Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sen. Obama, "A Politician" - no more, no less

Trust me, I know who Hillary is on the surface - a Washington insider, a wheeler-dealer who knows how things get done in that environment, a woman very publicly scorned by her husband and inextricably linked with the Monica Lewinski scandal because she chose to "stand by her man." I can live with that, because as I said - that's the persona we all already know. But somewhere deep inside, I'd held out some hope that the senator from Illinois might somehow be different. I get it now, he's not. To borrow a term from The Field Negro, Sen. Obama is no more than "politricks" as usual, a person absolutely counter to the campaign he's been running. Poor little interracial boy looking for a place to fit in notwithstanding, this old nursery rhyme (with my own modification for the times) now defines him for me: There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile. He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile. He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse, And they all lived together in a crooked little (White) house. Both he and his wife have chosen the political expediency demanded by white America and those in Black America who seem to want a Black president - by any means necessary. I wish them all good luck. As for me, the devil I know is way better than the devil I don't. If it turns out I'm wrong, I'll be the first to admit it.

9 comments:

Jazzy said...

Interseting post, good for discussion. The devil I know is better than the devil I don’t. I don’t believe that Obama is going to be the answer to black peoples pray’s and I hope that the majority of black people don’t think so either. However, Obama WILL be a good figure head for our image aboard. I have a friend who lives in Scotland we plan on visiting him and his family later and he has told us to tell people that we are Canadian. Most of the other developed nations are hoping for a change and they want that change to be named Obama. Will he be tested if elected to office no doubt, but the devil you know and the devil you don’t know will run the White house with the standard status quo nothing significant will change IMO. So why not let the devil you don’t know walk it out for a bit.

Deb said...

Jazzy...thanks for dropping in! You said, "I don’t believe that Obama is going to be the answer to black peoples pray’s and I hope that the majority of black people don’t think so either."

I agree with you, he is not, nor should he be - though I fear there are many of us who think exactly that and they will be the ones so totally decimated when they finally see it for themselves once he's elected. The larger point, which I have already been hearing as I peruse the news and blogs, is that whites will hold him up as an example that racism is over and there's no reason on God's green earth why Black people cannot succeed in America and I'm sorry, his presidency should not be that kind of litmus test.

"Obama WILL be a good figure head for our image aboard."

"Figurehead" is right! Based on the definition of the word: "a head or chief in name only," that is. My friend in Cologne, Germany is a rabid Obama fan and you're right, he will put a different FACE on our image - that is until his lack of experience shows up. Then we'll be reading another headline in the London papers asking "How could X-number of Americans elect this man president?"

"Most of the other developed nations are hoping for a change and they want that change to be named Obama."

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. While I agree other nations, developed and otherwise, are hoping for a change, I'm not sure they are all clamoring for that change to be named Obama. We'll have to wait and see on that one. :-)


"but the devil you know and the devil you don’t know will run the White house with the standard status quo nothing significant will change IMO"

Right again. But what a lot of people refuse to acknowledge is that even if Sen. Obama is elected, nothing significant will change given the state of the country into which he'll be walking and the fact that just as his walk is now being directed by "handlers," so will it be in the presidency since he'll be executing laws made by Congress that can be overturned by the judiciary (the "selection" of Shrub in 2000 is a good example). Besides, he's going to have a lot of people to pay back after all of this quid pro quo he's been handing out!

Look, I respect your wish and the wishes of others for this "historical" thing to take place. I'm heading into the third quarter of my life and it would be great to see a Black president in my lifetime. But I just don't think the "O" man, for various reasons, is the one for which I've been waiting.

"There will be blood" (title's perfect for this - in a figurative way of course!)in the turnover from the Republicans to the Democrats and during first term of the presidency as well particularly considering Democrats just barely have the majority in Congress. The devil I know is used to that kind of combat having drawn a little blood herself and her health care plan is one she's been working on since the 90's which I think is the better of the two (my age is admittedly a factor as I consider each of them).

I will cast my vote for whomever emerges as the nominee because another Republican administration is not an option. But it will be as an Independent (changing my registration) and grudgingly for the senator from Illinois considering his hard fight to disenfranchise millions of FL voters just so he could win the popular vote (but like most politicians, he's used to sniffing out the technicalities to enable victory - see links on my "No Permanent Friends...post). Seating our delegates after we had no say in who the nominee would be is, borrowing from Field - House Negro Behavior.

The First Domino said...

Isn't it tragic that we're choosing one devil over another, although a lesser evil is an evil nevertheless.

Beelzebub or Mephistopheles?

This country has long abdicated its highest calling, its highest principle: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"

Rather than look to God to govern us, as we have professed on what we value most--our American currency--with these words, "In God We Trust."

We settle again for the lesser of the evils and, by so doing, we abdicate our responsiblity to make this nation greater than the founders imagined, and the world greater than any nation's dream.

Regardless of those we bring to seats of power, if we choose to change those things which no longer represent us, we need to pray harder, listen longer, and align ourselves with those seeking the standards, and the goals that do represent us.

No longer should politics be just a human endeavor, but a spiritual one, as well.

Only then can we take the devil out of human affairs and replace him with the divine, where Life and all that sustains it becomes the highest good, rather than the lowest evil.

Deb said...

the first domino...welcome back!

"Isn't it tragic that we're choosing one devil over another, although a lesser evil is an evil nevertheless."

Absolutely, but considering the cards we've been dealt - it is, what it is.

"This country has long abdicated its highest calling, its highest principle: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"

True. And it continues - no matter who sits in whatever real or perceived seat of "power." It's a great document delineating why the colonies broke away from Great Britain though. Let's be clear, while cited in the Declaration of Independence, it is my belief that the "Creator" had no hand at all in its creation because those words were clearly not written with "all" of us in mind. We were, as they put pen to paper, chattel. Many Blacks in America who labored and lived under that chattel mindset while passing it on to future generations, suffered at the hands of man - with the greatest loss being that which I believe the Creator TRULY endowed -the ability to live in the light of their own recognition that the endowment was, in fact, for us all and more importantly - that they were worthy.

"Rather than look to God to govern us, as we have professed on what we value most--our American currency--with these words, "In God We Trust."

I don't believe that God "governs" us here on Earth in the political sense, but rather our hearts, thoughts and actions as we move through our lives and/or the political arena. And just again to be clear, "SOME" people value our American currency most - I am not one of them. I understand the concept of "Enough for me" as well as that of "Enough to share."

"We settle again for the lesser of the evils and, by so doing, we abdicate our responsiblity to make this nation greater than the founders imagined, and the world greater than any nation's dream."

We'll have to agree to disagree on whether CHOOSING the lesser of the evils is an abdication of responsibility regarding making this nation greater than the founders imagined (even without a President Obama, it's already made small steps toward being greater than they imagined since we are now considered "whole men" instead of 3/5 of one in an equation of property taxes. They certainly hadn't planned on that!).

"...if we choose to change those things which no longer represent us, we need to pray harder, listen longer, and align ourselves with those seeking the standards, and the goals that do represent us."

Again agreed. However, since I believe the only "change" in those "things that no longer represent us" where this presidential election is concerned - is the skin color of the person vying for the seat, quite frankly, I don't see how aligning myself with a change of skin color -- backed by the same type of political handlers, the same fount of financial resources, with no distinct or foreseeable policy changes or goals that would represent substantive change for my people than the devil I know, BUT, possesses LESS experience in the ways things DO get done (when they get done)-- will make a better difference. Honestly, it seems worse, because then, the foot on our necks will look exactly like our own, (we only need look to others already in some of those seats to see the existence of that pattern of betrayal). Not something to which I choose to aspire.

Like it or not, today, politics IS a human endeavor. And while the spiritual motivations of the devil I know may not necessarily be in line with my own, at least there's no question about it - it's out there to choose or reject.

