Revolution Online, November 6, 2008

Comments from Readers on Revolution Coverage of Elections

Editors’ note: The following letters are selected from online comments and correspondence to Revolution from our readers. We are printing them (and will continue to print more correspondence) to give readers a sense of the letters sent to Revolution, and to spark more interactivity between this paper and readers, and among readers. Selecting and printing letters does not imply that we agree, or disagree, with them.

After Obama Election: “Things Will Be Better in so Many Respects”

Re: “The Morning After the Elections...and the Change We Really Need...WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO NOW?”, Issue #146, October 26, 2008.

Nov. 5—I met you outside Showmans, I am a musician, was against the war in Iraq, performed for anti-Apartheid rallies, political events before you were possibly involved in politics, I am a big Obama supporter and although I see some logic in your article you have to change your presentation or you will forever be marginalized and your effect on this society will be minimal.

This is not the 60's, as much as the Panthers and the radical left was effective, that no longer works. First, stop cursing no matter how frustrated, it may impress 1% of your audience but it keeps you on the fringe. We have to know that Obama is better than Bush-Cheney, just as if Gore would have been President things would be a whole lot different than they are now. We would not be in Iraq, 911 would not have happened the way it did, the environmental issues would be on their way towards being addressed, the Supreme Court would not be so conservative (including abortion rights), affirmative action would not be challenged by the federal govt and the agenda goes on.

Obama will not address every issue you are concerned with, he is not a revolutionary, but many of the most extreme policies of Bush-Cheney will be rescinded and that will be a good thing.  He is not a Clarence Thomas, he will not betray his supporters.

Maybe he imperils your ability to organize, it’s easier to motivate people with an extremely repressive regime such as Bush-Cheney. Nonetheless I think things will be better in so many respects, better for the people that you hopefully are concerned about (or are you concerned about ideology). I say give him a chance and stay vigilant in times when he may stray from the course. The system will hopefully be a lot less rotten (I believe) the horrors that you outlined such as global warming and discrimination might be addressed, maybe not in revolutionary terms but in ways that will affect people.

Most of all do things that will help people, Revolution, in the terms that you may embrace may not be around the corner but something important occurred last night and I am optimistic.

* * * *

“I Know Obama Will Not and Cannot Change the System, but…”

Re: “Obama – And the Hope For a ‘Better’ Imperialism”, Revolution Online, November 2, 2008

Nov. 5—Dear Comrades,

I know, that Obama will not and cannot change the system, I know that the roots of capitalism lie in exploitation. But when I saw the poor black people going to the election with all their hope and how proud they were, tears came in my eyes. Although knowing all that, I cannot help to be happy,

a "Revolution" reader from Austria

* * * *

Colin Powell, War Criminal

Re: "Colin Powell—And His Endorsement of Obama", Revolution Online, November 2, 2008

Nov. 4—I appreciated the article on Colin Powell. Obama is likely to protect Colin Powell from any war criminal warrants given Powell’s endorsement of Obama just before the election. Powell as 1991 planner of Iraq War I killed off much of the civilian population. Hitting an air raid shelter in Baghdad was justified by calling it a military bunker. His 2003 Iraq II United Nations presentation on Weapons of Mass Destruction was not his first fabrication of truth. But then maybe you have not lost someone and truth is relative. Major Powell put down in writing that the 1968 My Lai massacre was excellent.

* * * *

“We Need a Third Party”

Re: “The Morning After the Elections...and the Change We Really Need...WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO NOW?”, Issue #146, October 26, 2008.

Oct. 31—hi; i believe we need third party; we can not accomplish anything when two party always arguing and fighting with each other; and the irony is these two party fundamentally believe in the same thing: capitalism. i do not believe in communism. what we need a third party such as social democrat like european countries then we think of people rather than money. good luck

* * * *

Facing “Uncomfortable Truths” About the System and Those Who Represent It

Re: “Exchange with a Reader on Obama”, Issue #145, October 19, 2008

Oct. 24—This is an attitude I find among many friends (who I'll call "hippies" for the sake of simplicity)—they demand that we focus only on the feel-good language and the symbolic "victory" of electing a black man to the Presidency, without being willing to acknowledge—much less discuss—his policy statements (or lack thereof) on issues like militarism, civil rights, corporate personhood and influence, and personal liberty.

