Sunday, November 30, 2008

Angry Left Can Step Off

Interesting Alternet article called "Enough of 'Barbituate' Left Cynicism, Obama Is a Victory over White Supremacy" by Tim Wise for the neo-lefties out know that kind of liberal that's always a downer. I particularly liked this part:

At some point, the left will have to relinquish its love affair with marginalization. We'll have to stop behaving like those people who have a favorite band they love, and even damn near worship, until that day when the band actually begins to sell a lot of records and gain a measure of popularity, at which point they now suck and have obviously sold out: the idea being that if people like you, you must not be doing anything important, and that obscurity is the true measure of integrity. Deconstructing the psychological issues at the root of such a pose is well above my pay grade, but I'm sure would prove fascinating.

The simple fact is, people are inspired by Obama not because they view him as especially progressive per se (except in relation to some of the more retrograde policies of the current president, and in relation to where they feel, rightly, McCain/Palin would have led us), but because most folks respond to optimism, however ill-defined it may be. This is what the Reaganites understood, and for that matter it's what Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement knew too. It wasn't anger and pessimism that broke the back of formal apartheid in the south, but rather, hope, and a belief in the fundamental decency of people to make a change if confronted by the yawning chasm between their professed national ideals and the bleak national reality.

In other words, what the 60s freedom struggle took for granted, but which the cynical barbiturate left refuses to concede, is the basic goodness of the people of this nation, and the ability of the nation, for all of its faults (and they are legion) to change.
I know a lot of U2 fans that did this....once Rattle & Hum came out, U2 was crap. Too bad they didn't stay tuned, what a great ride it's been in the U2 camp since then.
Let's hope we get a similar ride from Obama. We can all at least hope, right?