America Will Have to Negotiate
with Opponents: Here’s Why
By Mikhail Leontyev
Translated By Olga Kerzhner
8 November 2012
Edited by Peter L. McGuire
Russia - Odnako - Original Article (Russian)
Obama won. Who would have thunk it?! America made a fateful choice. It's scary to imagine what would have happened if the reactionary and obscurant Romney had won.
Obama said, “This is not just a choice between two candidates or two parties. It is a choice between two visions for America.”
Well, of course! Note that in all recent elections the candidates have not only differed in their political slogans. They seemed to have been different breeds of beings; perfectly separated images. It’s like cat lovers and dog lovers, with America divided in the face of such a momentous choice.
However, differences in product image should not be taken as differences between the products themselves. Cell phones are not as different as their commercials suggest. America is a great world power, worthy of respect. It’s offensive to conceive that the fate of America depends on the luck of the election show, on who smiled or sneezed better, on the image of the candidate's wives, children and dogs. American politics are predictable and will remain that way while America is a great power - especially considering that the corridor of opportunities in the growing crisis is getting narrower and narrower.
The first round of the so-called "quantitative monetary easing" -- that is, injecting money into the economy and buying "bad" debts -- was launched during the Bush administration in November 2008 and in the end totaled more than two trillion dollars. The second and the current third "easing" (each of which was approximately $600 billion) were launched under Obama. And that’s considering that U.S. national debt exceeds $16 trillion, which is 120 percent of the real U.S. GDP. It's more than, for example, in Greece.
These monetary easings (i.e. throwing money at the crisis) are the main political content. Republicans and Democrats are absolutely united on this issue, because there’s nothing else to do. The same goes for the slow and sad withdrawal from Iraq, and after that, an even slower and sadder withdrawal from Afghanistan. Both Bush and Romney would have done the exact same thing at the same rate. Obama’s only initiative is the notorious health care reform, which the Democrats have been dragging around for the last 20 years and finally found its time and place.
The reform expands government-guaranteed health insurance to the entire U.S. population. Previously, more than 50 million Americans did not have such insurance. Notably, even before Obama's reform the liabilities of government insurers were six times more than their accumulated funds. As for the pension system, its operating deficit is more than six and a half trillion dollars, while the difference between the accrued liabilities and funds for their repayment has for a long time exceeded $50 trillion.
In other words, no one but Obama will do. This is the president who should be the American chairman of falling into the abyss. He should take onto himself the costs of the crisis. That's why Romney has appeared a completely comical Republican who could not attract any disillusioned Democratic voters.
The world is changing. And America is changing. And that’s not optional, this gradual but steady weakening of American power. The gradual realization of this and progressive willingness to negotiate -- you won’t believe this! -- with opponents. Because what issues would you negotiate with allies and satellites? America is becoming capable of negotiating, for the first time in two decades. And this is not Obama’s achievement; it’s his cross.
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