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Political Monday: We Are In A Historical Moment

I’ve tried to write this post so many times, but mainly it just comes out boring and wrong-sounding. Still, I feel the need to remark on something. Barack Obama won the South Carolina primary. Before that he won the Iowa caucus. Hilary Clinton won New Hampshire. An din every contest thus far John Edwards has come in third.

Now, I must say that I do like John Edwards best, myself. However, how fucking momentous is it that, in America, the white guy is behind both the black man and the woman?

This is a serious matter here, people. This is the first time that a black man’s bid for president has ever, ever been this strong. To win one primary? To even come close in any? [in comments, I am totally pwned by history]

This is the first time, as far as I know, that a woman’s bid for president has come this far (unless Geraldine Ferraro did better than I remember).

It’s crazy that we’re in 2008 and only now, for the first time, is it really a consideration that Obama or Ms. Clinton will be sitting in the White House this time next year. But it’s an exciting prospect.

Yes, I agree with those who say that your vote should not depend solely on gender or race (but a big FUCK YOU to Bill Clinton on that score). But neither should those attributes be ignored. Because being a woman or being a black person is as much a part of who you are as your morals or political views or worldview. It will inform the decisions you make. For my part, I long for someone without one of the major icky privileges to get this job. Be it white privilege or male privilege. Sadly, we’re going to have to deal with one or the other, plus economic privilege and a host of others.

I’m excited, though. Everything else about this election annoys me except for the fact that here, in America, we’re seriously talking about electing one of these people.

It’s about damn time!

41 thoughts on “Political Monday: We Are In A Historical Moment”

  1. Antonio says:

    On the subject of primaries, Jesse Jackson won SC in ’84 and ’88, something Bill was happy to spit out following Obama’s victory.

    This is exciting, I just hope Obama or Clinton can beat the privileged, theocratic jackass the GOP nominates.

  2. Saladin says:

    As far as a female candidate for prez, yes, we’re in a historical moment. As far as a Black candidate, not so much.

    Jesse Jackson won ELEVEN state contests (7 primaries, 4 caucuses) running on a genuinely progressive platform.

    Obama, running on a corporate-friendly, Christian-themed, pro-Israeli aparteid, pro-increased-military-spending, pro-police state, pro-America-as-world-cop platform has won ONE primary and ONE caucus. Not so jaw-droppingly historical, after all.

  3. the angry black woman says:

    Wait, really? I don’t remember EVER hearing this! Perhaps because I was a wee lass, but I’ve never known this about Jesse. Folks always make it sound like he was always a complete longshot.

    well then, I am shocked.

  4. Saladin says:

    @ ABW

    You’re not the only one who doesn’t quite remember Jackson’s performance in 1988. All sorts of people who were not so ‘wee’ are acting like Obama’s breaking new demographic barriers when he is not (though I think he may, eventually). I actually think it’s a subtle form of racism: Gushingly going “Oh, wow! A *Black* guy won two primaries! Can you believe that? What progress we’re making as a country!” while erasing the fact that another Black man — one who was then and is now more outspoken outspoken than Obama about the LACK of progress that’s been made — won five times as many contests twenty years ago.

    Here’s the wikipedia link on Jesse’s wins, BTW:

  5. Eileen Gunn says:

    Hey, don’t forget Shirley Chisholm! She got 172 delegates in her bid for the candidacy. She didn’t make the final ticket, but she was running for president just as much as Hilary and Barak are right now.

  6. Aaminah says:

    Ahem… I think Saladin has it: Obama is a challenge to racism in this country, but he isn’t actually quite as “threatening” to the status quo as Jackson was and is.

  7. Nick says:

    Yes, and then Jesse Jackson referred to Jews as “Heimies” and New York as “Heimietown.” (Sp? I suppose I should be proud that I have no idea how a racial slur is spelled.)

    Somehow I don’t see Barack doing that.

  8. Auntie Wend says:

    As a disinterested observer, all I can say is, your political system weirds me out! Can I ask you a question, though – how does the thing work after the primaries – is there a chance of an Obama/Clinton or vice versa ticket? Because, you know, *either* the woman *or* the person of colour seems an unhelpful dichotomy. Why not both?

  9. Ico says:

    There seems to be a lot of talk on political forums about how if Clinton wins (and that is a big “if”), she will be forced to take Obama as her VP. This would (IMO) be great; it would put Obama in the right place to step up to the presidency in the future. I would love to see them on the same ticket.

    I don’t think Hillary will get VP. Unlike Obama, Hillary doesn’t have a whole movement of young admirers behind her. He has nothing really to gain from offering her VP. She has nothing really to gain from it either, as it’s unlikely she’ll make another presidential run after this.

    But either way if it happens, both would be lovely. I’ll support them until they’re there. Then I’ll start screaming about how they aren’t progressive enough (because Saladin’s right; neither of them are). But for the moment, having the democratic nominee be a… not white guy is great. :)

  10. Michael Tyas says:

    Canadian politics are much less complicated. This is simply a quantitative statement. I’m not trying to put forward anything profound.

  11. Kay says:

    Next Tuesday do I vote for Obama or Edwards? I like both of them and I’d like to see an Obama Edwards ticket. I could vote Obama in order to block Hillary from the nomination. I could vote Edwards because he walks the talk. I was going to vote for Bill Richardson but he dropped out and he is busy hammering out a health care plan for my state. Bill Richardson hasn’t thrown his support behind anyone yet and he may try to get V.P. I’m just tired of seeing people working hard and not getting anywhere. Seeing people sleeping on sidewalks and homeless. Kids going to schools that are falling apart. It wasn’t this bad when I was growing up in the 1960’s. There was poverty but there was a movement to change it and a feeling that things were going to be better. The only people that I saw sleeping outside were hippies in the summer of love. In the 1980’s during the Regan era things got bad and that’s when lots of people became homeless. At least Obama and Edwards want to address this, but we can’t depend on politicians to do it for us. We have to take this country back as a movement of all people untied.

  12. Diane J Standiford says:

    That is Obama’s strong suit–the ability to inspire us. I loved Jesse, but I think he came across too angry for white people to make him President. Not that there wasn’t a lot to be angry about, but he was too slick for Iowa farmers. Obama comes across like a man who wants a united states, no anti-Jew comments, no sex with interns in the Oval Office, he is thoughtful before he acts; I watched him closely tonight…I want him to lead my country. The fact that he is black is icing on the cake. We are witnessing history. I was there for JFK, RFK, MLK; now I want a leader who doesn’t crush me with destiny. I deserve that in my lifetime, we all do.
    GET EXCITED. Such events sometimes only come around once in a lifetime. PS–Richardson as VP, Obama has spoken a lot about Hispanics and Richardson took the high road with Hillary like Obama tried to. A Good Ticket.

  13. DSimon says:

    Nick, that actually happened? I thought that was just a line from “Bonfire of the Vanities”.

  14. Saladin says:

    Yes, Jackson said ‘hymietown’ which was the depressing, crass, gross low point of his career. But the onslaught that followed had as much to do with Jackson’s refusal to blindly support Israel, and his refusal to label Farrakhan a ‘bigot’ (as per requests by some Democratic leaders) as it did Jackson’s use of a slur.

    Jackson was a Black candidate who grew up in the segregated south. In NYC (the place he made the remarks about) he was reacting to very real hostility from a powerful politically entrenched WHITE group that, for all it’s proclomations of liberalism, treated him at first patronizingyly and then threateningly.

    And before someone accuses me of trotting out the protocols of the elders of zion, let me be clear: I’m talking about the real, unfortunate behavior of the fake-liberal Ashkenazi political establishment in New York City in 1984 (and, less so, 1988). I’m not indicting some vast Jewish conspiracy.

    Jackson also publicly apologized in an era when that was NOT the de riguer meaningless gesture that it is now.

