Ralph On

support for Ralph Nader’s candidacy

Let’s “think about” rather than just “believe in” change.

Posted by eggman on March 2, 2008

Let’s all come clean. We americans have a funny little tic that is very easy for people from other parts of the world to notice but is nonetheless as invisible to us as oxygen. I’ve become aware of this idiosyncracy during time living overseas — and my hosts have been very willing to point it out, because it’s something that drives them crazy. It’s also what makes European politicians salivate. If only they could import what the americans have, then politics would get a lot easier for them.

I’m referring to our obsession with abstract nouns and our hostility for the specific. We love to occupy ourselves with big undefineable notions that elicit feelings of spiritual belonging and purpose. We love the story of the hero, of the courageous explorer who looks over the western horizon, beyond the setting sun, and sees Opportunity and Hope. We don’t give a $h*t about what we might be stepping in while looking off into infinity. We can’t be bothered to avert our gaze. Any discussion of the present must make reference to the Great Beyond, Our Destiny, Our Hope. Reference to the specific is only tolerated to the extent that it activates our connection to the Big Purpose.

Too many Obama supporters want to Believe in Change, so much so that they have no time for wee specifics. Some americans are sick of standing in the $h*t and being asked to look beyond the setting sun for our next hero to deliver us to Our Destiny. Some of us can no longer be distracted by Big Abstract bu11$hiT. We’re aware of the big specifics — big fuel bills,
big insurance premiums, big war price tag, big scams perpetrated on the public by colluding politicians and corporate lobbyists, big anxiety over job security and wages, big stress over debt, big worries over affordable housing and tenant’s rights, big heartburn over student loans. And some of us are very angry about being labelled as “deluded” for being concerned about these trivial little specifics, especially when the insults are lobbed from the cultists of Church of Change Belief.

I plead with Obama supporters to look carefully at where Obama stands on these specific issues. Stop staring at the Sun for a moment. Stop dreaming of JFK and MLK and Jesus Christ superstar. Did you know that he does not support single payer health care? Did you know that Ralph Nader does? Do you think that health care costs can be controlled in our insurance based system? Do you not think that federalizing thievery will make us all paupers?

Make Obama a better candidate. Force him to address a few specifics. Give specific issues some respect by giving Nader some respect. I’m inclined to think that Obama could possibly deliver on some important issues, but we must lean on him harder than wealthy interests do. He’s taking a turn to the right, and I see too many lemmings willing to run after him, too busy staring over the horizon to see the danger ahead.

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One Response to “Let’s “think about” rather than just “believe in” change.”

  1. Thank you for this post. I just blogged a similar thought, though from a different perspective and found a bit of solace from yours.

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