First lets remember that many of the scandals of the Bush administration came out of the fact that he neither knows nor cares about the law. Bush is a CEO president with a background in business. He has open disdain for lawyers, who are the primary mechanism for we the people to redress grievances with business. Bush's ignorance and disdain for the law is reflected in his actions and his exercising of illegal powers, like torture, or the pushing through the Patriot Act which gives the President the unconstitutional power to take away any citizen's rights. This illegal and unconstitutional power-grab by the executive branch is a serious threat to our freedoms and our Democracy. This is understood by all liberal activists and many lifelong conservatives, but because of the partisan "division" which is perpetuated by the corporate media in this country, there is not yet enough reaching across the aisle to work together toward what we know are common goals that would benefit all Americans.
The conservative corporate media has been promoting the idea that Barack Obama is an "unknown" and they used the Rev Wright "scandal" to start referring to Senator Obama as "the black candidate". Instead of fulfilling it's responsibility to the public to inform us and tell us who he is, the corporate media choose instead to lead us along with nebulously scandalous declarations that the people "don't know who he is". Of course they don't know who he is, because after a year and a half of campaigning the media still hasn't properly informed the public about who he is!
Here are some of the facts about Barack Obama that the corporate media has been ignoring that may help you understand who he is:
- Barack Obama is the son of a black father and a white mother. He is as much a "white candidate" as he is a "black candidate".
- Barack was raised by his mother in a lower middle class household in a mostly white community in small town Kansas.
- Barack Obama put himself through college with his own ability and hard work, using scholarships and working numerous jobs to pay the bills.
- Barack Obama is an attorney and a Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago.
- Barack Obama started in politics as a community organizer in Chicago and his whole campaign has been founded on the values of community organizing and citizen involvement in politics.
Because of its foundation in community organizing, the Obama campaign is more than just a campaign to elect one person. It is a movement to get citizens involved in the political process which is so necessary for us to take back out Democracy. Voting is not enough! If you want your Democracy to work right then you have to get involved! Getting involved means a lot of things. It could mean getting involved by joining a party, participate in setting the agenda and picking the candidates. Getting involved also means learning how to organize with our fellow citizens effectively and one you organize, how to effectively lobby our representatives to pursue your causes. Our represenatives can only represent us if they know what we want.
If you are one of those people who believes that if only we could get the right people to run for office, they would fix all our problems and everything would be better, then I have news for you.
It is never going to happen.
There will never be one person who gets elected and solves all our problems.
It is when We the people get involved in our own Democracy, that our problems get addressed.
There is a historical pattern here that most people are not seeing. The cycle of freedom in America has not been about the individuals we read about in history class, like Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln or FDR. The thing that happened at the same time those people were in office was a great influx of public participation in the political process.
The Tax Acts from British Parliment effected the daily lives and local economies of many American colonists and thus motivated a large number of people to find some way to act out. The Boston Tea party wasn't committed by founding fathers alone. The 13 states were not each convinced to join in union against the British by just a few men, but rather because enough people got involved who also demanded change.
Again, after the depression and into WW2, so many people's lives were effected that they wanted to do something, to act somehow, and so they got involved in their communities and the political process. Many movements were started or gained surges in membership during and after that period. FDR's many public works projects also brought many citizens into the workings of government and got then involved. Thus the period from WW2 to the 1980s was the greatest period of prosperity and wealth America has ever seen. In the 1980s, government became the enemy and the people stopped participating in our Democracy. Ronald Reagan famously declared that "Government is not the solution, government is the problem."
People who do not believe in government cannot govern effectively. That is why Reagan ran up the largest national debt in history at the time. He has since been overshadowed in fiscal irresponsibility by G.W. Bush because he took the same conservative anti-government ideology one step further. Now we have an era of private mercinary armies that pose as much a threat to our freedoms as any rouge nation.