Sunday :: Jul 27, 2008

American Vacuum of Change Only Pulls So Far


by paradox

Frank Rich of the New York Times and Ian Welsh of Firedoglake both do an excellent job this morning chronicling the irrevocable forces of change that overtake events absent of any leadership, vacuums in economic and foreign policy simply rendering our stupid and rudderless leadership into pretzels of absurdity. Senator Barack Obama was rapturously received in Europe partly because he didn’t hideously grope a Prime Minister or deliberately blast Texas oil industry flatulence from the world’s greatest polluter all over everyone, go figure.

Be foolish and obtuse enough to start a lying war for class-coddling regressive resource policy backed by paper funny money, as Welsh so aptly chronicles, and the implacable reality of the markets, the planet and human behavior will finally smash the pathetic rationalizations to the leave the American people in a world of hurt.

Change inevitably follows, usually nothing that would be an optimum path (gas at over $4.00), but still change. Watching John McCain pathetically self-destruct over the past week great hope wells up that massive change is soon to be upon us, but that excitement is always tempered by the knowledge that, compared to other modern industrialized Democracies on the planet, America will not change to the degree that Germany or France has.

It’s monumentally stupid to pour endless billions of cash flow to the Middle East for a resource that bakes the planet when that money could be invested into American homes to stop global warming and the abuse of our people. That natural vacuum of utter good sense has in fact been filled, I met him at Netroots Nation, a brilliant leader of natural, endearing humility on a real mission of hope and great necessity: Van Jones.

Yet his audience was dismaying small, on the very last day of the conference, and somehow this amazing black American was not part of the Obama campaign. I was mystified and hurt that somehow a Democratic candidate for president had not made Van Jones and his cause a shining centerpiece of American pride and policy—how was it possible that the massive vacuum forces of change pulling us to Van Jones' path were being denied? Why?

The great Digby of Hullabaloo has in instant answer to that riddle, the same answer as to why America has no single-payer health care, no trains, no daycare, slums of violent hell in every major city, and brutal working conditions: racism.

That’s why America is so dramatically different and behind countries like Denmark and Belgium: men like Van Jones and his mission mean massive social investment to the little people of color, and America will not, under any circumstances, seriously invest in its black population. Committing your life’s work to it gets you the last day of conference and out of the Obama campaign, that is the America we and the world have always known.

How could this be with a black Democratic candidate? There are a lot of possible answers, but Sarah Robinson of The Big Con offers the most compelling: white men first share power with men of color, as long as they play by a rigidly defined set of rules, and then after a short period of time women crowbar their way into positions of power by using the precedent engineered by men of color.

Neither of us like it, that’s simply the stark American historical record of change. It also precisely explains why Obama punted on FISA and floats Republican names for Secretary of Defense and Vice-President, it induces projectile vomiting to the Democratic base but is in fact simply plain messaging by Obama that he’s conforming to the American racism game, first-timers play this way or not at all.

America, as always, must wait as it wrestles with its racism demons. This time, however, the people and the internet are not going away, Van Jones and Al Gore are not going away, and the massive vacuum of change emanating from the Earth finally means our wait to join other industrial democracies is almost over.

paradox :: 8:05 AM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!