I've been feeling stuck, wondering what I can do to ensure that Barack Obama becomes the next President of the United States. I have great difficulty relating to anyone who supports the Republican party at this point. These have helped:
1. I received an email advising how to and how not to talk to people who like Palin.
When Progressives make "elitist" attacks on Palin, they just reinforce the right wing narrative that the "Elitist Eastern Establishment" is the problem. Don't patronize the very people we are trying to convince.2. Hope vs. Fear not Right wing vs. Left wing. Michael Lerner explains the new paradigm of American and global politics.
From most people's points of view, the problem with the McCain-Palin ticket isn't so much that Palin is from a small town in rural Alaska and hasn't got the experience to run the country. The arguement that is convincing to normal people is that neither McCain nor Palin are what they claim to be - reformers or agents of change. Their campaign is being run by lobbyists for the biggest corporate interests in America--the same people who ran the Bush campaign. And they are committed to the economic policies that make average people's incomes drop and reward the very rich.
McCain and Palin act as though they identify with the interests of the guys in the NASCAR grandstand and the women at the PTA - but they are doing the bidding of the guys from Wall Street and the women wearing $4,500 outfits like the one Cindy McCain donned for the Republican Convention.
Our assault on McCain and Palin must never be done from an elitist perspective, but from a populist perspective.
The central issue in politics, then, is not about left, right or center, but about hope vs. fear. If you want a world based on justice, peace, ecological sanity, human rights, civil liberties, and economic well-being for all, you have to elicit in people their capacity for hope and for love, caring and generosity. Conversely, to the extent that people think that love, caring, generosity and hope are all pipe-dreams that have no chance in “the real world,” they become attracted to politicians who speak to their fears and tell them that the ideologies of “domination over the evil others” is the sophisticated and grown-up way to understand the world. (more)3. "Palin is Barack Obama's shadow side" by Deepak Chopra. Here is what Palin represents:
- Small town values — a nostaligic return to simpler times disguises a denial of America’s global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.
- Ignorance of world affairs — a repudiation of the need to repair America’s image abroad.
- Family values — a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don’t need to be needed.
- Rigid stands on guns and abortion — a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.
- Patriotism — the usual fallback in a failed war.
- ”Reform” — an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn’t fit your ideology.
I booed, but for the briefest of seconds wondered if someone might take offense to my response. Like they actually enjoy and support this ridiculousness. In Berkeley! I thought: it really has come to this. We're afraid to voice dissent, we're afraid to question ... (more)John McCain is now leading Barack Obama in some polls. As Thomas Friedman said, if McCain can win this with one leg shackled by the economy and the other by the war, he should be in the Olympics.
And finally, if this isn't a wake up call from Paul Krugman:
What it says, I’d argue, is that the Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse. (more)