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Howard Zinn's Advice to Obama

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On August 20th, I interviewed one of the most famous living historians, Howard Zinn, author of the best-selling People's History of the United States, a book that should be read by every American, on a wide range of subjects.

(listen to the whole interview Rob Kall: Podcast: Howard Zinn and Dorothy Fadiman

This article covers his Advice to Obama on how to win.

R.K. -Do you have any advice for Obama?

H.Z. -Yes. I have advice for Obama. You want to win? - Speak boldly to the American people, the American people want to get out of Iraq. Speak boldly and say, "I'm going to withdraw from Iraq as fast as ships and planes can carry them"- , and I think that Obama will have a much better chance of winning the election because he will be speaking to the hearts of the American people, who really are sick of the war. And instead, he gives us these half-baked solutions about "I will withdraw in 16 months and will send some troops to Afghanistan and keep some troops in Iraq for security purposes."

Now that's - you know-- that's not what the American people want. And if he thinks he will win more votes by being moderate and centrist, I think he's wrong. So my advice to Obama, not just from the standpoint of being right, but even from the standpoint of being pragmatic and winning, is be bold - be bold on the war - be bold on having a single payer, government financed health system. Be bold on ending our position as a militarist nation. Obama is calling for a strong military - big military - he should stop doing that!

R.K. - Obama's biggest challenge is white male voters, particularly southern ones and any, any ideas on what it will take to get them to move to the left - to stop supporting right wing politicians who betray and screw them basically?

H.Z. - well I think he has to talk - I think he has to talk more about class issues - more about how this government and McCain as part of it , has been funneling all the wealth of this country into the rich. I mean, most of these white males are not rich people. They are middle-class, they are poor and I think he has to talk about how the Republicans are the party of the rich and how the Democrats are going to take up the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt and become a party of the poor and the middle class.

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I think that is his best chance and I think he has to say to these people, who may think ahhh - well the Republicans are better on national security. Yes, ask these white male voters - has our security been enhanced by the war in Iraq? Are we more secure now and what is security? Is security gotten by military prowess or do we need health security and employment security, and all sorts of security for children and people in trouble., That's national security? He has to redefine - he has to redefine all the terms that are being used.

R.K. - That's a big challenge isn't it, the "languaging"-- the "Frank Luntzing"-- of American English?

H.Z. - yes

look for more excerpts from the interview appearing in coming days.

Thanks to James Magee 111 and Jay Farrington for transcribing the interview.

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Listen to the full interview here, for a limited time:

Recording Download Link(Right-click the link and select "Save Link to Disk"") available until Sept. 19, 2008.

(If there's a free place to archive this kind of audio recording -- about 21 MB-- please drop me a note. )

 

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.

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Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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