Sunday, June 08, 2008

Obama has won

It's a good day, or to be more precise yesterday was a good day since that was when Clinton formally conceded. Obama becomes the first African American candidate for President from any major party in the United States. Forty five years ago the direct consequence of slavery, the transformation of slavery into a form of semi-citizenship through segregation was present in the United States. Now, a person who would have been marginalized in the southern United States, who would have been prevented from voting and from meaningful education and participation in public life has been selected as one of the two major contenders for the Presidency.

Obama is not a progressive in the sense that 'Progressive' usually means, but is nonetheless a much more Progressive candidate than most if not all Presidential candidates in the post-war era. This seems to be one of the causes of the cultish attraction that Obama is the focus of.

There seems to be a few reasons why Obama's presidency and candidacy is possible at this point. First is the passage of time from the Civil Rights movement to today. Second is the fact that there isn't any sort of Civil Rights movement going on today. There's little or no organizing on that scale here in the U.S., making a black candidate 'safer' since he's less directly threatening to whites who benefit from racial discrimination. Third cause is the conservative response to 9/11 and the permanent changes that this has caused to the Democratic party. The centrism that was advocated by Bill Clinton is dead. The progressive response is at least in part being acknowledged as the way that things should go in order to effectively counter the Republicans. The grass roots progressives, then, have had an influence over the whole thing.

I doubt that that would have happened if anything less than the authoritarianism after 9/11 and the Iraq War had taken place, which is a testament to the structure of the U.S. political system..

Have to go, will add more later.

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