Hillary and Obama: The Dynamic Duo?
The following does not represent an endorsement of any candidate, but rather a reflection on possibilities. I know what I am about to say could be misinterpreted. So I hope to set this up carefully.
First, my premise:
I want to see a serious sea change in American politics. I want this sea
change to involve a change in US policies, both domestically and internationally.
Its domestic policies should reflect to the world its great promise-the promise of democracy, first, for its own citizens. Democracy means not just a vote, but a real nation of, for and by the people. This policy, this union, would then be a shining example for all of the world to see.
As it is, this image has been effectively destroyed by the Bush regime. But, I believe, we can reverse this process. We can restore the promise of our democratic republic. But we must have a clear and sure sense of what we are and what we can do. We must rally the people for their own mission.
The domestic scene should represent the values of the US to the world. It should represent the embodiment of real power: the power to empower its people, all of its people. It should do this by building a truly strong union, a union of empowered, represented, peaceful, striving and achieving people. The policies to bring this about are subject to debate, but empowerment is not.
It should do this by being a nation of great and principled restraint internationally. It should not start wars for profit or domination. It should not be the world's bully. Nor should it be the world's police, because, as we know, the police can always justify their use of force, regardless of the motive. The US cannot effectively represent democracy by breaching the principles of Enlightenment on which the nation was founded. The war in Iraq represents a clear contradiction of our own avowed principles of equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. Certainly, the founders didn't just mean that all Americans are created equal.
Our move to democracy at home (by empowering our citizens domestically) and the command of real respect abroad (by representing our values in international policy) can begin soon. But it will take a long view and a good, sound, political strategy. How can we effect it, given the present circumstances and the present cast of historical actors on the US and world stage?
I am suggesting the following: Obama and Hillary are the most likely leaders toward this situation, given our political realities. These political realities include the political process as it stands today, including the influence of money, star power, and the two-party system. Like it or not, that's the historical moment as we find it. The question is: what are we going to do with it? Are we going to surrender and abdicate our power simply because the choices we have right now are not ideal? Or, are we going to work with what we have right now, toward our ideals? Take your pick. There are no other choices.
Having made the choice, think about this: what would be the best strategy for 16 uninterrupted years of Democratic rule? (I say Democratic because, given our circumstances at the moment, no other party that can win that is closer to our ideals. Given this, we must choose them and remake them, to suit our aims. Otherwise, we lose and have another disaster).
Then, of that party, who are we going to choose who has a chance of winning? I believe that the two front-runners are our best hope.
Thus, the question becomes: Obama in the on-deck position, or Hillary in the on-deck position? I believe Hillary needs Obama. But I do not believe that Obama needs Hillary. Which configuration do you think would work best to our advantage to achieve the longest, uninterrupted string of Democratic presidents? Need I say more? I will.
Hillary would be toxic in the number two position. She cannot help Obama. In the number one position, her toxicity may just be acerbic enough to bore holes through fabric of the social order, to the top. In the number two position, she will attract criticism, rather than deflecting it. Obama, on the other hand, is virtually a criticism repellant. Paradoxically, his race makes him nearly the Teflon man. He can deflect much because critics can be seen as racist, which is utterly discrediting. In the number one position, the Democrats may have eight years. In the number two, they have a great chance at 16 years! Harboring the Obama weapon may be our best bet.
This may sound to some like the old Booker T. Washingtonian tones of Black 'patience' and 'responsibility' and deference to the White power structure. I mean nothing of the sort. Race has been used against Blacks, and against all of us, for far too long. It is time to turn the tables. The best way to turn the tables is to use 'race' to the advantage of Blacks and all disempowered peoples. Try for a 16-year run. Turn the tables. Then, the dynamic duo can work wonders at reversing the long disaster of the Bush "White House," the Bush "Big House," the plantation operation that has ruined our nation, Iraq, and much of the world's belief in US-style democracy.
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