    Of course Obama won’t use such a word. Largely b/c he’s squarely in AIPAC’s (the biggest Israeli lobbying group) pocket. Throughout January, while America was bugging out about how many phone calls the fucking Olson twins got on their cells, Israel was using American money and diplomatic support to starve old people and kids in the Gaza Strip, and to block medical supplies and cut off electricity for water treatment and hospitals. Obama made sure to say that he understood that Israel was ‘forced’ into starving litle kids. His AIPAC speech last year ( is a good indicator of just how quietly militaristic his platform is. It contains all sorts of vague threats against Iran, then creepily includes the phrase “We have no quarrel with the Iranian people”. This was the exact phrase Bush I used toward the Iraqi people just before he bombed them into the stone age and killed over a hundred thousand human beings.

    So on the one hand we had someone with a genuinely equality-oriented platform who used a slur with little institutional power attached to it. ‘Hymie’ in the context of a Black man’s political wrangling in NYC is about as powerful and oppressive as ‘redneck’ or ‘mick’ or ‘polack’. The fact that one poster didn’t know how to spell it is probably a sign of its lack of currency in our culture. Everyone still knows how to spell ‘nigger’, after all.

    On the other hand we have someone who will always say the polite thing but condones and advocates policies that are racist and have a very real and vry high body count.

    Personally, politicians can get on TV and call my people backwards dirty sand niggers all they want. Just so long as they get the fuck out of the middle east, don’t encourage mosque vandalizers, don’t fund an anti-Arab aparteid state, etc. etc.

    On another note, one poster here mentioned Shirley Chisholm and I agree that it’s super important to remember her and pay tribute — a Black woman who won three state contests in 1972!! Ass-kicking, to say the least. Interesting note for readers of this blog: she was quoted as saying, in regards to her political career, “Of my two ‘handicaps’ being female put more obstacles in my. path than being black.” I think that had as much to do with it being 1972 as anything else, but it’s still intruiging.

  15. Veronica says:

    So on the one hand we had someone with a genuinely equality-oriented platform who used a slur with little institutional power attached to it. ‘Hymie’ in the context of a Black man’s political wrangling in NYC is about as powerful and oppressive as ‘redneck’ or ‘mick’ or ‘polack’.

    On the one hand, I, even as a wee kid, liked Jesse Jackson and so did my mother, despite the hymietown nonsense, precisely because of his equality-oriented leftist platform. On the other hand, don’t be so quick to write off anti-semitic slurs. By invoking an anti-semitic slur, Jackson discursively allied himself with centuries of anti-semitism–essentially, he used his majority Christian privilege as a response to white privilege. By using that slur, he positioned himself alongside those who have attacked and oppressed Jews. Manning Marable had an excellent piece on this in the wake of the Crown Heights troubles, wherein he pointed out was that what you had was two historically oppressed groups (and no question, blacks have it far, far worse in the US than do Jews) invoking their privileged traits in order to attack each other; when Orthodox Jews called for black blood (that wasn’t the phrasing, but I can’t remember it now) they were invoking their whiteness and allying themselves with centuries of violent racism, and when African-Americans chanted “Kill the Jew,” they were invoking their Christianity and allying themselves with centuries of violent anti-semitism. Judaism doesn’t get you a free pass for racism, and blackness doesn’t get you a free pass for anti-semitism. If Jackson was pissed off at the white NY political establishment, there are plenty of ways to express that without resorting to anti-semitic bullshit.

    I mean, please. There’s one place in the US where being Jewish is normal and Jews achieve positions of power, and somehow that political establishment is worse than all the other bulwarks of white power Jackson faced? I don’t buy it.

    As I said, I liked Jackson then and I liked him now, and I would have voted for him had I been of age because hey, people are human and fuck up sometimes, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t say a pretty foul thing.

