I didn’t vote for Obama, but I cannot help but feel relief and even cautious optimism at his clear victory last night. I was unable myself to vote with confidence for a centrist member (judging from his actions thus far) of the Democratic Party, one half of the two-headed corporate beast that we call the federal government. I still feel that Ralph Nader says what needs to be said, and speaks strongly and in great detail about what actions must taken to install an actual republic in America.
So, I didn’t vote for Obama. I am not one of the Hoosiers who turned Indiana Blue for the first time in decades. But I am excited to see what will happen with Obama, and I love to see a black family moving into the White House. I am relieved to have an eloquent and moving speaker taking over after eight years of the anti-intellectualist Bush assault on reason, which brought daily offense to the image of my country and to my intelligence. And I am cautiously optimistic because 1) he has so much stacked against him right now, and 2) I don’t think he will take (or be able to take) the radical steps that are needed to move the country away from its global imperialist dominance and make the economy a system for and by the workers and the consumers instead of for only the rich.
There are some things I want to see happen under Obama. I hope the pressure will he heavy on him to do them and other major moves he promised or hinted at during his campaign.
- Officially apologize, as a government and as a nation, for the crimes of slavery and the genocide committed against Native Americans, and the ongoing mistreatment of immigrant laborers across the nation. Set the nation on a path towards reconciliation and racial healing by addressing the issue of institutional racism (the police, the prisons, the ghettoes, immigration laws, etc.) that plagues our nation and perpetuates great evils and all of their ghosts.
- Employee Free Choice Act! Make the US safe for unions.
- Medicare/Medicaid for all! Say no to the stranglehold that pharmaceutical companies and health insurers have over this nations citizens, and make good, available health care a right for everyone.
- Fair Trade, not Free Trade! The US has been sucking the blood of third world nations for too long. We need some real regulation of the financial system that incorporates ethical and moral dimensions of business. Make America a force of good for world economies instead of one of the vampires of the Global North.
I’m sure there are more I could come up with, but I think that’s good enough for now. People get up and make this country change for real. Voting is the least active role you serve politically. Get together, make your voices heard, and take action to make your communities and world a better place. You can’t expect anybody to do it all for you. No matter what they may tell you.