Obama Must Lose… to a Progressive
I’ve been “masterdebating” (debating with myself) on this one for several months, but it has to be said… it has to be done. President Obama has to lose – to a real progressive. I don’t mean just lose the primary – but lose California in 2012 and thereby lose the general presidential election.
Blasphemy! If that were to happen, the Republican candidate would win the national election and we would have a Republican president! Yes, I say with head hung low, that is exactly what needs to happen.
Wow. Has Rossi finally really lost it? What kind of craziness is this? I’ll tell you what kind of craziness: it’s a “queen sacrifice.” In the game of chess, a player sometimes has the opportunity to set up this bait-trap-kill strategy. The idea is to sacrifice (allow the other player to capture) the queen, the most powerful weapon on the board, and through this sacrifice, weaken the other player’s positioning and move in for the win: checkmate.
But the reasons for this go way beyond strategy. It’s true that the Republicans, and certainly the Tea Party, want to put the U.S. on a direct path into economic and social hell. They want unfettered corporate control, while the government only serves to control our behavior, words, and even thoughts, while ostensibly protecting us from outside threats. As opposed to the shortest route, President Obama has us on the scenic route to hell. He’s delayed, diverted, and shown us some dying flowers and falling trees along the way, but we are most certainly headed toward the same end.
Why? Because President Obama, while being accused of socialism and worse, has led our economy in the same-ol’ neoclassical direction. The same direction that got us into the current incarnation of a long-term, structural disaster. Obama has done everything to put a band-aid on the economy that got us here – the economy of doom. He’s done everything to build it back up, to make this jalopy run so it can take us off that cliff that was apparently the goal.
And I think it should be obvious by now to almost anyone that as the economy goes, so go the rights of the working class. The “bad” economy (really it’s great – if you’re already a billionaire) has been used as an excuse to make pensions disappear, to take health-care away from workers, to force us to accept lower pay and longer hours.
But my point is that what we have been calling a “good” economy is really not so good. Our “free market” economy (let me be the first to say that a free market not only does not exist, but CANNOT exist) is basically designed to suck money toward the top and out of the rest of us. In addition, the needs of our grow, grow, grow economy have justified our continued destruction of our planet and its resources – both its sources and sinks. Not only will this make life very difficult for coming generations, it’s already having a strong effect.
For all these reasons, we must abandon false hope. We also must accept that, in order to weaken the grip of conservative marketing double-speak, things have to get worse before they have any chance of getting better. The only way I can see forward is for the Republicans to really take over, and drive us off that cliff. Then and only then will the deluded masses see the truth. When unemployment hits 30, 35, or even 40%, people will start to see. When all pensions are gone, released in corporate bankruptcies, the people will start to see. When the brown skies of the seventies and eighties return, the people will start to see.
Besides, I’m really starting to think the Republicans WANT to lose in 2012. I’m not saying that Republican voters want to lose, but the strategists at the center of the party do. They know that the economy is going to get worse and worse (for most of us, anyway) and they want to be able to blame a Democratic president.
So who then? Who should we vote for to send a strong statement that we want a real progressive? Dennis Kucinich.
While he’s no perfect superhero, Kucinich is the one true nationally recognized progressive.
So how is this different from what happened with Ralph Nader in 2000? That certainly didn’t have a good result, did it? First of all, that election was different. The lines weren’t so clearly drawn between Al Gore and George Bush. Many accused them of sounding too alike. And Nader (as the candidate for the Green Party) was only a third uncharismatic candidate in the race.
At the time, the Green Party had told its members that Democrats and Republicans were essentially the same. That didn’t ring true in most people’s ears at the time. Now, we have seen President Obama seduced by our nation’s “leading” economists – convinced that free-market, free-trade growth is the answer. It now seems that the Green Party is right. They turned out to have been wrong in 2000, but they’re right now. While Obama and the Republican candidates trade barbs and insults, we are floating (precariously) on two different streams, but emptying into the same ocean.
I know Obama has tried, a handful of times, to do some actual good, as with health-care, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is under the spell of an economics that has proven itself a failure.
Let me be clear, Dennis Kucinich absolutely will not win the presidential election of 2012. But if Kucinich were to grab enough of the vote in California and maybe a few other states, Obama would lose, and it would be clear and obvious that he had lost because he had coddled the illusory “swing voters” that everyone believes are slightly right of center.
So, assuming he won’t appear on the final ballot, write in Dennis Kucinich. This would mean that the Democrats would HAVE to start paying attention to progressives. I want a Democratic candidate to run on the slogan: “People before profits.” And then I want that candidate to keep that promise.
Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.
Tom also posts on thrustblog.blogspot.com