DISCLAIMER: It is really early in the morning, and my writing may appear jumbled and less than focused, but bear with me. At least I'm doing it. :)
First things first, let's take a moment and simply reflect a little bit on what it means that America now has not only a Black President, but a multi-racial one at that and as if that was not enough, he is not a right wing sycophant, hell bent on global American hegemony. So yes, take a moment everyone and breathe. Maybe take a day or two to walk around in the light of new possibilities, day dreaming about the new social and political paradigm in this severely flawed country. Dwell on the fact that we may actually be able to spend some time fighting for new freedoms, restoring old ones, and developing higher levels of access for the American people, instead of simply fighting to keep what we already have. Fighting for what we the people already won, was exactly what we were forced to do during the last 20 years for the most part.
Okay, now jump forward a few days. You are rested, life has gone on. You still have to go to work, maybe supporting fascist capitalists running corporations. You realize that Black men under the age of 20 still face an incalculably higher chance of imprisonment than anyone else. The separation between the rich and poor is still the worst in the industrialized world. You realize that America still doesn't recognize that women and Black people have led beautiful and advanced civilizations all over the world throughout history, and that it is we Americans who are far behind the curve. We still are paying our teachers less or equal to the that of an entry level data entry clerk at a major corporation. Musicians and artists still have nothing in the way of any kind of social net, even though they provide what other enlightened cultures consider the highest pleasure. Well, you get the point right?
Nothing has changed now that Barack Obama has become the President elect of the United States of America. The only way things will change in a way that benefits the vast majority of American citizens is if American citizens take it to the next level of participation and activation. The first level, what should be the basic level of participation in order to be a citizen, is voting. We had the highest voter turnout in this country since the late 1960s, and more than 15% of all Black voters were first time voters. That's fantastic, and it should never drop from there. Now we need to take it to the next level.
In my not so humble opinion (I often wish it were more so), Barack Obama is a very capable leader and politician; a man not afraid to learn, to be judged, to be told when he is wrong, and to utilize the power of introspection and research in making important decisions that effect this country and the rest of the world. But know this, even this guy will totally fuck it up if the American people do not step it up and constantly let him know exactly what we can and what we CANNOT live with. For example, the majority of American citizens want some form of universal single payer health coverage. They need to tell him this. We also support strongly the idea that every American should be able to go to college without accruing massive debt. We need to tell him this. We don't give a fuck whether or not the coal industry takes a dive as a result of fixing the environment. We need to tell him this.
Obviously the list goes on for days and days, but in the end all these things will only get done as a result of the people turning off their fucking televisions and computers (I should talk) and organizing! ORGANIZE! ORGANIZE! ORGANIZE!
In other words, the first part of our job is done. We elected the person that was best for the job, that actually had a statistical chance of winning. Now, we absolutely must work our asses off to begin a massive movement to rid ourselves of the most undemocratic of voting systems, otherwise known as "first past the post." To see what a real democratic voting system looks like, check out Germany: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Germany And in addition to that, we need to end the wars, demand universal singer payer health coverage, bring about free public higher education, free childcare, prison reform, truly progressive taxation, a support system for musicians and artists, and .......
We have a lot of work to do, and I think Metallica said it best: GIVE ME FUEL, GIVE ME FIRE, GIVE ME DOUBLE-TIME DESIRE!
- Christopher Robin Cox