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Obama - Mr. Opportunity (return of the hollow man)

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Obama - Mr. Opportunity

(return of the hollow man)

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By Brad Parker, Wayne Williams and Ahjamu Makalani

Jan 6th 2008

Dateline – America, 2008. Barack Obama must have spent a lot of time studying Bill Clinton because he has become an eerie doppelganger of the same triangulating, capitulating dogma aimed at romancing any citizen who wants all image, vague promises and little substance; a citizen on edge about the future. Mr. Obama says, “I am the change!” Change to what, we ask? Mr. Obama says, “Turn the page!” Turn to what page from what book, we ask? Mr. Obama says, “Hope we can believe in!” Hope for what, we ask? The siren song remains the same - a lot of smoke and mirrors and no ideas. Here is how the dog and pony show works.

Ginned up fear and anxiety conspire to create an opportunity and into that vacuum walks another friendly face – a face in the crowd. As one great seducer leaves the spotlight, another enters from stage right. Their personas are created on Madison Avenue, financed by Wall Street and sold on YouTube. It’s a crony corporate trifecta and the sullen youth of America, frightened soccer Moms and salivating militarists are giddily marching together down the prim rose path once again. Why do these pied pipers of faux political policy so continually beguile America? The answer is – they pimp the sizzle and ditch the steak

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Like in any rock and roll circus the lead singer needs to be believable; at least when you see them on stage or in a video. However, Barack Obama is not Elvis Presley or James Brown, he’s Millie Vanilly plus Vanilla Ice and appearances are decidedly deceptive. Poke any policy proposal put forward by Mr. Obama and the air will rush out of the bogus balloon. There is no there there, when it comes to substance or his favorite word, change.

Examine Mr. Obama’s proposals for Health Care, energy, education, Social Security or any other macro policy program and you will see that Mr. O’s thoughts are aligned with the people who put up most of the money for his campaign - Corporate America!  Mr. O would privatize all or part of each of the aforementioned government programs. Oh – you missed that part? Let’s take a look.

His health care program is neither Universal nor Single Payer and would leave out at least 15 MILLION Americans, while leaving the corporations in control. Nor would it provide for the future healthcare needs of the young Americans who are currently swooning over his candidacy. In fact, like his distorted energy policy, which embraces dangerous nuclear and polluting coal as primary energy sources, Gen-X, Y & Z’s will end up paying dearly for the tune this pied piper is downloading for free to their hard drives. Generations of Americans, used to racking up enormous credit card debt, have no idea what this purchase is going to cost them. 

Then, there is the fact that Mr. O pointed the finger at all the other candidates who voted to allow Bush to invade Iraq and yet when the time came to give BushCo permission to invade Iran, Mr. O couldn’t find the time to show up and vote against it. His track record in Illinois and in the Senate has followed the same pattern; when crucial votes are counted and its time to take a stand: where is Mr. O? As always, he’s missing in action. Mr. O subscribes to that old Clinton/DLC dictum; stand for nothing other than rhetoric, move to the right and call it the Third Way – an end to partisan bickering.

Under the guise of being all things to all people, Mr. O is heartily solidifying corporate America’s control of the political process in the name of - you guessed it, change. It’s no surprise that clever advertisers have once again figured out how to sell the same ole - same ole as something new. Young Americans say that they are enthralled because Mr. O gives them hope. What they perceive as hope is.... a placebo. They believe they are seeing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bobby Kennedy, Kanye West and John Mayer all rolled into one - here to save the day. In actuality, they are staring at a mirage cleverly adapted to reflect their hopes, dreams and desires while picking their pockets. Buyer beware.

So, why would a bright, well-educated man with all the good intentions in the world, play this deceptive part in the American political drama? Perhaps the answer lies in his progenitor - Bill Clinton. Perhaps it is simpler than that. Maybe Mr. Obama became Mr. Opportunity because he saw an opening, a chance to do what he wanted no matter the price, a chance to advance? We may never know why, but we know how. Mr. Obama became Mr. Opportunity because America was desperate for it and if he played their song, the corporations would mortgage his future. Whatever success electorally may follow for him, failure for the rest of us will be close behind. Just ask our most recent hollow Democrat, Bill Clinton. Eventually the Madmen who finance the show come for their ROI and it will cost the rest of us big time in the form of more corporate driven policy and legislation.

Somebody needs to tell the twittering Obama crowd that this isn’t American Idol. This is for real and a price will be paid for every choice that is made. If you really want to choose change that isn’t Progressive in name only then elect John Edwards. If you really want to win a better place at the table for every American then support John Edwards. If you yearn for a President who is more substance than image then choose John Edwards. John Edwards stands for an immediate end to the Iraq War, Full Public Campaign Financing, Universal Healthcare, Public Education through college and all of the policies and programs America needs now. That’s the change we’re looking for.

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A truly powerful African-American, Fredrick Douglas, famously wrote and strenuously insisted "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.”  Somebody needs to tell Mr. Opportunity that this isn’t a luncheon, this is a struggle - this is a fight for everything we all hold dear.  Let’s send a fighter into the ring - John Edwards - not a capitulator, appeaser, or talking head that claims that he can make everything nice without a battle.  But then again, as Mark Twain was fond of pointing out, America loves a huckster. We shall see.


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