The Republican party was dealt a defeat this past November by the American people and one message that was sent is the fatigue felt by most people in the United States over divisive politics which focuses on personality rather than ideas. Over the weekend, the American media reported the story of Chip Saltman, who seeks to assume leadership of the Republican party and sent a DVD entitled, “Barack The Magic Negro” which was a compilation of songs critical of liberals and entitled, “We Hate The US.” Mr. Saltman’s defense was the songs aired on the Rush Limbaugh show which he apparently believes makes them valid in content or form. He argued anyone would understand the songs were satirical and were not meant to offend anyone.
Once upon a time, the Republican party was led by outstanding individuals like Wendell Wilkie, Thomas Dewey, Robert Taft, and Dwight Eisenhower who believed there was a conservative political and philosophical response to liberalism. They did not believe to be a Democrat meant an individual was less of an American. But, today, the Rush Limbaugh mentality associates difference of opinion with treason. Rush believes his ideas embody what is necessary in this nation.
The nation’s economy has collapsed, most are disgusted with Bush ideas on foreign policy, but to some Republicans the answer is mocking the president and their opponents with smears about not being loyal Americans. We all recall how George Bush denounced anyone who denied the right of the president to do as he wished as being disloyal Americans. Fortunately, Barack Obama will not get into the dirt and filth of the Rush Limbaugh wing of the Republicans party. As Saul Annuzis, Republican party chair in Michigan said of the DVD: “in my opinion, this isn’t funny and it’s in bad taste.”
Wealthy parents are quick to denounce special privileges for poor children as examples of quota schemes that deny admission to the best and brightest. Of course, in America George Bush was admitted to Yale as a legacy as are thousands of other children of the elite who take advantage of schemes to admit individuals on the basis of wealth and social status. Australia has recently witnessed an extraordinary explosion in “special consideration” giving children who are taking entrance exams. Ostensibly, “special consideration” is for children with learning disabilities, but according to many elite schools, that could mean extra time to complete a test, assistance with handwriting(and answers?) sweaty palms and a host of such critical issues children encounter during an exam.
Private schools in Australia seek such considerations at twice the rate of public schools, and Masada College gave nearly 30% of students taking exams special considerations. The private school of Reddham House won special consideration for 36% of those taking the test. One can only wonder what parents of these children would be saying if one-third of poor children obtained special considerations. Of course, the poor simply do not understand that “special considerations” is meant for children of “special parents,” particularly those with some spare money.
China has been exporting inexpensive clothing, machinery, and high tech products so it was just a matter of time before it decided to export a valuable natural resource– Chinese people. Current estimates are that about 750,000 Chinese are presently working on the African continent in a variety of positions including running farms and teaching Africans modern agricultural methods. Liu Jinjun has helped to send at least 10,000 farmers from his native province of Hebei to work in Africa, many in what he terms, “Boading Villages” which contain anywhere from 400 to 2,000 Chinese farmers. Bilateral trade between the African continent and China has now passed $100 billion each year. China is anxious to import the rich material resources of the African continent and its emissaries frequently are farmers as well as businessmen.
As Mr. Liu notes: “In Africa they have plenty of land and too few farmers.” Therefore sending Chinese farmers is a way to raise the standard of living. He also points out that China is not associated with the legacy of colonialism which hampers Europeans nor with the legacy of war and violence which now is linked to America.
Of course, the flip side of the Chinese arrival is a refusal on the part of its government to show any concern for human rights violations. In fact, there is evidence China has been supplying the dictator Robert Mugabe with weapons of war. If the Chinese government would exert its economic pressure it could help resolve issues such as Darfur.