On the other hand, particularly based on what I've seen so far, the devil I don't know has, to date, conducted himself in such a way that I can't even begin to believe he has our best interests at heart. What I've seen is an exercise in political expediency for personal gain and validation at the expense of those who, IMHO, have been manipulated to get him there. Hardly honorable or spiritual.

"...where Life and all that sustains it becomes the highest good, rather than the lowest evil."

Like you, I yearn for that day, but unlike you, I realize that voting for a Black president alone, will not make it so.

The First Domino said...

^Deb: "I don't believe that God "governs" us here on Earth in the political sense, but rather our hearts, thoughts and actions as we move through our lives and/or the political arena.

I agree.

And I'll go a step further and say I don't think He governs us here at all. I don't believe that He has a preference in how we conduct our personal or collective affairs.

If He did, He would strip us of our God-given ability to govern ourselves (You know? That "free-will" thing we often abuse.)

If God had a preference, we wouldn't.

But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't.

I didn't mean to suggest that God's personhood should govern, but that the principles of Godliness--Life, Love, Truth--to name a few, should govern the affairs of men and women in and out of the political arena.

Just as there's no God preferences, there are no shoulds and should nots, only what works and doesn't work, given what we say we want, and who we say we wish to be.

But I digress a bit.

@Deb:"...it is my belief that the "Creator" had no hand at all in its creation [the U.S.] because those words were clearly not written with "all" of us in mind.".

I can see why you would believe that, given the evil that was in the midst of this soon to be established new nation (slavery and the pillage of Africa) and the soon to be born misshapen, grotesque child that would become our U.S. Constitution.

I believe that in part it may have been God inspired, with a cosmic irony--as the colonials sought to affirm their own "unalienable rights," they affirmed the rights of all men, intentionally or unintentionally.

For the document to be worth more than the parchment upon which it was written, this nation had to come to terms with its own hypocrisy, and Christian doctrine.

In a sense, we're seeing this tragi-comedy being played out on today's social and political stages.

For example, how does this country reconcile it's values of free speech, and tolerance for all points of views in our society--given its willingness to unfairly destroy the reputation of another without the benefit of a fair hearing?

The incessant skewering of Rev. Wright (a black man) comes to mind readily.

America, we're reminded, has this unwillingness to tolerate self-examination, and self-criticism.

If we continue to kill the messenger, it will be our undoing.

And yet, all is as it should be: we're individually and collectively bringing to the fore that which represents us at our very core.

Our contentious political methodology is only symptomatic of that which we hold dear--might is right, to the victor belongs the spoils, winning at all cost.

As a society, we countenance all sorts of political shenanigans--lies, half-trues, deception, misrepresentations, to name a few--in the name of the power grab we call running for office.

We not only applaud those who are best at it, we actually reward such behavior by electing them to power positions, and justifying it by saying that their ruthlessness will prove beneficial to us in the long run in matters of national (think Congress, and the states) and international negotiations.

It's the George Bush, a new Sheriff is in town, approach to settling national and international issues.

And you see where that has gotten us. And we actually believe that more of the same is what is needed (think McCain, and his supporters).

What I'm advocating is a change of polticial and social values. The ones we're currently holding are becoming our undoing.

And that won't happen for us all until we all get in on the act.

We can start with ourselves, of course, and expand our energies and resources to include others working in a like manner to change personal and collective social values.

The survial of the planet as we know it is at stake.

@Deb:"Like you, I yearn for that day, but unlike you, I realize that voting for a Black president alone, will not make it so."

No one person can change the collective consciousness and values of a nation or the world.

But one person can inspire a new consciousness and represent a new set of consciousness-raising values.

Will Obama be that person? Who knows.

I say: Let us all preside over the United States. Let us all preside over the world.

I think the job is too big for any one person.

Let's do it by reflecting the highest ideals of freedom and justice, not merely in name only, but in our words, thoughts and deeds, and insist that others uphold those ideals as well, especially is they presume to lead us.

Deb said...

the first domino...we are more alike than we are different!

"I believe that in part it may have been God inspired, with a cosmic irony--as the colonials sought to affirm their own "unalienable rights," they affirmed the rights of all men, intentionally or unintentionally.

