[Marxism] Election Thoughts and Related Matters (including The Nation, naysayers, and such)

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at hunterbear.org
Fri Oct 19 07:53:07 MDT 2012

Watching significant portions of the "debates",  I found myself surprised at how thin my emotions were -- though, from a purely academic standpoint,  the interaction was interesting.  Several of our family here are supporting Rocky Anderson who, as Salt Lake mayor for a couple of terms, certainly a challenging job re vocation and location, has a strong human rights record [as he's had for most of his adult life].  He went out on a lot of limbs and I'm glad to at least give him a thank-you vote.  More to the point, he -- like the Greens and the SPUSA and some others -- has a solid social justice agenda.  Other members of our family in these parts are supporting Obama. (No ripples in our family because of that!)  I haven't polled the family members who are far and away.

(All of our family in the Gem State are voting Democratic in local and state elections.  There may be some local victories in that vein.  And we're especially interested in seeing three propositions defeated -- efforts by state government to centralize control of Idaho education and weaken the teacher unions (mostly NEA.)  "Outside" money is pouring in on behalf of those nefarious efforts but traditional insistence on "local control" is, in this struggle, a significant asset.)

More interesting nationally are the rationales by some liberals and even some leftists for their support of Obama.  A typical example came some days ago via the Nation magazine to which we've subbed for a long time.  In the old Nation days, when Carey McWilliams and Freda Kirchwey were its mainsprings, it gave respectful space to a number of the alternative political parties. It had a genuinely radical "bite" on many social justice issues. And, in those old days, you certainly couldn't find it at the one newsstand in Flagstaff.  [The state college did sub to it and my parents occasionally did -- along with the Atlantic Monthly.]  I was impressed when I read the autobiography of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn -- who helped blaze the IWW trail and later affiliated with the CP -- that, when she was incarcerated via the infamous Smith Act, she chose the Nation as the one publication she could receive.  But it's a different publication now with a vastly different ethos.

This particular issue of the Nation contained not only an editorial  endorsement of Obama, but a list of comparable endorsements by several liberals and liberal leftists -- rather stratospheric folks.  Essentially it all boiled down to "lesser evilism".  One of the more revealing comments came from Chip Berlet, some of whose writing on racist organizations is good, who wrote to the effect:  "We'll get the Democrats in and then we'll kick their butts."

An obvious question, of course, is why didn't you all "kick their butts" these last four years when, abrogating most of his glowing 2008 promises, Obama vastly expanded Bush domestic spying, abandoned the public option in health care, never even considered public works programs but buttered up Wall Street, tripled troop strength  in Afghanistan and, with drones and other forces, expanded the Wars far and away, did almost Zero for Labor -- and one could go on and on with a very long list of sins of omission and commission.  Obama was handled with kid gloves by many liberals and leftists -- and there is no reason to believe it'll be otherwise if he wins a new term.

Finally, the consistent deprecation and denigration, by some, of third party social justice efforts strikes me as just plain -- sick. Aside from the solid fact that good people need a genuinely altrustic "conscience context," there is also the fact that no one really knows the fertile minds and fields where the Winds will carry good seeds.  I can say this:  in every community organizing campaign in which I've been involved, there were always a host of naysayers:  the Jackson Boycott/Jackson Movement, the vast and hard core northeastern North Carolina Black Belt, South/Southwest side Chicago, Up-State New York, fights against the uranium companies, Northern Plains -- and a number of other situations. In all of those hard-won wars and other successful struggles after struggle, we proved the gloom and doomers all wrong.  That includes Idaho where, two weeks after we moved here in 1997, a police official mouthed from his vehicle, "We'll have you out of here in a month!"  That was 15 years ago and, despite considerable harassment, especially in the first several years -- including consistent and blatant domestic spying via Clinton, Bush, and Obama -- we've been right here.  And. while doing this long residential "sit-in", we've accomplished a number of good things social justice-wise.

Keep fighting -- always and forever. But always for The People.  The world is big but we can certainly catch a big piece of it.

Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear]

Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk 
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´ 
and Ohkwari' 
Member, National Writers Union AFL-CIO
(much social justice material)

Key pieces from our big Jackson Mississippi Movement 
scrapbook.  Three consecutive and full pages beginning with
this Link:  http://hunterbear.org/a_piece_of__the_scrapbook.htm
See my personal reflections on Medgar Evers:

The Stormy Adoption of an Indian Child [My Father]:
(Expanded, and with more photos in Fall 2012. Material on our Native

For the new (11/2011) and expanded/updated
edition of my "Organizer's Book," JACKSON MISSISSIPPI -- 
with a new and substantial introduction by me.  We are now at 
the 50th Anniversary of the massive Jackson Movement of
1962-63:  http://hunterbear.org/jackson.htm

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