Revolution #139, August 10, 2008

Walking by an Obama storefront...

To Revolution:

I was walking by an Obama storefront and decided to go in and ask what they are saying to people concerned and outraged by his rapid moves to openly endorse a number of positions that a good portion of his supporters abhor.

I ended up having a conversation with two younger people, with an older Black woman listening on. The young man had graduated from SF State, and was quite entrenched in the terms being set by the Democrats and the electoral process. He argued that Obama was doing this to get the votes of various sections of the electorate—and when I pressed him, he quickly resorted to ‘Well, are you saying people should vote for McCain?”

The young woman on the other hand, who majored in Global Studies, said she fully agreed with what I was saying. She too was very disturbed by what he was doing, said the best she could hope for was to hold him to his “promises.” I raised the problem of trying to make any serious change through the electoral process, and she said she understood and basically agreed. She said that in fact she was a revolutionary, and this wasn’t the only thing she was trying to do to bring about change. That led to an interesting discussion about the impact of globalization; the lopsidedness in the world; and the need for fundamental, revolutionary change. She didn’t know about the newspaper, Bob Avakian, or the bookstore, but she seemed interested. I invited her to the discussion on Ray Lotta’s first article later in the week, and the other events out of the store. And we exchanged e-mails.

It strikes me that if this young woman is typical of a segment of Obama’s supporters, it may say something about a section of people who have been actively organizing for him, but are nevertheless in significant turmoil about these developments and in search of, or open to, a serious analysis of the actual character and role of bourgeois elections and bourgeois democracy, and this election in particular.

So…why not engage these people?

Reggie Dylan

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