Ralph Nader famously asked just after the elections whether Obama would be an Uncle Sam for the American People or an Uncle Tom for the Big Corporations? I would add to that list of famous uncles another one - Uncle Joe as in Joseph Stalin. Good old Ralph got me in trouble big time with his comment, as my Digg reply was to say that really Nader could have gone even further and asked whether Obama was going to be a House Negro or a Field Negro. I used the alternative spelling of Negro which ends in "-er" which got me temporarily banned from Digg.
I was going to write a nasty "Digg sucks" post on my blog but decided against it. While Digg may at times be sucky, I wouldn't say that Digg sucks as a whole. I do have major issues with the whole bury mechanism and at times it seems like the average Digg user is an uneducated adolescent, but overall Digg does have its good points. But if I could find a good alternative to Digg, I would certainly be open to exploring it. I looked at Reddit, but I just could not get into their user interface. Oh well.
Now I know that Al-Qaeda recently came out and referred to Obama as a "House Negro", but for the record - my comment came out first. Although it wasn't up on Digg for long before it was removed. My point was that the Civil Rights movement consisted of more than just the "I have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King. It also included the famous "House Negro vs Field Negro" speech by Malcolm X.
Malcolm X had a dream too. If you look at the status of Black people today vs. the 1960's, there has been a great deal of progress for the relatively few fortunates like Barack Obama. But the majority of African-Americans are not much better off then they were when MLK gave his famous speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. What will Obama do to try to change this? Does he even have a plan? Or is he more concerned with the plight of Middle Class White America? And as Nader has mentioned numerous times Obama never even referred to Poor People in his campaign. And BTW, why does he constantly refer to Martin Luther King as The Preacher? Is he afraid to say his name in public?
Anyway, back to the Obama White House. Now, I recognize like everyone else the historic nature of the fact that he is the first African-American President of the United States. And I realize what this symbolizes to people of African descent all over the world. But minorities in the US should also realize that Obama did next to nothing during his campaign to speak out for their issues. If anything, he was slightly to the right of center on any issue touching minorities in the US.
And internationally the same thing is true. He has never made any campaign promise to come to the aid of the Palestinians for example. Yet some people still have expectations that once he takes his oath and takes up residence on Pennsylvania Avenue, that somehow this will change.
Anyone that still believes that Obama represents change is consciously (or unconsciously) ignoring the facts. Just look at the appointments he has made so far and the rumored appointments to come, and it should be obvious that Nader got it right. Obama represents the Big Corporations, not the Average Citizen.
The other thing you have to give Ralph credit for is pointing out that there really aren't two political parties in America. There is just one. Sure we have elections and periodically the party in control switches. But nothing really changes. And the two parties conspire to make sure that no 3rd party is able to share in their power.
This is really not much different from China where there is one party rule. Every once in a while the Communist Party gets together and they change the President and reshuffle the other top positions and again, nothing changes.
Now I don't believe that Obama started out as a bad guy. He has good roots as a community organizer, and early on in the primaries he seemed to represent a real alternative. To me the pivotal moment was the AIPAC convention speech. That's when I think that Obama was given a choice and he decided to make his deal with the devil. He sold his soul to become the next POTUS.
And why do I say that since this is a very strong charge? The proof to me is that after the AIPAC convention, the Jeremiah Wright attacks stopped. And that was the key issue that could have kept him from becoming President. All you have to do is go to Google Trends and type in "Jeremiah Wright" and you'll notice that the articles mentioning him just faded away after the AIPAC convention. And who knows what other dirt the bad guys had on Barack that they were ready to expose.
Against Dukakis it was Willie Horton and against Kerry it was the Swift Boat attack. Of course McCain and Palin came after him with William Ayers, but this was never a real issue and was not nearly as potent an attack as the Jeremiah Wright attack would have been. In fact McCain's advisers wanted to use Wright in the campaign but McCain declared it off limits. What I am suggesting is that McCain was taking his orders from AIPAC. That was part of the deal.
Now that Obama is the President-in-waiting, there is this tendency to personify his administration. The press keeps saying that Obama is going to do this or that after he takes office. But this is a dangerous over simplification. Obama may be the next President and he may represent the office of the President as a whole, but he can't do anything on his own. We're really talking about an Obama administration. And I'm not convinced that Obama will be the person with the most influence in terms of setting the policy.
Still Obama will be the figurehead representing the policies to the public, and this will be a very useful image for those who are truly responsible for those policies. Obama is a sympathetic figure and the public is more likely to accept unpopular decisions from him than they would from someone like Joe Biden, for example.
Which brings us back to the 3 Uncles - Sam, Tom and Joe. It is the image of Uncle Joe that most concerns me. The iconic "man of the people" who is supposed to be representing the average citizen, when really he is representing the powerful Elite. There is a danger of creating a cult of personality around Obama. It truly disturbs me that people will keep waiting for Uncle Barack to fix things at the same time that things are falling apart. And of course the thing that is falling apart the fastest is the economy, like a giant Humpty Dumpty.
The US Economy sat on a wall;
The US Economy had a great fall.
All Obama's cabinet,
And all Obama's Fed,
Couldn't bring the Economy back from the dead!