Democracy generally doesn't apply to warmaking. Until the last weeks of the 2008 campaign, it was dominated by the differences in approach to war and foreign policy between Barack Obama and George W. Bush and many of my friends told me that the main reason the preferred Obama over all the other candidates was his bold stand in that arena.
That was election talk. It's been that way my whole life. Obama and his people figured out early on that they share power with the Military Industrial Complex and they had little desire to use political capital to exercise what they have. What they didn't figure out is that (since 1968, anyway) Democratic presidents get screwed regardless. The MIC knows it has the place locked up --- at this point it's about the spoils, and they get slightly fewer goodies and more petty political hassles under Democrats. (Plus there's the macho Jesus factor.)
I don't know what to do about it. I guess you have to hope that Democrats who run like Obama ran in 08 will want to at least make some changes around the margins that will hold over time. But that's about the best you can hope for as long as America is the world's dominant imperialist power. Until that changes --- and it will, because it's unaffordable --- we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking we are voting for people who will do these things differently, regardless of what they say on the stump.
This San Francisco purveyor of graffiti has it right. When times are bleak -- when country and planet sink under the barely restrained sway of greed, raw power, and fear -- it's time to restate what matters.
I write here to preserve and kindle hope for a national and global turn toward multi-racial, economically egalitarian, gender non-constricting, woman affirming, and peace choosing democracy that preserves the habitability of earth for all. There's a big order -- but what else is there to do but struggle for this? Not much.
Topics range from the minuscule to the transcendent to the global, from dire to delightful. I am not an optimist, but I refuse to allow myself to wallow within the easy bias that everything is going to always be awful. Good also happens; love lives too.
I've been yammering here about activism, politics, history, racism and other occasional horrors and pleasures since 2005. I intend to continue as long as the opportunity exists. In this time, that means activism and chronicling resistance. Perhaps it always has, one way and another.
I'm a progressive political activist who runs trails and climbs mountains whenever any are available. I've had the privilege to work for justice in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador), in South Africa, in the fields of California with the United Farmworkers Union, and in the cities and schools of my own country. I'm a Christian of the Episcopalian flavor; we think and argue a lot. For work, I've done a bit of it all: run an old fashioned switch-board; remodeled buildings and poured concrete; edited and published periodicals, reports and books; and organized for electoral campaigns. Will work for justice.