  16. Saladin says:

    Veronica — I agree with most of what you say. That’s why I started by syang the comment was “the depressing, crass, gross low point of his career”

    What I disagree with is the notion that that one foul comment automatically means that Jackson’s genuinely progressive campaigns were less admirable than Obama’s politely-worded but relatively right-wing camapaign is.

  17. joankelly6000 says:

    Saladin – thanks for your comments, I always find them smart and insightful and on-point.

    And Angry Black Woman, thanks for this post, I have similar feelings about this election.

  18. al_zorra says:

    I’d be more excited about this offering, if the offering of a woman or a black person had anything to do with me getting any reflection of the choices about who gets to run. Hillary wouldn’t be running at all if she hadn’t been married to a president already. Which to me, at least, means that Obama is actually a more authentic offering.

    However, I still prefer Edwards — and before him, others who the corporatist powers + their wholly owned media made sure didn’t even get a hearing.


  19. Veronica says:

    Hillary wouldn’t be running at all if she hadn’t been married to a president already.

    Meh. Look at how many presidents would never have been in a position to run if not for their families. What’s the real difference between being in that position because of a husband and being in that position because of a father?

  20. jim says:

    My theory (if anyone’s interested?) is that the possible election of a black man/white woman to the presidency doesn’t neccesarily show the fact that people especially WANT to vote for a black/female candidate, but more that they are willing to accept such a candidate as legitimate based on their ideas and theories. And that the American public are not the type of people who after hearing a politicians campaign manifesto from someone and approving, upon hearing “oh, and they’re black/female/a black female” will suddenly change their opinion.

    Obviously, the money behind the candidates indicates the national feeling that yes, there can be a black/female president, or they would not have that level of funding! Although Hillary’s banking does seem to me to have a lot of it on her last name, and sadly in her case as far as I can see from the media response, the novelty value of a female president… but that seems to be fading into acceptance of legitimacy. That has to be progress, doesn’t it?

    If a muslim could be seriously considered for the primary as well, then wouldn’t the world be a better place? Just a thought, please shoot my argument down if you can think of a good counter-argument.

    Shoot me down people, that’s how ideas are developed, and the only way I’ll learn.

  21. Saladin says:

    “If a muslim could be seriously considered for the primary as well, then wouldn’t the world be a better place?”

    I’m not sure. But I know that it is hilariously depressing that white America is finally talking very seriously about a Black candidate being President, and the most noxious slur that can be tossed at him is “He’s a closet Muslim!”


    And then the Obama people are like “No, no, Barack never attended a ma-dra-saa!”. WHICH JUST MEANS ‘SCHOOL’ IN ARABIC!

    !#$!@%! , I say!

  22. Lillian says:

    It bums me out that we have to give so much consideration, not to mention, attention, and media attention, to race/gender…this is 2008, it seems insane to me – but then the term, (which does not negate your valid arguments) ABW seems a bit racist to me also.
    When can we all cut the c–p withe the he/she – blk/wh – Christian/Mormon – why can’t we focus on the issues and who is going to do the best job, if that’s a black woman, so be it. As soon as Dr Condoleeza Rice can shake off the stench of this presidents’ legacy, and she came up with a workable platform (or head up a new damn party!) I would have no problem voting for her, she’s just one for instance…
    I could go on but I think I’ll just keep reading…nice work. Good points. Signed, the (white) chick as if it matters : )

  23. anonymous says:

    its not going to fly for you, republicans will win anyway and Obama has to change his name before he has a chance, we ar at war and his middl name is Husein ?

  24. Ignatius Sancho says:

    I am following this contest with interest and was amazed recently when perusing wordpress to see this lady criticise interracial relationships:- Steph’s Blog

    Especially when she said:

    “Fact: a very small number of white women are conceiving to black men.”

    She seems to think that we are all infertile or something, sad really.

  25. al_zorra says:

    When did a politically influential wealthy family put up one of their daughters for president? Lessee, in presidential legacy wealthy families we have the Roosevelts, the Kennedys, the Bushs. They all have lots of daughters and grand-daughters.

    However, in many nations that include, mostly, reactionary ones, it’s common for the wife of the former president to step up after he came to end of term, was shot, died or otherwise no longer could ‘serve.’

    There’s a real difference between working one’s own way through the political meat grinder process and getting crowned a Senator without having ever been in a campaign previously oneself.

    Whatever problems I have with Obama — he did do that.

    But Edwards did it also, and more so, by fighting corporatists. Who vowed to kill him, and they have.

    Whereas Murdoch and Co. luv Hillary and invest in her, just as they do in Obama. Neither of them are a threat to corporatist status quo control.

    Love, C.

  26. Ico says:

    I am in agreement with Veronica. Hillary Clinton worked hard to get elected senator and has had a powerful political career in her own right. To dismiss her position as being merely the result of her husband’s influence is pretty much echoing the misogynistic rightwing talking points against her. Did her husband help? Of course he was important. But not anymore so than other family connections (Kennedys, Bushes, etc). She gets a lot more heat for it, though.

    On a sidenote, as someone from Florida, I am thoroughly pissed at the DNC for removing our delegates. Granted I’m registered in Indiana now, but the rest of my family is all in FL, and I know many Florida Democrats who are so angry at the threat of not having their votes counted that they have said they will not vote in the general election.

    Nice work, Dean. Brilliant strategy. It’s like the democrats are trying to lose the election!

    Why, why, why are the Republicans so much smarter about these things?

  27. Veronica says:

    I’d also point out that I greatly doubt that her husband would have achieved his political goals without her; her intelligence, her family background, were great assets to him. Why shouldn’t he return the favor?

    I’m not sure what your point is regarding the Kennedys, Roosevelts, and Bushes. The Roosevelts and Kennedys haven’t produced any presidential candidates for many decades–women running wasn’t an option back when they were active. The Bushes…are morons, really, and right-wing sexist morons at that, so I’m not shocked they haven’t groomed their daughters for political careers. The fact that in the, what, 75 years since the right to vote was no longer restricted by sex, only one woman has been able to make a credible run at the presidency, and in part that is because of her husband’s previous success, says a lot more about this nation’s sexism than it does about Hillary’s qualifications.

    We live in a sexist country–let’s not blame Hillary for that. Quite honestly, for a politically ambitious woman of her generation, marrying a politically savvy, charismatic, intelligent man was probably the shrewdest move possible.

  28. Kay says:

    My heart tells me the big reason why I want Obama to become president is that it would send a powerful message to every black and minority child in this country that they have a future. Obama represents a huge portion of the youth today because he is multi-cultural as they are. Like them he grew up being raised by a single mother. Most of the young people that I talk to about the election support him because he is positive and he brings them hope for the future. My heart tells me Obama because of the kids. Still I think that Obama and Edward would make a great team.

  29. campbellbreed says:

    Well you hit the nail on the head, about icky privileges. Thank you and the way you put it wasn’t as if on factor competes against the other. But in terms of icky privileges the thing that counts is the color green which has no gender. Money helps you to run for President.

  30. al_zorra says:

    Political dynasties, was the point I was attempting to make. If the billary machine’s in the white house again that means 2 families alone have been sitting there for how many years? This isn’t good for the nation or the already perverted political process.

    Love, C.

  31. Lmary says:

    To Veronica you mean lying,sleazy,conniving,manipulative,phony,racist sociopath and for all the people say Barack is too ‘safe’ HUH?!! What is he supposed to come on stage spewing Marcus Garvey quotes and dressed like a Black Panther?! Let the man be who HE is Barack is not Jesse and this comparison b.s. seems like the EXACT ‘divide and conquer’ bullshit black people claim to have such a problem with. Furthermore ‘Billary’ have more dirty dealings under their belt than a bunch of candidates put together and it really gets me how quickly black females are to defend her yet attack Mr. Obama as if she ever wanted to be your ally. I’ll bet of you followed Shrillary for a month with a hidden camera you’d REALLY see how true that is and how ‘diverse’ she wants her voting base to be.

  32. Veronica says:

    I mean what?

    If you mean that Hillary is lying, sleazy, conniving, manipulative, phony, and most likely racist, then I say, yep. She’s a white politician. That’s…what they are. I highly doubt that the Clintons have more dirty dealings under their belts than any other successful political couple. That’s politics. Dirty dealings are what it is all about. This is not Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. This is reality. I want my politicians to be lying, sleazy, conniving, manipulative and phony (I don’t want them to be racist, but most white people in this country are racist to one extent or another, and most politicians are white). I want my politicians to be good at being lying, sleazy, conniving, manipulative, and phony. That’s what will make them successful in the real world of politics.

    I don’t buy the image of Obama as a clean-cut, gee whillikers, untainted outsider. If it’s true, he’s not fit for President, because he won’t understand how anything works. But I don’t think it is true, because he wouldn’t have gotten as far as he has if it were. I’m certain that he’s lying, sleazy, conniving, manipulative, phony, and most likely sexist.

    I don’t know where you’re getting “sociopath” from. I haven’t heard any indication that Hillary tortures animals or people for fun, or that she’s incapable of empathy. To be honest, I find the term “Shrillary” obnoxiously sexist.

  33. Ico says:

    Hah, Obama is hardly an untainted outsider. Anyone who has been following his campaign at all can see he’s another politician. Some of his campaign tactics have been downright dirty (his recent Healthcare mailer, McClurkin). The fact that he inspires starry-eyed trust in his followers concerns me; I’ve met too many Obama followers who actually believe the man is something like the Messiah and can do no wrong.

    Is he a good choice for president? Sure, absolutely. But follow him with open eyes — the man is no saint. Anyone who truly believes all his rhetoric hasn’t been watching him closely enough.

  34. Lmary says:

    Fair enough I won’t use the term Shrillary anymore.

  35. Katie says:

    and al zorra – “billary” is pretty messed up too.

  36. Saladin says:

    Veronica said “I want my politicians to be lying, sleazy, conniving, manipulative and phony…I want my politicians to be good at being lying, sleazy, conniving, manipulative, and phony. That’s what will make them successful in the real world of politics.”

    Rather, it will make them succesful in serving corporate interests before those of average people. “The real world of politics” — presidential politics, certainly, and most state and local politics too — consists of working on the behalf of corporations and rich rich people and getting things done that primarily benefit them. Unless you own a corporation they are not “your” politicians.

    And I agree that the Clinton family s no scuzzier than any other political family. I for one don’t care about blowjobs from interns or whitewater. But Clinton bombed people. And brutalized — ruined, in fact — a lot of people’s lives through the prison boom, welfare ‘reform’, etc. He insulted and embarassed the two Black women in his cabinet before firing them And he starved & ‘diseased’ HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of children to death in Iraq. Madeline Albright got on 60 minutes and said as much:

    And Hillary was there, smiling, along for the ride. They’re not just swindlerish politicians. They’re murderers and assholes.

    And Obama wants to be just like ’em! Some sorry shit….

  37. Veronica says:

    The real world of politics” — presidential politics, certainly, and most state and local politics too — consists of working on the behalf of corporations and rich rich people and getting things done that primarily benefit them.

    Well, obviously. And nobody who achieves any political power in this country will be any different.

  38. Saladin says:

    I said “”The real world of politics” — presidential politics, certainly, and most state and local politics too — consists of working on the behalf of corporations and rich rich people and getting things done that primarily benefit them.”

    And then Veronica said “Well, obviously. And nobody who achieves any political power in this country will be any different.”

    Maybe you mean “nobody who **attains a big political office** in this country will be any different”?

