Moving Past Obama- Don’t We Have Bigger Fish to Fry?

Reading over the current reactions to Obama’s election win it seems that there is a lot of agreement on some points and a lot of disagreement on others. It seems that we lefties generally agree that whatever momentum that has built both in the USA and worldwide from the election needs to be maintained. That people need to stay active in the issues that confront the world- war, poverty, climate change, global capitalism. There is an agreement that now is the time to act and to do so with sincerity and passion. We agree that change comes from the concerted work of people working at the bottom. I think we agree that we need to create the change we seek and demand it from those in power.

That’s what it seems we agree on.

What we don’t seem to agree on is whether you need to love, hate, critique, question, support, or rely on Obama to achieve this. While these debates are important in many ways, do they really matter for what we’re trying to do if we agree on the above? Is it worth fighting for the next 4 to 8 years amongst ourselves as to the motivations and intentions of Obama? Isn’t that a matter of looking where to place the blame if we don’t succeed?

Isn’t this in some ways like the debates about 9/11- was it a conspiracy or not? Is Obama more of the same, or a force for change?
In the end the debate takes away our focus from more important realities.

Obama is elected, that’s the reality facing our movements. If we agree that we need to take advantage of the popular support for change, if we agree that pressure from below is the only way to create real change, then lets keep that as our a core focus. The rest of the debate should be peripheral.
Obama will make fools out of some of us eventually one way or another, let’s wait for that to occur and then deal with it. In the meantime don’t we have bigger fish to fry?

Let us put our energy into drafting a document outlining our shared aims and efforts. A document that a wide variety of groups and organizations can sign up to. Let’s figure out what we truly want to work on together before we start figuring out what we disagree on. If we have that common thread then we can take advantage of our differences by attacking our common problems and goals with the wide variety of approaches we have at hand. That way if we do have disagreements then least they exist with a context. Rather than forming irresolvable splits and camps, our discussions will be of tactics and analysis within the context of our shared aims. So while we should not seek to tone down our analysis we should first endeavour to build a cohesive strategy.

Cause in the end, aren’t we all on the same side?



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