FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Obama is Coming to My Town

by RON JACOBS

Barack Obama is coming to the town where I live.  Like most other towns he will visit this election year, the state this town is in voted for Mr. Obama in 2008.  It is a state full of Democrats and liberals.  Many of those Democrats and liberals also have lots of money that they will give to Mr. Obama.  Some of them expect something in return for their donation, while others are just happy to see a Democrat in the White House.

There are some of us in town that plan to protest when Mr. Obama hits town.  We aren’t birthers and we aren’t Tea Partiers.  Some of us even voted for Mr. Obama.  All of us are pissed off.   Having a Democrat in the White House has not made much of a difference, even for those that thought it would.  Obama has not fulfilled hardly any of the promises he made to his progressive supporters.  There are multiple reasons to protest.

Because the reason for his visit is to raise cash for a politics that leaves most people out.

Because Guantanamo Bay prison is not closed.

Because 91,000 US troops and even more US mercenaries are still killing and dying in Afghanistan.

Because the US is still spending  $3 billion a year in Iraq.

Because Bradley Manniing is in jail for exposing the truth about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while the liars who started the wars walk free.

Because thousands of Iraq and Afghan War vets are without work.

Because thousands of those vets suffer from PTSD and other combat-related illnesses.

Because millions of people are homeless, including thousands of veterans, women and children.

Because millions of houses sit empty after banks foreclosed on them and kicked out the residents.

Because the banks that engaged in illegal foreclosure actions are not being prosecuted.

Because Washington continues to support Israel’s expansionist policies in the Middle East and against the Palestinian people.

Because Washington seems more willing to go to war against Iran instead of agreeing to unconditional negotiations.

Because sanctions are an act of war that harms civilians.

Because the Defense budget (not including VA) is over a trillion dollars

Because Washington has military bases in 450 countries.

Because the Pentagon wants to send Special Forces death squads anywhere at any time to kill whomever they want.

Because Empire is unsustainable, unwanted and wrong.

Because Barack Obama refuses to stand up to the right wing women haters in the Congress.

Because the homophobic Defense of Marriage Act is still on the books.

Because Barack Obama bailed out the banks instead of the workers.

Because Barack Obama pays lip service to workers’ right to unionize while his policies do nothing to help workers to unionize.

Because student debt should be forgiven.

Because the post office is being destroyed and sold off.

Because schools and libraries are being closed.

Because 44 million Americans don’t have health care and many of those won’t be able to afford that offered via Obama’s “health care” plan.

Because immigrant families are being shattered by ICE.

Because the underemployment rate stands at around 16%, with more than half of that number being people with no job at all.  The unemployment rate for black Americans is even higher.  This is also the case for youth.

Because the DEA continues to arrest medicinal marijuana providers.

Because CEOs average paycheck increased 24% since 2008 despite a failing economy.

Because business as usual is the business of exploitation.

Because Obama represents business as usual.

Because Obama talks some of the talk of the 99%, but his actions benefit the one percent  99% of the time.

 

There are many more reasons,  some that go beyond Mr. Obama and get closer to the heart of the problem in the United States—the fact that it is ruled by the corporate and financial elite.  However, Mr. Obama’s staunch defense of that elite and his continued acceptance of their millions only underlines his complicity.  To those who  agree that Barack Obama has audaciously failed to not only deliver on most of his promises, but has failed to generate much hope at all, yet want to give him another chance, let me say this:

Democracy is not merely at the ballot box.  When the choice is between two people whose means are well beyond most of those voting, then how representative of your needs and desires can the winner be?  Democracy does not end the day after elections.  That’s when it begins.  The corporations and the banks don’t stop pressuring and sending money to politicians once they get elected.  Indeed, they step up the pressure.  It’s time the people do the same.

Ron Jacobs is the author of The Way the Wind Blew: a History of the Weather Underground and Short Order Frame Up. Jacobs’ essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch’s collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. His collection of essays and other musings titled Tripping Through the American Night is now available and his new novel is The Co-Conspirator’s Tale. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press.  He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 22, 2017
Paul Street
Russiagate and the Democratic Party are for Chumps
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer, the Progressive Caucus and the Cuban Revolution
Gavin Lewis
McCarthyite Anti-Semitism Smears and Racism at the Guardian/Observer
Kathy Kelly
Reality and the U.S.-Made Famine in Yemen
Kim C. Domenico
Ending Our Secret Alliance with Victimhood: Toward an Adult Politics
L. Ali Khan
Profiling Islamophobes
Calvin Priest
May Day: Seattle Educators Moving Closer to Strike
David Swanson
Jimmy Breslin on How to Impeach Trump
Dave Lindorff
There Won’t Be Another Jimmy Breslin
Jonathan Latham
The Meaning of Life
Robert Fisk
Martin McGuinness: From “Super-Terrorist” to Super Statesman
Steve Horn
Architect of Federal Fracking Loophole May Head Trump Environmental Council
Binoy Kampmark
Grief, Loss and Losing a Father
Jim Tull
Will the Poor Always Be With Us?
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s “March Massacre” Budget
Joe Emersberger
Rafael Correa and the Future of Ecuador: a Response to James McEnteer
March 21, 2017
Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt
On Being the “Right Kind of Brown”
Kenneth Surin
God, Guns, Gays, Gummint: the Career of Rep. Bad Bob Goodlatte
David Rosen
Popular Insurgencies: Reshaping the Political Landscape
Ryan LaMothe
The Totalitarian Strain in American Democracy
Eric Sommer
The House Intelligence Committee: Evidence Not Required
Mike Hastie
My Lai Massacre, 49 Years Later
James McEnteer
An Era Ends in Ecuador: Forward or Back?
Evan Jones
Beyond the Pale
Stansfield Smith
First Two Months in Power: Hitler vs. Trump
Dulce Morales
A Movement for ‘Sanctuary Campuses’ Takes Shape
Pepe Escobar
Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock?
Olivia Alperstein
Trump Could Start a Nuclear War, Right Now
David Macaray
Norwegians Are the Happiest People on Earth
March 20, 2017
Michael Schwalbe
Tears of Solidarity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit, Nationalism and the Damage Done
Peter Stone Brown
Chuck Berry: the First Poet of Rock and Roll
Paul J. Ramsey
What Trump’s Travel Ban Reveals About His Long-Term Educational Policy
Norman Pollack
Two Nations: Skid Rows vs. Mar-a-Lago
Michael Brenner
The Great Game: Power Politics or Free Play?
Sam Gordon
Falling Rate of Profit, What about Some Alienation?
Jack Random
Sidetracked: Trump Diaries, Week 8
Julian Vigo
The Limits of Citizenship
James Graham
French Elections: a Guide for the Perplexed
Jeff Mackler
The Extraordinary Lynne Stewart
Lee Ballinger
Chuck Berry: “Up in the Morning and Off to School!”
Binoy Kampmark
Romancing Coal: The Adani Obsession
Nyla Ali Khan
Cultural Syncretism in Kashmir
Chad Nelson
The Politics of Animal Liberation: I Can’t Quit You Gary Francione
Weekend Edition
March 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
John Reynolds
Israel and the A-Word
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail