By David Mark Greaves
There is no doubt where the bulk of the African-American constituency stands on this election: nearly 100% for Obama.
And the main reasons are the emotions of pride and satisfaction evoked in the by the gaze of this young man into the eyes of a president who looks just like him. These are not emotions coming from policy, but they will make folks stand in line for hours to cast their ballot.
Of course, there are the stark policy differences between Obama/Biden and Romney/Ryan that make the choice compelling, but basically, we want Barack Obama back in the White House because we want this moment to last for four more years. And when the Republicans put out their biggest lie, “We Built It!” we recognize it is as a call to white folks to circle the wagons and protect what is theirs, the country they “built” on the land they stole from the slaughtered Indigenous people, using the labor they stole from the enslaved Africans. So we will be fought against with everything we have, but what happens after the driving emotional rush of Obama? What is the plan then?
If he loses, I have no doubt the Republicans will overreach as usual and will be dealt with severely in the midterm election. But an Obama victory should not be just another signal for complacency, but rather a call for a renewed urgency to set the nation on a corrected course of more equitable taxation on the rich, more regulation of the financial industry, an expansion of the health care system, and for African-Americans, control of our own education. These are things that will not happen even in a Democratic Administration without a continued ground game of protest, civil disobedience and constant political pressure. And perhaps in the same way that the Tea Party has re-shaped the Republicans, a coalition of poor, middleclass, progressives, anti-war, labor, and black & brown people, can come together and force the Democratic Party to have a passion for flesh and blood people rather than corporate personhood.
As reported by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, www.democracynow.org, we have seen how the corporate elite have so brazenly flaunted their influence and put their stamp on the Republican convention. There has been no shame in their game as they party and fund and help shape the message, as they no doubt will be doing to greater or lesser degrees next week for the Democrats as well. It really doesn’t matter to the top 1% who wins, it only changes the way they use their power, and with this election they’re swinging for the fences, hoping to hit a home run by electing Mitt with a combination of voter suppression and advertising. They plan to spend upwards of a billion dollars following the philosophy of Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, who so famously said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” A billion dollars buys a lot of repetition, and when it’s amplified by the likes of Fox News, the lie takes form and is understood as fact. For the Republican leadership, among the lies they tell is that their policies will save Social Security and Medicare. But if they are elected and pursue their agenda, they will see what Goebbels meant when he went on to say, “The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.” And as people begin to lose health benefits, personal financial security and see themselves further controlled by major corporations, and feel those consequences, we will all learn why Goebbels ended by saying, “It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” But it will not come to that because the good guys are going to win this one. We have to.