CALIFORNIA DREAMING: Barack Obama

California votes next Tuesday. Super-Duper-Whatever Tuesday.

The Golden State has a golden opportunity. We can finally have a major impact in chosing our party’s nominee. Let’s not let it go to waste.

We could be the difference between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Not only are the Democrats going to make history this year, it could be California that decides what kind of history.

The choice before us is not between the first African-American male or the first white female. It’s whether we’ll go with a youth-driven message of hope, or the entrenched politics of the status quo.

The battle is not black and white, despite Bill’s and the media’s best intentions.

The battle is generational.

On one side we have Barack, who, in his powerful book Dreams From My Father, wrote eloquently and directly about his experience with drugs.

“I had learned not to care,” he wrote. “I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though. …”

[…]

“Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man,” Obama wrote. “Except the highs hadn’t been about that, me trying to prove what a down brother I was. Not by then, anyway. I got high for just the opposite effect, something that could push questions of who I was out of my mind, something that could flatten out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges of my memory. I had discovered that it didn’t make any difference whether you smoked reefer in the white classmate’s sparkling new van, or in the dorm room of some brother you’d met down at the gym, or on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids who had dropped out of school and now spent most of their time looking for an excuse to brawl. … You might just be bored, or alone. Everybody was welcome into the club of disaffection.”

On the other side we have the politics of ‘I didn’t inhale’.

We have the Clinton campaign using Bob Johnson, Founder of BET, which has faced heavy criticism for their content, to take a swipe at Obama’s past.

Many prominent media critics, including Public Enemy rapper Chuck D, journalist George Curry, writer Keith Boykin, comic book writer/artist/editor Christopher Priest, filmmaker Spike Lee and writer/cartoonist Aaron McGruder, have protested BET’s programming and actions. […]

The channel has been criticized by members of the African-American community who feel that the channel perpetuates harmful black stereotypes by primarily airing hip-hop videos that often have misogynistic, materialistic, and/or violent themes.

Bob Johnson made billions (literally) airing programming that exploit women, the drug culture, and crime. In Bob Johnson’s moral universe it’s better to become incredibly wealthy encouraging and seducing young people to smoke and party their woes away than to have toked a little in high school.

Talk about the kettle calling the pot, er, black.

Talk about hypocrisy.

Talk about Rovian tactics… in South Carolina no less.

Democrats, and even some Republicans, are fed up with just those kind of tactics. Every time the Clinton campaign went dirty Obama’s numbers went up. It’s no coincidence.

The public doesn’t care that Obama smoked pot in high school. Most of America lit up sometime in their late teens/early twenties. They care that the person leading our country at a time of historic uncertainty is honest and frank with us.

Clinton can’t have it both ways. She tries to claim to be an agent of change, but then utilizes the dirty politics of 2000 and 2004, says going negative is “the fun part” of campaigning.

She pads her resume with White House experience, (although I don’t think the country is looking for someone to organize an Easter egg hunt right now) but asks to be taken on her own merits when troubling issues of the Clinton years come up.

For these reasons and more, Hillary Clinton can not bring about the change we so desperately need.

If she is nominated we will have a divisive, caustic election, with the other side fueled by their unadulterated loathing of Hillary, unfair and psychotic as it may be. If she is elected, it will be the third decade of the Bush/Clinton regime.

When George Bush ran in 2000, I resented Republicans for being so small-minded to be swayed by his last name. I will be embarrassed of my party if we do the same now.

I’m only 32, I’m not even old enough to be president.

But I’m certainly young enough to still be around when Peak Oil hits, when Global Warming starts changing the face of the Earth, when dozens of countries, not all of them friendly to the U.S., will have nuclear weapons.

This thing matters to me. A lot.

Yes, the 90’s were great, but there’s too much at stake to continue this Clinton/Republican wrestling matter, no matter how sweet revenge would taste, no matter how pleasing it would be to rub their faces in it after 8 years of Freedom Fries and Canadian patches on our backpacks.

The youth want to feel good about America again, we want to be inspired, we crave reassurance that America is fair and virtuous and anyone can work their way to the top — that you don’t have to be a relative of the president to sit in the Oval Office. As someone who works in the entertainment industry, this issue is dear to my heart; please, no more sequels!

California prides itself on being a forward thinking state. A land that attracts dreamers. I’m asking us to do something bold, to reach for our highest potential instead of taking the safe bet with another political dynasty. We have three days to make history. To break the cycle. And we can do it if we show up to the polls like it’s Coachella.

Just today, insurgents used two mentally retarded women to kill 91 people in Iraq. The situation is a mess, despite how Republicans would like to spin the surge. No matter what analogies he uses, Americans do not want to be there for 100 years.

Imagine: 48 year-old, quick-witted, gracefully eloquent, impeccably anti-war Barack Obama versus the wooden, wax figurine that is the 71 year-old hug master John McCain.

If you haven’t made up your minds, I’m asking you to do something that seems ancient and quaint in this age of Swift Boats and Bob Johnsons, I’m asking you to believe in a politician. To vote for the “fairy tale”. We could play it safe — and Hillary WOULD BE a great improvement over Bush — or we could double down, and truly go for something special.

Barack Obama:

“If you choose change, you will have a nominee who doesn’t take a dime from Washington lobbyists and PACs. We don’t need a candidate who agrees with Republicans that lobbyists are part of the system in Washington. They’re part of the problem. And when I’m President, their days of setting the agenda in Washington will be over.

If you choose change, you will have a nominee who doesn’t just tell people what they want to hear. Poll-tested positions and calculated answers might be how Washington confronts challenges, but it’s not how you overcome them; it’s not how you inspire our nation to come together behind a common purpose; and it’s not what America needs right now.

If you choose change, you will have a nominee who isn’t just playing on the same electoral map where half the country starts out against us, because you will have a nominee who has already brought in more Independents and Republicans; young people and new voters; than we have seen in a generation.”

 

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3 responses to “CALIFORNIA DREAMING: Barack Obama

  1. That’s one thing that has this old fart thinking about crossing the fence and going for the Obama Nation instead of the Hill-and-Bill Village. The BO man is not afraid to talk truth right into the face of power and coporatism. How long can we keep electing unsustainable care takers like Hillary & Bill who will look away from Peak Oil and Global Warming simply because those are not triangulation issues?

    Good post. Good points.

  2. “The youth want to feel good about America again, we want to be inspired, we crave reassurance that America is fair and virtuous and anyone can work their way to the top.”

    God, ain’t that the truth. I’ll be completely disillusioned if Obama doesn’t get the nomination. I’ll feel exactly as I did when Bush stole the election in 2004. I don’t want to feel hopeless about our nation anymore.

    Thanks for the post.

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