Rachel Maddow is best known for her show on MSNBC. She does have the credentials to write and research about the military-industrial complex, including a doctorate in politics from Oxford and a public policy degree from Stanford. Whether you are liberal or conservative, you cannot help but shake your head as Maddow explores the power struggle between Congress and the Presidency over the control of the military.
One repeated point in the book is the intent by the framers of the Constitution to limit the executive power to declare war. When you think about the type of ego that is attracted to the Presidency, is it any wonder that that ego gets in the way of clear-headed policy making for the good of all? And Congress has become as spineless as non-voters in waiting to see the results of popularity polls on Executive military actions, instead of debating and taking a position on those actions beforehand.
But don’t we get what we ask for? Jimmy Carter is the only president in memory, who actually wanted to focus on the internal concerns of the United States. If he had been allowed to work on energy alternatives, perhaps we would have had the energy business as a substitute for the loss of all those manufacturing jobs.
If nothing else Maddow demonstrates the validity of my anger whenever someone likes to point his or her finger at immigrants stealing our jobs and resources with our tax dollars. It is much easier to point at foreigners than at ourselves. We have allowed our leaders to play whatever games they want on a world stage with our tax money for what exactly? What benefits have come from nuclear arms, Granada, the Iran-Contra fiasco, Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, etc.? We’ve played G.I. Joe for so long, that few of us realize the billions of tax dollars wasted on the military-industrial complex, which now includes outsourcing non-military personnel and the CIA to do jobs long held by the military.
It is no wonder that our bridges and infrastructure are deteriorating and that our healthcare and educational systems are underwhelming when compared to other countries. As leaders of the free world, what exactly are we leaders of?
Maddow has successfully stated the problems and how we got to our present state of affairs. She has also suggested ways to reverse these dangerous trends. Unfortunately, many of us prefer ignorance and who can blame us? We choose to live our lives focusing on things that matter to us and on things that we feel we can control, like family and community, and we choose to disregard the egos and cowards, who bankrupt all of us from being all that we can be.