One Radio Appearance and Seven Quotes

I’m on Kansas City public radio (a)  talking about the meaning of the Obama campaign and presidency and (b) promoting democracy through the sale and reading of my recent book on "Brand Obama."  Fellow Z-Netters and others can listen in at http://www.kkfi.org/ at 6PM CST,  which is 7 PM in the east and 4 PM in Los Angelese and  5 PM in the Rocky Mountains.

In the meantime, here are seven quotes I put at the beginning of the book: 


Elected officials are only as good or as bad as the forces they feel they must respond to.  It’s a mistake to expect any more of them than to be vectors of the political pressures they feel working on them.

– Adolph Reed Jr., November 2007 [1]


We who protest the war are not politicians. We are citizens. Whatever politicians may do, let them first feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not for what is winnable… Except for the rare few, our representatives are politicians, and will surrender their integrity, claiming to be "realistic." We are not politicians, but citizens. We have no office to hold on to, only our consciences, which insist on telling the truth. That, history suggests, is the most realistic thing a citizen can do.

 – Howard Zinn, April 2007  [2] 


In the election, sensible choices have to be made.  But they are secondary to serious political action.  The main task is to create a genuinely responsive democratic culture, and that effort goes on before and after electoral extravaganzas, whatever their outcome.

– Noam Chomsky, 2004 [3]


The choice we must make is as important as it is clear.  It is a choice between corporate power and the power of democracy…It is caution versus courage. Calculation versus principle.  It is the establishment elites versus the American people…Politicians who care more about their careers than their constituents go along to get elected…It’s a game that never ends, but every American knows – it’s time to end the game.

— John Edwards, August 23, 2007 [4]  


Change doesn’t happen from the top down. Change happens from the bottom up.

 – Barack Obama, October 15, 2007 [5]


We can’t look for saviours on high to get us out of this mess…We have to do it ourselves.

 – Tariq Ali and Anthony Arnove, 2006 [6]   


Which side are you on, boys,… which side are you on?

 Florence Reese, 1930s

1. Adolph J. Reed Jr., "Sitting This One Out," The Progressive (November 2007).


2.  Howard Zinn, "Are We Politicians or Citizens?" The Progrerssive (May 2007).


3. Noam Chomsky, Interventions (2007) pp. 99-100.


4. John Edwards, "To Build One America," Manchester New Hampshire, August 24, 2007, read at http://www.addisonindependent.com/?q=node/659.


5.  Quoted in Quinn Craugh, "Obama Greets 4,000 at Monona Terrace, Calls for Big Change," University of Wisconsin Daily Cardinal (October 16, 2007) read at http://www.dailycardinal.com/article/734


6. Tariq Ali and Anthony Arnove. "The Challenge to the Empire," Socialist Worker Online, October 20, 2006).  

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