Thursday, March 9, 2017

Confronting, Finally, Obama as Centrist, Incrementalist—Never The Socialist | radical eyes for equity

Confronting, Finally, Obama as Centrist, Incrementalist—Never The Socialist | radical eyes for equity:

Confronting, Finally, Obama as Centrist, Incrementalist—Never The Socialist


It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.
James Baldwin, No Name in the Street (1972)
The Right, specifically the Republican Party, has never been too bright, but it has always depended on the ham-fisted logic of the U.S. public.
As political maneuvering, the Right maintained a persistent drumbeat throughout Obama’s presidency, painting him The Socialist.
Yet, over the past few days, that same Right has unwittingly unmasked both Obama and themselves by noting the similarities between past comments by Obama and recent controversial claims by Ben Carson (slaves as immigrants) and Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz (iPhones and healthcare).
First, let’s be clear that calling enslaved people “immigrants” and demonizing people trapped in poverty are categorically wrong—regardless of who makes the claims.
And let’s also clarify that although the ends do not justify the means, Obama’s calloused comments were in the context of quite different goals than similar comments made from Republicans: Obama seeking equity and expanding healthcare by working within the system and long-held but false American Myths versus Republicans denying racial inequity (Carson) and working to cast impoverished and working citizens out of the guarantees of publicly funded healthcare and into the dog-eat-dog world of the free market.
But, second, and possibly more importantly, Obama has been unmasked as a centrist, an incrementalist—what we may admit is Ben Carson-light in rhetoric, but not political goals—by the very Right who falsely portrayed him as The Socialist.
As I have detailed in the Big Lie about the Left in the U.S., there simply is no viable or influential Left in this country, not in our two major political parties and not even on our university campuses; the leftwing professor cartoon is just as false as Obama The Socialist.
The Democratic Party in the U.S. is a centrist, leaning right, party; college professors are moderate progressives, comfortable members of the leisure class who are in no way dedicated to upsetting the status quo.
And everyone in power—even Bill Clinton and including Obama—remains trapped in narratives about race and social class that are both enduring and provably false.
Political leadership in the U.S. on both sides of the aisle speak to and perpetuate “get tough on crimes” rhetoric, despite decades of dropping crime rates; “fearing foreigners,” despite ample evidence that homegrown terrorism is far more dangerous; and “lazy minorities” as well as “lazy poor” characterizations beneath bootstrap language, although the bootstrap myth is a lie and systemic inequity remains powerful (racism, classism, sexism) on the lives of many Americas.
We don’t need the Right to pick through Obama’s legacy to highlight that he was never The Socialist, but it certainly would go a long way toward an equitable nation if we all would confront the moral vacuum that exists in U.S. politics because we have no political Left.
Publicly funded—universal healthcare, public education, roads and highways, judicial system and police force, military—is not about giving Confronting, Finally, Obama as Centrist, Incrementalist—Never The Socialist | radical eyes for equity:


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