I’d like to take the opportunity to respond to Carter Bundy’s enthusiastic article- Why Progressives—and most Americans—should be thrilled with Obama.
I, for one, am not thrilled with Obama.
In fact, I and many people I know feel betrayed by his administration. The past three years have been far, far from the kind of change that I believe in.
Changing battlefields from Iraq to Afghanistan is not change I believe in. Changing our foreign policy to one that does not rely on military force, that does not result in another lost generation of American men and women, and that instead results in our nation being seen as a leader of a peaceful and compassionate world—those are changes I believe in.
Changing health care policy so that corporate-controlled health insurance goes from optional to mandatory is not change I believe in. Changing policy to view health care as a right, not a privilege, to focus on preventive care and to look at health more holistically, and to provide universal health care to all—those are changes I believe in.
Changing energy policy to focus on Canadian tar sands, fracking for oil and offshore drilling are not changes I believe in. Investing in wind, solar and other renewables, creating manageable, local distribution systems, and taking the profit motive out of providing for basic human needs—those are changes I believe in.
Calling peaceful protesters terrorists and targeting American citizens for assassination are not changes I believe in. Changing to a culture where dissent is welcome, where the bill of rights still means something, where freedom doesn’t need to be sacrificed for security—those are changes I believe in.
Bailing out mortgage companies and investment banks while everyday Americans are forced out of their homes in foreclosure is not change I believe in. Creating an economy based on production, not speculation, and a tax code that eliminates loopholes for millionaires—those are changes I believe in.
For the Obama apologists to ignore the fact that his administration is staffed by the same Wall Street criminals and military hawks as the Bush administration is disingenuous at best.
To ignore that our military policy is making enemies faster than we can kill them is dangerous, irresponsible and immoral.
To ignore that our food policy favors toxic, unsustainable methods at the expense of conscientious local growers (and eaters) is neither healthful nor sound investment policy (but I do like Mrs. Obama’s garden).
Greens have long been advocating a true populist agenda. And we are always told by the Democratic machine that we are spoiling things by participating in elections. Well, I for one am tired of that sales job.
I know it could be better—a lot better—but only if enough of us tell it like it is will we get there.
Politicians care about one thing—votes—and if we vote for peace instead of war, for economic justice instead of riches for the few, for civil rights for everyone, and for sustainable land use and environmental policies—only then will we get their attention.