAZI with Himmler-esque leanings when it comes to her lebensborn pro-life stance (no African-American teen-aged girls used in pro-life campaign posters since Pres. Reagan's time), Sen. Obama can still lose the election because the ruling Republican / GOP can resort to cheating like they did during the 2000 US Presidential elections in which Al "An Inconvenient Truth" Gore lost due to the "dangling chads incident". Or the GOP could engineer a "Bradly Effect" for the 21st Century by actively denying anyone loyal to Obama from voting. As Dennis Kuchinnich said "Wake up America!".

Guapita said...

When Dennis Kucinich made his stirring "Wake up America" speech, he should not extend his views beyond the Bush Administration's ineptness of breaking America's addiction of imported crude oil which has cost the US Government 10 trillion dollars during Pres. Bush's watch. Mr. Kucinich should have warned Obama and Biden voters that the Republican Party / GOP can and will cheat this coming November Presidential elections. The GOP did it back in 2000 when Al Gore was denied the US Presidency. Gore could have stopped those planes crashing into the WTC towers back in September 11 , 2001. To me at least, Gov. Sarah Palin must already be secretly planning how. Either by a variant of the Bradley Effect or the Florida Precinct's "hanging chads" of 2000. Gov. Palin probably is probably the most hated woman in the world and majority of those who hate her are women too. How's that for Political Correctness. The top three smut peddlers of America namely Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione, and Larry "Barely Legal" Flynt probably has done lesser damage to women compared to Gov. Palin's rape kit debacle.

Nancy said...

Another list of Gov. Sarah Palin's sins a) Callous disregard of wildlife during her hunting sprees by shooting defenseless animals from the air. b) Branchflower Committee's findings on the governor's abuse of power. c) Not diffusing racist sentiments in her campaign rallies.
notable Gov. Palin critique blogs:

WAR CHILD said...

I've first got the scoop on that Family Guy episode labeling Republican VP pick Gov. Sarah Palin being a NAZI on
Check out "Jewish" Lebensborn überkinder Stewie Griffin looking very cute in a NAZI-Youth uniform. Where "cute" became a relative term by PC standards. Family Guy should have done the rape kit debacle story too.

April Rain said...

Sadly the villanous Nazi-leaning former mayor of "Rape Town" / Wasilla, Alaska is still eligible to run for the 2012 US Presidential elections. Looks like SNL alumnus / 30 Rock's Tina Fey will have to play Gov. Sarah Palin for a number of years. Come to think of it, Larry "Barely Legal" Flynt might be able to include Democratic political analyst Liz Chadderdon in the next Gov. Palin porno flick. Noting that Hillary Clinton was included in the current one. The Hustler CEO and natural-born SOB sure made objectification of women interesting, don't you think?