The world has gone crazy 

It's been a strange week, to say the least. The banking industry finally exploded, the United States government nationalized the mortgage industry and George Bush has officially become our first Socialist president.

Meanwhile, the Republican candidates for the two highest offices in the land have become cruel parodies of themselves. John McCain came out squarely against, then for, then against, and then once again for the corporate bailouts, setting a single-week flip-flop record and leading many to wonder if his Alzheimer's medicine was working.

Gov. Sarah Palin's answer to the financial crisis was that the economy needed "shakin' up and fixin'." And she says that Barack Obama offers nothing but empty words?

Jesus Christ. Is it possible that there are actually people who support this ticket? A crotchety old man and a trailer-trash diva have at least a 40 percent chance of becoming our leaders?

The only logical rationale I can see for supporting the Republican ticket is if you belong to the subset of the population that wants to see the Book of Revelation come true in their lifetime and a vice president who can take over and lead us to her Alaskan refuge after the Rapture.

Nothing in our nation's past could have prepared us for the last eight years of our history. George Bush campaigned as a compassionate conservative who was against government handouts and meddling in the affairs of other countries, and wanted to restore honor to the White House.

Now we have the largest budget deficit in history, interventionism as the hallmark of our foreign policy and a financial plan that involves a government takeover of every struggling industry.

Let me get this straight. We can afford a trillion-dollar war in Iraq and a trillion-dollar bailout of the insurance and banking industries but there’s no money in the budget for national health care? Or to subsidize energy costs? Or to defray rising food prices?

More than once last week, as the full extent of our financial crisis became clearer, conservative pundits again attempted to blame the Clinton Administration for our woes.

But gas prices didn’t triple when Bill Clinton was in the White House. And even when he was busy getting serviced by Monica Lewinsky, there was not a single terrorist attack on American soil. When Clinton left office on Jan. 20, 2001, both towers of the World Trade Center were standing tall and secure.

It seems, at times, that the entire world has gone crazy. We’re taking our corn and using it not for food but for ethanol, an inefficient and doomed form of alternative energy, while much of the world goes hungry.

Our president literally hugs and kisses the corrupt leaders of Saudi Arabia, whose repressive regime caused the radicalism that led to Sept. 11. We finance terrorism every time we put gas in our tanks.

And yet the conservatives seem focused on whether Obama is a Muslim, whether he called Palin a pig and what Jeremiah Wright might or might not have said.

I haven’t done any drugs for years, so I might be wrong about this, but I think modern-day Republicans keep their followers in line with heavy doses of LSD and ecstasy. It’s the only thing that can explain their continual support of candidates who are wrong on just about everything.

If you listen to Rush Limbaugh or his third-rate local equivalent, Greg Garrison, all you hear is praise for Palin, dismay that her untruthful statements have been challenged and how dangerous it will be to turn power over to the Democrats.

They don’t even talk much about Bush these days, realizing the impossibility of defending eight solid years of failure, corruption and misery.

On Friday, we’ll get our first chance to see Obama and McCain side by side. It will be interesting to see the contrast between the two. The future will confront the past and the voters will have the final say as to who is the victor.

But it’s already becoming very clear that we’re in for some very hard times no matter who wins. Since we’re going to be paying for Bush’s failures for the rest of our lives, it comes down to would you rather have leaders who put regular people first or who put rich people first.

It’s abundantly clear that McCain would repeat and magnify the disasters of the Bush years while Obama would try and stop the bleeding.

If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you still have a few weeks to do so. Indiana could make a difference this year in whether we head towards a peaceful, prosperous future or towards Armageddon.

It’d be a shame if you didn’t have your say.

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