Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"all fallen leaves should curse their branches"

The results are in: Obama wins.
Hooray for rhetorical change: change you can believe in as long as it's not too specific.
Yes, of course I prefer Obama over McCain by far. And yes, of course I think it's awesome (incredible, really) that we have elected our first African-American President, and I am excited about that. BUT, the corporate state remains in tact, and the brutal war machine rages on. Let's not kid ourselves, the ensuing "change" as a result of an Obama Presidency will most likely be mild. Obama is, after all, a timid reformer and a BFF of the corporations and Wall Street. My question is, now that Obama has reached celebrity status and millions of Americans have fallen madly in love with him, swooning over his flowery speeches and endless charm, are these same people who elected him President ready to stand up, take to the streets and protest any bad policy that he attempts to push across (or under) the table during his Presidency, the same way that proud Americans have done for centuries. The act of protest against those in power is an American tradition. My point is that now that the elections are over and Obama has won, it is time to put our Barack-star worship aside and hold him to his promises and push him to make even greater promises (especially since his promises weren't all that great to begin with). We need to be willing to exercise our right to voice our opinions (beyond simply voting) regardless of who is President. Can we do that? Only time will tell.

Chris Hedges has enumerated a few things about President-elect Barack Obama to help us begin our protesting:

-his vote to renew the Patriot Act
-his votes to continue to fund the Iraq War
-his backing of the FISA Reform Act
-his craven courting of the Isreali lobby
-his support of the death penalty
-his refusal to champion universal, single-payer, not-for-profit health care for all Americans
-his call to increase troop levels and expand the war in Afghanistan
-his failure to call for a reduction in the bloated and wasteful defense spending
-his lobbying for the huge taxpayer swindle known as the bailout

As Hedges says, these are things that are "repugnant to most of us on the left." Hedges goes on to say that "there will be under Obama marginal improvements for some Americans although the corporate state, as Obama knows, will remain our shadow government and the working class will continue to descend into poverty. Democratic administrations have, at least until Bill Clinton, been more receptive to social programs that provide benefits, better working conditions and higher wages. An Obama presidency, however, will make no difference to those in the Middle East...I cannot support any candidate who does not call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan and an end to Israeli abuse of Palestinians."

One more thing: It's November 5th. It's time to go to work.

"all fallen leaves should curse their branches
for not letting them decide where they should fall
and not letting them refuse to fall at all."
-David Bazan

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