Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why Politics Should Be for Upliftment

"Politics is for upliftment . . . not for personal gain . . . ."
-A group of Garifuna women in Belize

I first read this quote while in a training session for the Hillel Tzedek internship. We discussed the true meaning of political organizing in a clear progressive framework. But even if you take that out of the lefty liberal world in which the 12 of us were working, it does really make a ton of sense.

This week Barak Obama, who is the number two most popular guy in most Democratic polls, said that he is of the people. Mind you he has raised so many more millions of dollars to spend on advertisements and buttons and other such crap, than most Americans will ever see in their lifetime JUST THIS MONTH, he is playing the underdog card in a way that is making it even more difficult for me to choose a horse in this race.

I got an email from Barak last night after he was on the Tonight Show. He called Hillary Clinton, the all but certain to be President of the United States, out for being like Bush because people are saying she has already won. Here is Barak's response: Hillary is not the first politician in Washington to declare "Mission Accomplished" a little too soon.

What happened to the politics of hope? I was excited about Barak Obama and had the "I will vote for Hillary if need be" mentality. Now it just seems like the Senator from Illinois is just another pissed off Washington neophyte clamoring for air time. I am still holding out for something worth voting for in this coming election.

I read Obama's first book and was excited to have a man with such a deep and meaningful education and experience as the possible next president. I was uplifted by his message of hope for a better life. Who cares if it is pretty good for us now, it could and should be better in the future. That is the message I want to hear. Not a "hey guys just writing from the limo to tell you I took Hillary to the cleaners on a late night talk show." (Like we are supposed to believe the candidate just would write a quick email to his hundreds of thousands of supporters via BlackBerry)

The kicker is that Obama continues to say sling mud, Clinton continues to bring in TONS on money and they will only make our country weaker. These two people represent all that is good in America. Women's rights, equality and competition. But not the touchy feely bullshit rights and equality; the hard fought and continuingly fought for kind of rights and equality that exist in the real world. There hasn't been a single interview with either of these candidates when they haven't been asked about race or gender, and they are playing the card.

Mr. Obama, please stay above the fray. You can do better than this. Mrs. Clinton, please stop making stupid statements like lobbiest represent Americans. They represent their clients. Please uplift this country. We need it, badly.

No comments: