Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dear Dave and Howard - On Obama

Both Dave Lindorff and Howard Zinn have written new pieces about Obama and why they're holding their noses and voting for him.

Howard has been consistently and correctly saying that the key is mobilizing the people in a powerful extra-electoral social movement. But he nonetheless concludes that Obama's the "lesser evil."

Dave's piece, I'm sorry to say, is something that makes me want to put my arm around his shoulders and say: "Dave, what are you thinking?"

I was on a radio interview with Dave and my co-editor Peter Phillips on KPFA shortly before the November 2006 elections. I was saying that a people's movement had to be built and Dave came back arguing that we have to elect Democrats and that "We don't have time for a movement."

Well, we now all know how much good it did to elect those Democrats. They impeached Bush and Cheney and they ended the war on Iraq, right?

I'm afraid I don't have time right now to write a real response to them, but for now let me say this:

There is one and only one way that we can make any difference here and that is by building an independent political movement of the people. Anything else is illusion.

Vote for Nader or McKinney if you're going to vote for a candidate at all.

But don't harbor any illusions that voting means anything. The notion that the left can exert any pressure on Obama more than McCain is sheer fantasy. He is not beholden to us. He's beholden to big capital. Neither Obama nor McCain will have any reason to listen to the left and to the people unless and until a movement of the people is expressed in the streets, literally and metaphorically.

1 comment:

Arthur84 said...

I've commented on this before but, again I believe that we shouldn't have to vote for the "lesser of two evils." We shouldn't have to vote for anyone that is evil. We should vote for the person who is going to make real change, positive change. When will the public realize that the Republicans and Democrats are the same entity. They are to sides of the same coin, I like to say. I am just going to start calling any Republican or Democratic Politician a Republicrat because that is what they are, a lying politician. We need real leaders in our government. We need to bring back a sense of meritocracy to our nation. People should get where they are because of their actions, not because of who they know, or who their father/mother is. If we had a meritocracy in our government, Bush would never have been allowed to apply for governor, let alone the presidency.
Same for Obama, where did he come from. These politicians remind me of pimples, one day you wake up and their just there.
I am tired of the elites running the show unhindered, while the real people have to fight just to survive this cruel world.

I voted for Ron Paul by the way, I sent in my absentee ballot, two weeks ago. I never liked Nader, and I would have voted for Kucinich, but I am not sure if he was really serious about the presidency. I think I would have rather have voted for Dean, or Gore if they were running.