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. He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 04, 2015
Vincent J. Roscigno
University Bureaucracy as Organized Crime
Paul Street
Bernie Sanders’ Top Five Race Problems: the Whiteness of Nominal Socialism
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is White Supremacy a Mental Disorder?
Ramzy Baroud
The Palestinian Bubble and the Burning of Toddler, Ali Dawabsha
Pepe Escobar
Reshuffling Eurasia’s Energy Deck — Iran, China and Pipelineistan
L. Michael Hager
The Battle Over BDS
Eric Draitser
Puerto Rico: Troubled Commonwealth or Debt Colony?
Colin Todhunter
Hypnotic Trance in Delhi: Monsanto, GMOs and the Looting of India’s Agriculture
Benjamin Willis
The New Cubanologos: What’s in a Word?
Matt Peppe
60 Minutes Provides Platform for US Military
Binoy Kampmark
The Turkish Mission: Reining in the Kurds
Eoin Higgins
Teaching Lessons of White Supremacy in Prime-Time: Blackrifice in the Post-Apocalyptic World of the CW’s The 100
Gary Corseri
Gaza: Our Child’s Shattered Face in the Mirror
Robert Dodge
The Nuclear World at 70
Paula Bach
Exit the Euro? Polemic with Greek Economist Costas Lapavitsas
August 03, 2015
Jack Dresser
The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Atomic Era Turns 70, as Nuclear Hazards Endure
Nelson Valdes
An Internet Legend: the Pope, Fidel and the Black President
Robert Hunziker
The Perfectly Nasty Ocean Storm
Ahmad Moussa
Incinerating Palestinian Children
Greg Felton
Greece Succumbs to Imperialist Banksterism
Binoy Kampmark
Stalling the Trans-Pacific Partnership: the Failure of the Hawai’i Talks
Ted Rall
My Letter to Nick Goldberg of the LA Times
Mark Weisbrot
New Greek Bailout Increases the Possibility of Grexit
Jose Martinez
Black/Hispanic/Women: a Leadership Crisis
Victor Grossman
German Know-Nothings Today
Patrick Walker
We’re Not Sandernistas: Reinventing the Wheels of Bernie’s Bandwagon
Norman Pollack
Moral Consequences of War: America’s Hegemonic Thirst
Ralph Nader
Republicans Support Massive Tax Evasion by Starving IRS Budget
Alexander Reid Ross
Colonial Pride and the Killing of Cecil the Lion
Suhayb Ahmed
What’s Happening in Britain: Jeremy Corbyn and the Future of the Labour Party
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington