Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Ralph Nader appeared today on Democracy Now! and gave his opinion on Barack Obama, John McCain, and the difference between their campaigns and his. During election time it's so easy to get in the "Republican vs Democrat" mentality that it's easy to forget which issues one actually cares about in politics and whether they are being represented in the major campaigns. Nader's interview with Amy Goodman may help you remember.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
With just half a week having passed since Obama brought on Jason Furman, the man who in 2005 wrote a lengthy defense of Walmart entitled "Walmart: A Progressive Success Story", as his chief economic advisor, I think it's becoming more and more clear that progressives need to do something different this election cycle if we are hoping to get the change that our country so desperately needs. Do you remember the election of 2006? Do you remember all the "hope" we had then? Remember the claims and expectations that as soon as the Democrats regained power that this ridiculous war in Iraq would end and that Bush and his cronies would possibly be impeached and removed from office? On looking back, it seemed that we were all so naive to think that the Democrats would have done anything regarding these promises. Yet here we are again, in 2008, "hopeful" as usual. Why are things going to be different this time? Is it because Obama has a crack PR team and the good guess of his website crew that people would respond so positively to images of a politician who looks like he's coming out of the clouds like a god?
I don't buy it, and I don't plan on being duped again this year. That is why I'm supporting (at least for now) the Nader/Gonzalez ticket. Despite the virtual complete blackout from the mainstream media, Nader is polled at a remarkable 6% of the electorate. This is considered an important number because many debate organizers have minimum thresholds of 5% of the vote to get to the debate. Can you imagine the impact of having Obama being forced to go up against Nader and McCain in a debate? Obama wouldn't be able to just slip by with arguing for centrist policies, he would actually have to commit to progressive positions. I think that getting Nader in the upcoming Presidential debates should be first priority for any Obama supporters out there. This is one of the easier ways for you to help Obama stay true to the progressive values that you assign to him and to actually give his campaign the substance that would make it deserving of the hope that so many seem to have in it.
Again, it's pretty simple. If you are willing to vote for Obama, regardless of what his positions are as long as he is to the left of McCain, he is acting in the most rational way if he decides to go further to the right. In this way he picks up more conservative votes and doesn't have to worry about losing yours. Only if you give the impression that you won't vote for him if he doesn't make progressive changes in our government will he take to the time to actually do any of it. Remember, Obama has been in Washington for many years now and has he shaken up this illegal government? No, he's been rather passive. So why would you expect anything else if you don't force him to be different?