Obama’s New Platform

by zunguzungu

Like many people, I’ve found it difficult to get past the flowing rhetoric and scintillating oratory of Barrack Hussein Obama, and I’ve struggled to find out what he really stands for. But thanks to Bobby May, I now know exactly what his platform is. And I find that while some of his positions seem a bit extreme, I can, in the spirit of political compromise, take them as a basis for future negotiations.

For example, while I question the nepotisic bent of sending $845 billion specifically to Obama’s relatives in Kenya, I do support using American tax dollars to help ease the vicious economic inequality by which centuries of American economic exploitation of Africa have left that continent totally bereft of the kind of economic development which we today enjoy. Fair is fair, after all.

I’m happy with his emphasis on bilateral negotiations in foreign affairs (his support for teaching Americans Spanish and Arabic, for example), for example, and in that vein I’m pleased to see that he’s continued to agree (with Maliki) on a timetable for withdrawal. I’m not sure extending statehood to Kenya or Cuba is really feasible, but I’ll take his gesture in that direction as an indication that he will try to relax and de-politicize this country’s implicitly racist immigration quotas (and the statehood option for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia is simply long overdue). Gearing our health care policies towards prevention and increased government funding seems smart, as does his desire to undo the privatization of education, retirement, and public lands.

The positions on which I’d gently demur seem more like Obama’s attempt to pander to this country’s massive and influential black voting bloc. It’s just part of politics these days, so you can’t really blame him for it–I mean, when is the last time a president has been elected without pandering to black people?–so I’m glad to see that his gestures in that direction are not merely symbolic (painting the white house black, for example) they are also geared towards the structuring inequities of American society. Why, after all, are the same gun control policies applied to rural hunters and urban black youth? The situations are simply not comparable: deer and bears don’t really ever fire back, whereas the odds of being shot and killed by the police for the crime of being black is substantial enough that the second amendment should really be modified to account for it. But in the long term, the “raise taxes to pay for free drugs for Obama’s inner-city political base” plan will both ease the problem of high prices for prescription drugs and, by calling off the war on drugs, help defuse the economic and crime enforcement crisis that currently plagues our cities.

I can’t say I agree with his decision to keep America dependent on foreign oil–up until now, I’ve liked better what he’s said about developing alternate sources of energy and conservation practices like the tire gauge thing–but I’m going to take this as both a pragmatic short-term realization that the American economy cannot decouple itself from the global economy, and an attempt to bring oil-republicans on board so as to move the country–together–towards a more sustainable energy policy.