Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Hope for Obama Has Not Dampened

It’s been several weeks since I last blogged. It’s not that I haven’t had any thoughts about some of the world’s current events; it’s that my physical condition (CFIDS) hit a down period. I’m not sure if I’m back on an upswing, let’s hope so, but I think I can find a way to keep blogging every so often. Or at least, more often than every 6 weeks. And yeah, I know I don’t have a (large) audience, but I wanna do my part to advance true democracy and the struggle for justice, and join brothers and sisters is racial solidarity. And before a European American or a Latino brother or sister denounce my obvious endorsement of black political solidarity; black solidarity doesn’t preclude aligning with progressives of other races to achieve equality (having just finished We Who Are Dark, by Tommie Shelby).

So, in the wake of 1- 4 March 4th for Senator Obama, let me restate and explain my support and answer to some questions I’ve seen raised.

First, get over this notion that African Americans are only voting for Obama because he’s black. Remember, initially, Hillary Clinton had an overwhelming majority of black support in the polls. Obama has black support not only because of his color and the tremendous good it could do for our community and country, but because he’s more progressive than Clinton; he rejected the occupation from the beginning – I’m not upset with his funding the war because the troops were going to be over there and they need the funding, though the waste of thievery of private companies is criminal; he runs a campaign based on the issues; he doesn’t triangulate his political policies; and most importantly, he doesn’t play ‘divide and conquer’ with the electorate. I’m personally rejecting Clinton primary campaign because I don’t like how she’s run this campaign. And I’ll add, Bill Clinton is not black, he’s white, and Toni Morrison’s point had nothing to do with ethnocultural identification.

Second, enough with the question of who has it worse – blacks or women? Not only is it clear that black men have it worse; not only does this question ignore black women; worst, it puts two groups who should be working together against one another. And for the purposes of this campaign, the question doesn’t have to be who has it worse; it can be who can make things better. In my opinion, the candidate who hasn’t been playing on divisions is better position to make things better for everyone. And let me respond those who argue if Obama were a woman, with his record, there’s no way he’d be a serious candidate. Assuming you mean black woman, of course he wouldn’t be where he is. If you mean white woman, well . . . Clinton’s considered a serious candidate and the only difference the two have in experience is age. And may I ask how do we imagine the campaign going if it were Barack Obama vs. Diane Rodham?

Now, I really don’t like the way Clinton’s been campaigning. I don’t like that she does attack Obama. And I don’t mean the whole ‘pointing out differences’ thing. I’m okay with that. What I don’t like is distorting and lying about your opponent’s record. Even Dan Abrams, who is constantly ranting about the alleged anti-Hillary traditional media bias, constantly gives her more demerits than the demerits he has to imagine to give Obama.

I really like the way Obama’s run his campaign. It really is from the bottom-up. It really is a campaign of the people. Moreover, point by point, Obama talks about policy specifics as much as Clinton. And that’s one thing I discredit about Clinton’s campaign. I mean, I understand you want voters to act on the basis of how you paint your opponent; but, how can you feel good about wins based on the distortion of your opponent? Obama is more than just “speeches.” I repeat I know that’s standard fare, but that’s what folks don’t like about standard politics. Clinton keeps saying ‘this is your campaign,’ but that’s not true. Her campaign is run top-down. I know some argue that you can’t be sure of what you’ll get from Obama. I respond that we do know that he’s opened and awakened latent progressive activists. We’ll be able to affect his policy as president. I know some are afraid that those who’re active now will go back to sleep after Nov 4 Election Day, but I don’t think we will. Most of those who’ve come alive have been waiting for such a moment as this. We’ve been waiting for a president who acknowledges our importance and promises to listen to our voice. We all realize the “urgency” of this moment and have no intentions of seeing it lost to us. I know not everyone can join a “movement” as some have to “work the night shift,” but I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean.

Now, let me make clear my concern with the campaign continuing on. I think Obama will do well and eventually lock up the nomination. And I’m sure even if the contest goes through June, the candidates themselves will be friends again. What I don’t like is what I see from the two groups of supporters. Admittedly, I especially detest the arrogant attitude and condescending comments coming from Clinton supporters to Obama supporters. We’re called Obamabots and deluded. And while there are those who argue Obama supporters are just as bad, I haven’t seen it. I have seen nasty comments from Obama supporters, but they’re mostly based on whatever idiotic comment some Clinton supporter has made, not on someone’s support for Clinton per se. And what’s gonna make it hard for Obama supporters to have to face a ticket with Clinton in November – by that I’m referring to those who’ll still vote and not sit out November – is that we’d have to vote for a person who’s called us deluded, suggested we’ve been fooled, who dismissed the black vote, who’s played blacks against whites, and blacks against (white) women. I’m not looking forward to that. I’d just hate a John McCain presidency even worse!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure Clinton will get things done. The problem is that I’m also sure she’ll get things done by resorting to politics as usual, pissing off half the electorate, and leaving conservatives demanding “change” by 2012. Obama will get things done, but he’ll do it by changing the frames of public debate. With an Obama presidency, conservatives won’t be able to talk about the abuses of “liberalism.” Instead of a Democrat having to move to the right in 2012, the Republicans’ll have to move to the left because the debate will have changed.

And now for my last thought: If Clinton and her supporters have such a problem with Obama’s words and speeches, STOP STEALING THEM!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

Share This Article

Bookmark and Share

But Don't Jack My Genuis