Revolution #157, February 22, 2009
Confessions of an Obama democrat and my disappointment in a system I keep trying to believe in and can’t
My first election I campaigned for McGovern and the next year I turned old enough to vote. I have voted mostly Democratic since my first vote was cast; like my friend, Leah says, “Bill Clinton is the only Republican I ever voted for.” I did vote for Nader and campaigned for Jerry Brown in his presidential run. I was not at the time old enough to cast my vote for Eldridge Cleaver and Jerry Rubin, but voted and registered Peace and Freedom for many years.
So it is not news to me we have a one party system called two different names nor is it under my radar that politicians are bought and sold before we even learn who they are. Nevertheless, the idea that we could have “a man judged by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin” in this country at this time in history captured my imagination and dreams. Therefore, I campaigned for this man, a former ACORN activist. I phone banked, wore buttons, went to rallies along side his quite yuppie supporters. However, I had faith; I believed we would turn a corner irregardless of what my friends said in RCP and Bob Avakian’s wise analysis of race and racism in our capitalist country. I believed I had hope!
Then came the appointments of Rahm Emanuel and Stevens, and the announcement that we would be removing troops from Iraq only to increase them in Afghanistan. His friendly relationship to capitalist bankers and his sophisticated populist appeal as he is pursuing rich men’s policies in domestic economics and foreign relations that are not that far afield of George W. Bush. That gave me pause, which brought me to writing this. We are all of us doing the best we can understanding our world and bringing not just our minds and our intellect to the act of building a better world but our hearts. Not one of us does not want to end suffering in our name, done in our name as a people. None of us wants torture carried out in our name no matter what we believe the circumstances or the crime. Not one of us wants the racial profiling and institutional racism to continue. And yet here we are with the first black president of the United States all but ignoring the races in our prison population and making comments that sound like Bill Cosby attacking our own youth for being young and poor and black (Jesse Jackson got a lot of flack for simply stating this), making permanent tax cuts for the rich as our economy is at depression levels and joblessness is at an all time historical high. In addition, the biggest cause of this debacle the war, its funding is set to continue with different rhetoric than his predecessors, and that is all not genuine policy change and action.
Moreover, why because Capitalism cannot be reformed, the great society of LBJ proved it and so did the populist front and the New Deal of FDR. Capitalism at its heart has to demand an oppressed and an oppressor because without them it is just a paper tiger. The redistribution of wealth with the vehicle-currency intact is just a front for the corruption it pretends to fix. The ownership of goods and manufacturing by the workers is the only way to stop the nightmare. Not a black, white or green figurehead sitting at the top of their pile of money and their schemes to get more.
It is important to state our elation, my elation at him having won that it feels like the end of a long dark nightmare of hate and race. Like most nightmares we want them over by clicking our heals and chanting there is “no place like home!” Then we will be magically transported to a time when the KKK are powerless and all men become men of good will but that just isn’t so! It was not that long ago as the article in the January 18th issue of Revolution points out that whites were keeping Blacks from moving in next door in the north (actual laws on the books can be sighted in every town) to murder and lynching in the South again by many public officials and police. So our elation is well founded just thinking he can change a system from within the rules of that very system, a system that demands from its very nature a inferior and superior people whether by what color they are, what they think they know, and what they have access to in the way of breaks and education. Capitalism demands this to stay intact there has to be an under class and trust, me there will remain one in place... No matter what!
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