Obama Haters: You’re Missing the Opportunity of a Lifetime

I haven’t been commenting on politics much lately, because there are plenty of others who either better express what I’d like to say, or have better insights and change my mind. Johnny Brainwash has the wisest take on the election of Barack Obama I have read:

To All The Obama Haters…

You’re wasting the opportunity of a lifetime.

No, I haven’t swallowed the hope pill. I have no illusions about the Obama administration, the Democratic party or electoral politics. But whatever pill *you’ve* swallowed must have been awfully bitter, because it’s sure left you with an ugly look on your face.

I’ll agree from the start, Obama won’t deliver the change we want. He’s an establishment candidate who’s risen up within the ranks of the machine. It’s not enough that he’s better than the alternative- the hope he’s sold millions will sooner or later be dashed.

But wait. Look at that last sentence. Maybe you’ve missed the crucial word: millions.

The essence of political change is mobilization, and Americans are mobilized now like they haven’t been for a generation. Right now, thanks to Obama, they’re fired up. They feel involved, like they have a personal stake in the process. They want change, and they’re willing to pitch in to make it happen.

Full Story: Dysnomia

The comment from Trevor Blake is important.

I agree with Nick Pell’s 10 reasons not to drink the hope kool-aid (here’s another one: his staffing choices, which began with the selection of arch-drug warrior, war monger, and Democratic Party insider Joe Biden as VP), and wound up registering a “protest vote” for Cynthia McKinney here in Oregon on election day. That said, I think there are plenty of reasons to be happy that Obama won, and if the polls were closer in my state I certainly would have voted for Obama.

In addition to the large scale mobilization of progressively-minded people (Trevor’s warnings duly noted), here are some reasons to be hopeful:

Democrats, historically, do a better job with the economy

Democrats, in recent history, have gotten fewer people killed in armed conflicts


  1. Past performance is no indicator of future success

  2. That’s why I say “hope” rather than “certainty” 😉

  3. OK. I understand the attitude. I’m 49 and I’ve never felt politically represented. That said, there were only two viable choices in the last election (that is, people who might actually end up in office). You pick the best of the two and then move on, continuing to attempt constructive action. Bitterness, disappointment, and distrust, by themselves, do nothing of worth. If Obama weren’t part of the mainstream, he wouldn’t be in office. If he weren’t in office, someone who’d do things I’d like even less would be. Get over it and do something to create the change you want.

  4. Do you know what I just realized Klintron? I am still waiting for the response to the letter you sent to Ron Paul’s campaign! Did you ever get one?

  5. No, I never received a response.

  6. But JFB’s letter to the Obama-haters can apply very well to the RP haters, such as myself.

  7. Fascism also involves extensive mobilization, but I’d hardly welcome it.

    Of course, the mobilization around Obama isn’t remotely fascist in character. To some degree, it does embody progressive sentiments. And we should be happy to see the results of generation of struggle in the election of a Black president in a country built on slavery.

    But there’s also a degree to which the mobilization around Obama is more analogous to the mobilization of consumers than of activists. To say that the Obama brand was expertly marketed is an understatement.

    In any case, while it’s comforting to think that we’ll now have a more hospitable environment in which to organize for concrete change come January, it probably isn’t true. It’s far more likely that we’ll see the usual routine of the leaders of SEIU, HRC, the ACLU, et al consciously sabotaging efforts at movement around the issues in exchange for some crumbs mainly benefiting themselves.

    There is, of course, always some chance that this fate can be avoided. But if we’re going to realize that chance, we can’t be afraid to criticize Obama. And we certainly shouldn’t be dignifying hysterics of the sort that would address critics as “America ha-…” oops, I mean “Obama haters”.

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