I watched a couple of YouTube videos the other night. One featured angry Palin supporters on their way into a Palin rally. The other was an interview with McCarthyesque Michelle Bachmann, a Republican senator calling for “liberals” to be investigated for anti-Americanism. Ugly. I quickly clicked on to a photo of the 100,000 supporters at an Obama rally in Missouri.
And then I cried. The juxtaposition was too much.
Some say Obama’s followers are cult-like, cheerleaders for a good sales pitch. I don’t think so. One hundred thousand people do not show up to a political rally for a sales pitch or cheerleading duty. Obama touches something deeper within than any salesperson could ever hope to reach. He reflects to the American people a sense of their own power and they respond with a willingness to write a new narrative, a new poem, for their country.
In declaring his support for Obama, Republican Colin Powell called him “transformative.” Obama is definitely transforming the face of American politics, the poem for which much of America has dug deeply into its psyche to uncover. Sadly, Hillary Clinton would not have accomplished this. Misogyny lies still deeper within.
Racism is bubbling up, however. Many fear for Obama’s life. Will there be a fair election in the U.S.?
Republicans believe they’re doing a fine job. On their own terms, they are. But those terms are based on moving the country further to the right. That they have done. It is as far right as it can be without becoming a closed society. And, on paper, they are ready to make the move. American feminist Naomi Wolf, said, “The coup has already taken place.âe It just needs to be activated.
Suggestions that the Republicans are throwing this election seem unfounded. Losing might be a default plan, but they’re not throwing anything away. Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Greg Palast document how the right is trying to steal this election in the latest issue of Rolling Stone.
The influential neo-con William Kristol discovered Palin and introduced her to the Republican inner circle, apparently selling her as a “blank page.” An employee of the neo-conservative think-tank The American Enterprise Institute said, “She’s bright…She’s going places.“
Wolf suggests Palin’s the cult figure, similar to Evita. The neo-cons know McCain isn’t going anywhere. But he’s not their choice. Palin is. The Rove/Cheney cabal are grooming her to be ready to take over in less than a heartbeat. Her neo-conservative advisers, not the American people, would then write the poem.
The kind of energy that Palin is stirring up could create the perfect conditions to complete the closure of the society. Already, there is violence outside Palin’s rallies. An independent journalist was attacked by a Palin supporter while he interviewed an Obama supporter. An Obama canvasser was allegedly assaulted by a Palin supporter. Canada’s own Heather Mallick received death threats for her commentary on Palin, as has an American woman working to register new voters. Palin and McCain need only pump up their rhetoric a notch to incite more violence. And protests and riots would ensue, as would military control of the streets.
That’s why Powell’s statement seems important. He knows what’s going on in his party. He was there at the beginning. He does not now approve of it. Obama’s campaign is transforming people and Obama is encouraging it, but not through fear or hatred.
As Americans take back their power, they become stronger. And though no one can predict how they will use the power, how they will write the poem moving through them and their country, they see Obama, their first draft, who responds âe” not in the politics-as-usual way âe” but thoughtfully and with respect.
Undoubtedly, the poem will need revision. They always do. Obama’s policies are not strong enough for some supporters of the Democrats. The legacy of the Bush/Cheney years may force other modifications. But with their power, even after election day, the American people can hold Obama to a revision based on their composition, one addressing their issues, satisfying the needs of the many over the greed of a few. Writing the next draft, and the one after that and the ones that follow, will be the work of the American people.
It will be hard work. Poems are like that. Poems are process, a transformative process you must trust. The American people appear to be willing to trust their process with Obama. It will be interesting to see it unfold.