by Sheri Bailey
Sunday, September 21, 2008
And a Child Shall Lead Them
"And a Child Shall Lead Them"
by Sheri Bailey
by Sheri Bailey
Listening in on a conversation between a couple of old heads about the times and it was their feeling that it's time to start talking about alternatives to capitalism and my immediate reaction was, it's a long way beyond time to start "talking" about alternatives to capitalism. We don't live in an "either / or" world. Fact is, the American poor already live in a socialist state and it ain't pretty. It's called public housing, public schools, medicaid or medicare. It is a system designed to keep poor people poor. And when the poor react against this system they are criminalized for things like non-payment of child support, traffic violations and drug addiction.
The majority of poor people are under age 18 and because they neither work nor vote they have absolutely no value in a capitalistic society. They are raised on a steady diet of materialism, sex and violence while at the same time told they are shallow for their desire to participate in the vacuous orgy that pop culture has become. And despite how the previous generations have failed them, these young people who are going to put Obama in the White House, are energetic and optimistic.
Of course, it is the fate of the young to not know how hard it is to light candles in bitter winds. Many of them will be voting for the very first time because it is the first time that they are old enough. Others will be voting for the very first time because a presidential candidate has ignited their dreams and aspirations. They are too young to know that it's been almost a half a century since the American people have experienced hope in a political leader. They think this is normal.
To the cynics who caution that one man alone can't change America young people are responding, "He is not alone. We are with him." And they also make the point that one person alone can indeed be the force behind monumental change in a country, a community, family or the world. History is full of such people. (Moses, Abraham Lincoln, Hitler, Elvis, Rosa Parks are among many who immediately come to mind.)
And finally, on the idea of change, Obama is not being asked to do the impossible. His job will be to help America live up to its vision of itself as a nation that offers each and every one of its citizens from the youngest to the oldest, regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation an equal opportunity to achieve the American Dream.
Obama's unwillingness to get down in the mud with the Republicans should be seen as a sign that he is sincere about real and genuine change. How can he be for change while resorting to plays from Karl Rove's handbook? His willingness to move to the center should be seen as his nod to the old guard that he understands their concerns as he seeks to put democracy and capitalism on a new dance card. Certainly, after eight years of George Bush and Dick Cheney America does not need four more of the same. But before we embark on exchanging one government-corporate system for another, let's follow the direction of our young and the rest of the world and give Obama a chance. We have nothing to lose except the very future of America. One hundred years from now our today will be defined as the moment when America boldly looked to the future or continued to keep its head buried in the sand. Like one of the credit card commercials tells us, "You decide."