Tuesday, March 05, 2013

From The American Left History Blog Archives (2006)- On American Political Discourse

Markin comment:

In the period 2006-2008 I, in vain, attempted to put some energy into analyzing the blossoming American presidential campaign since it was to be, as advertised at least, a watershed election, for women, blacks, old white anglos, latinos, youth, etc. In the event I had to abandon the efforts in about May of 2008 when it became obvious, in my face obvious, that the election would be a watershed only for those who really believed that it would be a watershed election. The four years of the Obama presidency, the 2012 American presidential election campaign, and world politics have only confirmed in my eyes that that abandonment was essentially the right decision at the right time. In short, let the well- paid bourgeois commentators go on and on with their twitter. I, we, had (have) better things to do like fighting against the permanent wars, the permanent war economies, the struggle for more and better jobs, and for a workers party that fights for a workers government . More than enough to do, right? Still a look back at some of the stuff I wrote then does not a bad feel to it. Read on.



I VOTED FOR VICE PRESIDENT HUBERT HORATIO HUMPHREY OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN 1968. MOREOVER, I ACTIVELY CAMPAIGNED FOR THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET IN THE FALL OF THAT YEAR. AND AS AN ASPIRING YOUNG POLITICAN I WAS PERFECTLY WILLING TO ACCEPT AN ENTRY-LEVEL POSITION IN A VICTORIOUS HUMPHREY ADMINISTRATION. The thought of that rash youthful action as I am writing this piece still brings a blush to my cheeks. Of all the political mistakes I have made in my life this is the one that is still capable of doing that. In today’s confessional age, however, it is good to get it off my conscience. Please, let me tell you the story. If at any point it sounds awfully familiar concerning today’s political choices please feel free to stop.

First, I must plead my youth as a mitigating circumstance. And as this is also an age when victims give voice to their travails you must realize that I was a victim of circumstances throughout all of this experience. Those circumstances most certainly had a name. That name, one Richard Milhous Nixon, at one time President of the United States, common war criminal, and political sociopath now residing in one of Dante’s circles of hell. You knew didn’t you that at least one of the villains had to be a Republican- some things never change. It may be hard for today’s militants to understand how much THAT man dominated our political hatreds in those days. To put it in perspective just remember that Mr. Nixon was the‘godfather’ of the current president, Mr. Bush, common war criminal, political sociopath and a prime candidate for one of Dante’s circles of hell. Enough said.

In the early and mid- 1960’s this writer defined himself as a left-liberal of the Americans for Democratic Action school. He had worked for civil rights for blacks and against war, particularly the Vietnam War then beginning to take center stage in national politics. When it became apparent that Mr. Nixon was going to be a serious candidate for president he made a very calculated political decision. Despite his war follies the writer was fully committed to supporting one Lyndon Baines Johnson, one time President of the United States, common war criminal, political sociopath and now also residing in one of Dante’s circles. Those readers who supported the pro- Iraqi War Democratic presidential candidate, one John Forbes Kerry, in 2004 know the surreal mental gymnastics entailed to justify that position. Why Johnson? Because he was the only candidate that could defeat the main villain of the piece, Mr. Nixon.

At no time did I consider the candidacy of the anti-war candidate Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota viable by the above-mentioned standard. It must be something about Irish poets and wits. In any case, after Mr. Johnson announced that he was not going to run again I easily switched my allegiance to Senator Robert Kennedy of New York. Even today I have a little soft spot for the memory of that man. If ever a bourgeois politician could move me it was him. Remember this, it was Robert Kennedy was nailed on the head what Mr. Nixon represented politically- the dark side of the American spirit. However, in the final analysis, what drove me to the Kennedy campaign was the belief that he was the only candidate who could defeat Mr. Nixon.

After the Kennedy assassination in June 1968 and after a little confusion I moved on to support Mr. Humphrey, one time Vice President of the United States, common war criminal and political sociopath now at the Dante residence. Why? Because he was… (you can fill in the rest on your own by now). You were warned that this story was not for the faint-hearted. However it has a happy ending. Over the years I have voted for various socialist and labor party candidates and propositions and have not regretted one of those votes. Still, old habits die hard. I am still looking for that entry-level government job- in a victorious workers government.

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