March 20, 2011

The Empire's New Clothes

A few days weeks ago, I wrote about an exchange I had with Ari about a book I am reading about Obama. Our conversation, rightfully, caused a shift in my political equilibrium and personal values.  Ari really made me rethink the expectations I have of my politicians  and examine my own actions and morality. Basically he said that, it is easy to rant against X and Y, but we should be careful not to actually be acting like X and Y ourselves.

I have a few new insights on our chat, but will hold on to them until I finished Audacity of Hope, which is now on my bedside table. I will give Obama the benefit of doubt and read his point of view with an open mind. In the meantime, I have scratched out this quick review of the Paul Street book. I hope to revisit my thoughts, our chat, and both books when I finish the Obama book. This review is tepid at best, but I felt I needed to get something now at this juncture.

A review of The Empire's New Clothes by Paul Street

A bit skewed left, but rightfully so, many will claim this to be an unrealistic, utopian rant by a left-wing radical, but really the one question the writers asks repeatedly is this, "Has president Obama moved toward a peace and justice agenda based on the wants and rights of poor and middle clas Americans, or has he been a puppet of big moneyed Wall Street and big industry interests?

The book does a great job of breaking down every aspect of Obama's failure to even come close to the "progressive" agenda his campaign sold to Americans. It would do apologist Obamaist well to take a look at these claims and rather than blindly defend  "Brand Obama's" short comings, start asking new questions: Is this false reform what they want from Obama, or is it time to cut their losses and move in a new direction? A movement that actually force Imperialist, corporate America to shift radically left. Time for us as a nation question the very nature of our values. Time to admit that no man shackled by the office of president, beholden to a broken free market system will ever work for the needs of the people. It is time for us to work actively building alternative grassroots movements...

I know, I know...what the hell am I doing working at a corporate private school in a foreign country? I guess I should just move home and get to work or stop my bitching. I am off to read The Audacity of Hope so as not to be called biased. Let's see what the man himself has to say...

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