Thoughts on Elections - Liz Roberts

I think between the elections and the crumbling of the major institutions of capitalism, I can't remember a period when I was as perpetually starved for news all day every day for weeks on end, as I am now. It feels like things are so intense and there are drastic and surprising developments each day. It's obvious that neither major party candidate is going to challenge the entire structure of capitalism and imperialism, the dominant systems and ideologies that necessitate and generate war. I am still surprised to see Obama ascend  to the presidency, in this white supremacist country. I do feel, despite my belief that he does NOT represent the type of change I want to see in many ways, it is an amazing moment when black youth, and all youth of color in this country will have a completely different perspective on what is possible for their own futures. I do find myself surprised and happy when Obama mentions things like the repression and violence that Colombian labor organizers have been facing. And talks about healthcare like he means it.

Of course, if he wins, and it looks very likely that he will, the left has MUCH more to do. Perhaps because there is a bit more of a possibility to push for some of the change WE want with him in office. If McCain were to win, our organizing would be of a different kind, like in the second Reagan term--trying to keep more of us from drowning in the waters of an-already-broken dam. I think we need to see an Obama win as an invitation to organize in a way that might actually be taken a bit more seriously. We need to challenge people to STAY active, (not falling back to sleep thinking a democrat will fix everything)-- pointing out that wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are as unacceptable as in Iraq. We need to push the discourse around the crazy logic of bailing out the companies that screwed us, while doing nothing to fortify the weak and defaulting mortgages that keep the whole structure totally volatile and on the verge of full collapse. We need to be there to organize the people as they become disillusioned once more , by another democrat who disappoints them. And we need to be educating people about seriously building third parties and proportional representation so that they realize there are options aside from democratic heart-breakers.

Liz Roberts

October 2008


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