CHANGING OF THE GUARD, WELL OKAY-BUT ON WHAT PROGRAM?
FORGET DONKEYS, ELEPHANTS AND GREENS- BUILD A WORKERS PARTY THAT FIGHTS FOR A WORKERS GOVERNMENT!
It has been several weeks now since Illinois Senator Barack Obama announced his candidacy to run for President of the United States on the Democratic Party ticket. Some readers might have expected that I would drop everything to comment on this development as soon as that candidacy was announced, especially as here we have a serious (and ‘clean’) black candidate who moreover has challenged the political pretensions of baby-boomers, my generation.
Let us be clear on this, I actually agree with the Senator that it is time for newer, younger leadership to assert itself and not wait until the last grave of the last boomer is covered over before new voices can be heard on the political scene. And I offer as specimens #1 and #2 the two most recent presidents, Bush and Clinton, baby-boomers both, as prime evidence for the bankruptcy of the conventional bourgeois politics. Every rationale person should go screaming into the night at the thought that another Clinton (or Bush, what about Jeb?) will be taking her apparently alternating dynastic place in the White House.
I have noted, sarcastically, elsewhere that my parent’s generation, the generation that went through childhood in the Depression of the 1930’s and fought World War II, has been misnamed “the greatest generation” for basically being quiet (in the 1950’s and 1960’s when it was time to scream like hell). Unfortunately the boomer generation has also long ago given up the ghost of whatever dreams animated our youth and made the 1960’s and early 1970’s a time-‘when to be alive was very heaven’. Some got tired, some burned out, some copped out and a few, very few, of us are left to tell the tale. Well, for what it is worth we made every error in the book of social change, there were excesses to be sure and most certainly we were defeated politically not only by the likes of one Richard M. Nixon but by ‘wannabes’ from my generation like the Bushes and Clintons who offered more of the same old politics.
But, hold on a minute. If Senator Obama wants to lead a new ‘children’s crusade’ against the current boomer establishment I want to know one thing and that is what is your program? Call me jaded but his campaign is very long on dreamy talk and very short on a program that addresses the key needs for working people-education, living wages, defense of civil liberties, repairing the physical infrastructure of the country, making New Orleans and the ghettos and barrios livable, health care and I could go on but you get the point. In short, those things that are desperately needed today but go far beyond the norms of even ‘left’ Democratic Party politics and require a workers party fighting for a workers government.
Now I can tell why I did not respond to sooner to the announcement of Obama’s candidacy. As it is Black History Month I have been concentrating on writing about various historical figures and events important to the black liberation struggle. And as a natural part of that work the name and life of Malcolm X has taken prominence. Frankly, in the presence of such a real black mass leader, the voice of the rage of the ghettos in the 1960’s, to friend and foe alike, it was hard to take the time to comment on yet another ‘clean’ black Democrat. As I pointed out in a review of the Autobiography of Malcolm X today’s black leaders like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Obama the “Charma” please take a step back, very far back. Enough said for now.
THIS IS PART OF A SERIES OF ARTICLES ON THE 2006-2008 ELECTION CYCLE UNDER THE HEADLINE- FORGET THE DONKEYS, ELEPHANTS, GREENS-BUILD A WORKERS PARTY!
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