"Great point!" (I'd suck on a debate team because I am too willing to cede a point to which I feel is sensible and deeply explored!) That being said however...

"For the document to be worth more than the parchment upon which it was written, this nation had to come to terms with its own hypocrisy, and Christian doctrine."

Did it? Has it? I think not. Given the response to Rev. Wright by the media AND from senator from Illinois. All of it disappointed me (as I'm sure, it disappointed the Reverend). I agree, this constant skewering will be our undoing.

"What I'm advocating is a change of polticial and social values. The ones we're currently holding are becoming our undoing."

Agreed!!! But for me, the senator from Illiois is NOT the inspiring, change in political and social values for which I have been waiting.

I try, with everything that I am, to do, by reflecting "the highest ideals of freedom and justice, not merely in name only, but in my words, thoughts and deeds," but by my "insisting that others uphold those ideals as well," to do the work that is necessary to achieve the kind of world that I believe we both desire.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the conversation. It is, for me, stimulating, thought-provoking and empowering.

Let's agree that, though we don't always agree, it'll continue.

The First Domino said...

Actually, I responded to your post twice. My first response blew up when a power outage swept through the neighborhood.

@Deb: "I'd suck on a debate team..."

Don't you believe it. You're as worthy a debater as any I've met in cyberspace.

I can barely keep up.

@Deb: "Let's agree that, though we don't always agree, it'll continue."

I agree.

Clifton said...

Deb,
It's been amazing how many people who fell into the Obama trance and stopped paying attention to what they are seeing. The saddest part of this whole thing is how his campaign has obviously recognized the black support at all cost and doesn't feel the need to address anything concerning our community and we are accepting that and praising it.

Deb said...

Cliff...Hey!! It's been awhile, how are you?? I read how they used newspaper as fill in the levee repair in the 9th Ward – I plan to blog on that today because I need a damn break from this election game!

"It's been amazing how many people who fell into the Obama trance and stopped paying attention to what they are seeing."

Yep! I'm no political whiz, but I try to really pay attention so I can make a fair decision for myself based on what I see. And what I've seen of him so far ain't too pretty.

"The saddest part of this whole thing is how his campaign has obviously recognized the black support at all cost and doesn't feel the need to address anything concerning our community and we are accepting that and praising it."

And that IS the saddest part. Look I'm not into whining about racism or seeing a Klansman around every corner (though there are plenty James Crow, Esquires suited-down and ready, willing and MOST IMPORTANTLY ABLE to put a well-heeled foot on our necks if it serves them), but, racism (institutionalized or otherwise) and the neglect it manifests in Black, brown and poor communities is real and it's important it be addressed often, and OUT LOUD if there is to be any "real change" - none of this stealth, “I got you after I win this thing” bullshit.

That’s why I first voted for Edwards. After he suspended, I watched Sen. Obama’s campaign for a little while then said, “Nah man, I’ll take my chances with Sen. Clinton."

Like Clay from “The Wire,” Kwame Kilpatrick in Detroit and OJ with Nicole’s murder, some of us seem to always “come home,” waving that damn 3 of Spade, so-called “race card” (that’s all it’s really worth in this stacked deck of a white-privileged society) when we get in trouble. Race matters then. We count then.

I liken our community to a battered woman who, because she loves the “idea” of having a caring, supportive, loving man – keeps forgiving him and keeps setting herself up to get her ass whipped over and over. We're the “girlfriend” with whom he "creeps,” then disowns (read – denounces, distances himself from) when he’s around his real girlfriend and friends. But low self-esteem does that to a people.

Some believe his presidency will help raise that self-esteem. I don’t know if it will or not. But based on what I've seen, unless and until the "battered woman/girlfriend” finds her own way to self-esteem so as not to blindly accept or praise the "idea" who would continue to give us his ass to kiss when it’s politically expedient, I believe there’ll be lots of ass-whippings and/or broken hearts ahead. I’m just sayin’.

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