    MLK, Caesar Chavez, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Sojorner Truth, John Brown, Emma Goldman, Jesse Jackson, Eugene Debs, Fred Hampton, and a WHOLE lot of other people achieved political power in this country. Without being warmongering corporate agents. They helped to force large-scale social change in this country and inspired others to work small-scale changes in their own communities. These are hallmarks of political power.

    The fact that we think ‘power’ means ‘government’ (or maybe the power to choose which kind of cell phone we buy) is a big part of what is wrong with us as a culture.

    I agree that anybody who makes it very far in a presidential race is going to to be a hustler. Furthermore, only someone who is willing to order the bombing of women and kids wil stand any chance of becoming Prez. That’s a straight-up fact of the system.

    So the question arises: should we be spending so much of our time and energy jumping up and down over presidential elections, period? The ‘if you don’t vote, you can’t comlpain’ adage is BS. It’s been one of the great lies of Euro-American ‘democracy’ (and the slave-holding
    ‘classical ‘ civs. it has tried to pattern itself on) that going to the polls one day every four years somehow magically fulfills your civic duty and makes for a fair or equal or less brutal society. It’s BS. Tell that to the living and dead Native Americans that ‘democracy’ served so well. Go to Iraq now and them how lucky they are to be starved invaded and tortured by people who vote.

    There are a lot of ways to make the world a less shite place, and voting is arguably one of these least effective. That said, everyone vote, sure. I mean OF COURSE I wuold rather see a Black former community activist in the oval office than mr. Monkeydemonface, but please don’t tell me any of these people are inspiring! Or that somehow things will finally be different when [ ] is in office.

    If you have a machine (the US govt), and that machine is practically designed to squash babies, how much does it matter who’s behind the lever? Sure it’s good to have a guy (or gal) who will probably squash 5 babies per hour instead of 10. But is it ‘inspiring’?

  39. Veronica says:

    Maybe you mean “nobody who **attains a big political office** in this country will be any different”?

    Yep, that’s what I meant. It was a mistake in phrasing, though, not an insight into my definition of power. I’m well aware of all the people you cite.

    It all depends on where you’re coming from. I grew up in an ultra-leftist context that disdained voting and any other way of “working within the system.” But the fact is that working within the system can be effective. For me, the reminder that government power is in fact effective political power is far more startling than the whole “it doesn’t matter if it’s a Democrat or a Republican because they’re all running-dog lackeys of capitalism” stuff I grew up with. When it comes to reproductive and sexual rights, it does make a difference.

  40. Saladin says:

    “the whole “it doesn’t matter if it’s a Democrat or a Republican because they’re all running-dog lackeys of capitalism” stuff”

    Heh. I grew up with some of that talk around too. But it’s not just about obstinate Commie rhetoric. For a lot of people in the world — a LOT of people — there really won’t be much of a difference.

    My point is that the office of US President is essentially that of manager for a worldwide rape-starve-murder-plunder operation. This is not just far-left rhetoric — these are real things that happen to a lot of real people every day because of things that even the most saintly [heh!] president has had/would have to do to keep our insanely rapacious economic system running. Ultimately if we want this ‘change’ that all of these elect-me fools are hawking, we will need to make it ourselves — and it will need to be fundamental. Detroying the world with a green T-Shirt on won’t do it.

    Elections would be more acceptable to me, BTW, if every country that had more than 10 armed and legally unaccountable US soldiers in it got to vote for US Prez. THAT would be democratic. No bomb-ization without representation!

  41. Veronica says:

    A fellow red-diaper!

    I completely understand what you’re saying and quite agree–it’s just important for me to keep in mind that for many people in this country it does matter, because my default isn’t set to what I agree is the blindly silly “every vote counts” rhetoric that we have drummed at us in school.

    And I guess I’ve given up on seeing real change in my lifetime; I never expect it from elected officials because as you say, there’s a system in place that not only weeds out those who would be in favor of real change, but is impossible for any one person to combat. I don’t know why I don’t expect it from other venues. I did a lot of activism work when I was younger (not that everybody needs to be younger, just that I was) and perhaps I just burnt out.

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