“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” Abolitionist Frederick Douglass
When members of Occupy Oakland set a U.S. flag on fire at City Hall last week-end, I had a Yogi Berra moment: “Déjà vu all over again.”
This ritual intrinsic to late opposition to the war in Vietnam appears to have divided Northern California Occupiers. The San Francisco Chronicle called it a “wrestling match for the soul of the Occupy movement in the Bay Area.” I’m disappointed, of course, but I also think it serves a little too well the narrative of these protests offered by corporate media. Perhaps that's why it got so much coverage. It would be a misfortune if this ill-conceived action overshadowed attention to the hundreds of actions in protest of the corporatization of our country as personified by Wall Street.
What delighted me from the first about the Occupy movement is its imagination and ingenuity and, just as importantly, its focus on education rather than militancy and scorn.
The California cognitive scientist George Lakoff http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/08/25_lakoff.shtml has urged Democrats to resist Republican attempts to influence policy by “framing” it in language that obscures its true nature—death tax rather than inheritance tax, entitlement programs rather than veterans’ benefits and social security, and, of course, “pro-life” to cover a whole lot of issues that are less than life-enhancing to many sentient beings.
Democrats attempted this with some success, but most of the time, the Democratic problem has been a lack of imagination and courage. As Team Obama gears up for a new beginning, here are some of my ideas for them:
It’s been a long time since I’ve rested as well as I did last night.
Thank you, Bill Clinton, for delivering a ringing, unequivocal endorsement of Barack Obama. Thank you, Barack Obama, for choosing a running mate who is not afraid to speak truth to power. Joe Biden finally confronted the debacle that Republicans have visited upon the American people. And he addressed directly the “issue” of Barack Obama’s patriotism by introducing his great uncle who helped liberate Buchenwald. Nice touch.
Random reflections on politics, the media, political activism, women's lives and spirituality, often inspired by travel, cultural events or what I read.
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