Too many people would rather comfort themselves and go back to being self-interested than face uncomfortable truths about the system and those who represent it. In fact, I often encounter liberals and Democrats who will criticize me more for criticizing Obama from the left than they will criticize acquaintances and family members who are open supporters of McCain.

* * * *

“Why Do So Many Poor People Embrace the System That Oppresses Them?”

Re: “Food for Thought”, Issue #146, October 26, 2008

Oct. 24—Why do so many poor people embrace the system that oppresses them and seek only to emulate the wealthy (by wearing fake Rolexes, driving used luxury SUVs like Land Rovers and Escalades, etc.)?

Keeping with your plantation metaphor, aren't most of these people only interested in getting a place in the master's house (or on the porch), instead of freeing themselves (or burning the master's godd**n house down)? Why are so many seduced by the promises of heavenly bling-bling into being submissive and ignorant?

I live among poor and working class people, including many immigrants, and I do NOT see any kind of revolutionary potential among them.

* * * *

“Are You Gonna Continue to Fight for What You Believe In When President Obama Gets in the WAY of It?”

Re: “The Morning After the Elections...and the Change We Really Need...WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO NOW?”, Issue #146, October 26, 2008.

Oct. 24—Excellent and well targeted. Had a disturbing conversation with the well-known Funky Wordsmith today about the elections. Here's an artist considered one of the most politically radical Black voices in Chicago performance scenes, and he's thinking Obama has brought scores of Black everyday folks into political awareness/involvement and that it will last whether he's elected or not. And that he fears if Obama loses there'll be riots.

I said I fear that there WON'T be. Because if he loses, after all this hoopla, after the "new civil rights movement" born in the flames of Jena and Katrina, after half of Hollywood and NYC stars have pledged their love for this campaign/dream/smoke and mirror show—that if he loses after all THAT, millions will decide they have NO power, NO voice, and instead of becoming more empowered towards real political action/struggle, they'll "drop out" and numb down.

I hope folks are paying attention to Grant Park plans for election night—it’s gonna be the historical place to be, like it or not. Personally, I'm loving the position of "Are you gonna continue to fight for what you believe in when President Obama stands in the WAY of it?"

* * * *

The “System” Boys Want Obama

Re: “The Morning After the Elections...and the Change We Really Need...WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO NOW?”, Issue #146, October 26, 2008.

Oct. 22—I have felt the same way for decades, since 1968. Now Obama embraces Colin Powell, let's not forget that. Sick. I agree that Barack Obama is dangerous although of course better than John McCain, who isn't? The left is going to make Obama a "Demigod." I can see it all ready. And your absolutely right that the "system" boys want him specifically because he can calm the "crowd" so they can go about their business. Continue to send me whatever and I would like to help in whatever way.

* * * *

Waiting to Hear Some Real Solutions

Re: “Food for Thought”, Issue #146, October 26, 2008

Oct. 21—Do you feel that this society is equivalent to being enslaved or being imprisoned? Honestly?

I think your analogy is wrong. But I guess you have to do what's necessary to further your interests.  

You know, the money isn't in pointing out problems. I can do that all day long with a capitalist system or your "Revolutionary" ideologies. The key is to offer real solutions to a perceived problem. I am waiting to hear some real solutions from your organization.

So lets say that we're imprisoned and our votes mean nothing. What are you proposing we do? Breakout? Start a riot? Take the prison over? Set the prisoners free? How? Who will operate the prison? Who will fund the prison? What about the prisoners who want to destroy you? What will you do about dissent? What if you take the prison over, but your management is even worse?

Just some more food for thought.

* * * *

Grave Danger of the Christian Fascist Movement

Re: “The ‘Palin Factor’: A Christian Fascist Nutcase Runs for VP”, Issue #145,  October 19, 2008

Oct. 20—I frankly do not agree with your movement on many things, but I agree that you have a correct analysis on the rise of Christian fascist movement. Most of the so-called "radical left" and so-called liberal "progressives" just don't get it. They continue to harp on the "fascist danger" of weak, marignal right-wing movements like the KKK, but not the Christian fascists. What is more they are in bed with the government, media, and capitalist corporations.

In conclusion, we are in grave danger, and need to build a broad-based anti-fascist movement, or the fascists will completely take over social and political life in this country. The election of Barack Obama will not stop them, as many believe, they will continue to organize and escalate until they are smashed entirely.

* * * *

“The SYSTEM Obama Wants to Head Up Is a SYSTEM OF THE PAST”

Re: “Exchange with a Reader on Obama”, Issue #145, October 19, 2008

Oct. 17—Nurse Boogey raises feelings that are shared by so many people and you can almost feel the agony she and others are going through. I know because I have felt it too.

But I just want to say to Nurse Boogey to keep true to the truth you know: that the election is for who will lead the american EMPIRE; that for the people of Afghanistan there is no comfort in Obama's words, nor for the people of Iran, or Iraq, Pakistan. I think what may be confusing you is that McCain/Palin represent openly a further to the right social base and forces and what you see and hear and their openly avowed program and agenda is chilling and blatantly ugly reactionary no-nothingism and racism and hatred of immigrants, flat earth, etc.

But I want to offer that this agenda is not going away if Obama becomes president. It will continue to exert much strength that even the "liberal" bourgeoisie moves the needle on abortion further to the right; even the "liberal" capitalist imperialists "reassure" that they would not hesitate to use massively destructive force against Iran or anyone else necessary. An Obama win will not stop the basic agenda of endless war and the fight for the US empire to remain the dominant power in the world.

I know it's getting confusing Nurse Boogey, especially because there is no massive opposition or revolutionary movement on the ground. And more confusing since most of "the left" has thrown up their hands at building an independent political movement and revolutionary movement. It is also hard because forces like the RCP have no broad support at this time.

It is hard to listen to Mcpalin and observe their social base and not cringe and want to become an expat or head for the hills. It is downright scary. But what you're seeing is the coming together of all the basic problems of empire in a globalized world. I'm going to guess you don't actually think Obama has an answer for the financial crisis gripping the U.S. and the globe. I'm going to guess that your eyes well up with tears when you think of voting for anyone, yes ANYONE, who supports the "surge" in Iraq or who opposes late-term abortion rights.

I'm gonna guess that you don't actually think any of these people represent your WILL. So, okay, and I mean this with a real sharing of your intense feelings—why not take a stand and put your hopes and dreams into going for building a revolutionary movement that could actually express the will of millions upon millions of people who want the madness to stop.

Obama is certainly more of an intellectual and speaks in language closer to the present and John Stewart likes him, and so does Colbert, and he excites you and makes you believe, even if for just a second, that maybe there's hope short of revolutionary change.

But at the end of the day you're still stuck with the fact that the SYSTEM Obama wants to head up is a system OF THE PAST, that it can not save the planet from global warming, it can't feed the world's children, it can't stop the meaningless consumerism and waste, it can't stop waging wars for empire.

And, tell me if I'm right Nurse Boogey, maybe part of our problem is that the notion of breaking free of the bourgeoisie altogether in our struggle for change is frightening because then, in a sense, there's no shelter from the storm.

So, here's the thing. Life goes very quickly. And maybe there's is something you haven't yet discovered that can really point the way. It might be good to sit down tonight with some great old music...listen to some old Dylan, and Thunder Road, and Chrisse Hynde's Revolution, and some of your favorite songs that make you IMAGINE what it could and would and will be like when the people of the world have a genuine choice. Turn the music up really loud and don't let any of these politicians drown out your dreams.

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.

What Humanity Needs
From Ike to Mao and Beyond