Thursday, January 03, 2008

Ace in the Hole

Barack! Iowa!

Let's just pause for a second here. I know we're all hepped up on Huckabee and whatnot, but before we move on to South Carolina, New Hampshire, and the rest, let's just sit back and revel for a sec.

While the South reigns as the area of the country known for good old-fashioned hate spewing racism, the civil rights movement met its match in Chicago and the surrounding environs (i.e., Iowa). Daley and his impenetrable machine were an insidious force MLK couldn't have foreseen or reckoned with, and the movement stalemated as black leaders divided into a battle for who was right in how to strategically move forward. Meanwhile, insular and homogeneous midwestern communities wanted to keep them that way, and were wary of any outsiders; de facto segregation and a subtle, less blatant racism settled somewhat uncomfortably into the culture of the Midwest.

Forty years have passed since Daley and King tussled, and with each passing year, the hope for change in the political machine has grown dimmer and dimmer. With Obama's victory last night in Iowa, that hope was rekindled. More than just a political victory, when the people of Iowa chose Obama as their representative, they have ignited a spark in the minds of progressive Americans that maybe this election won't be the same old shit- a choice between the white guy and the other white guy who really aren't all that different, and might actually be cousins.

At the end of the day, that's why Obama's got my vote. Hillary's health care plan is better, and Edwards' plan for the environment is the only one that really carries any weight among the top three candidates. But in this election, a candidate must be more than the sum of his (or her, its so nice to be able to say that!) stances. Most critically, a candidate must restore the U.S. as an international player. For the past several years, we've been the bratty kid who lost a move in the game o' globalism. So we smacked the game off the table and yelled out to the international community, "I HATE this game and I HATE you! I'm going home to play with my own noocuelar toys! Anyone who doesn't completely suck and is not brown or poor can come over to my house. Also, my mom makes better snacks." Didn't you always kinda hate that kid for hijacking the game? No one ever really followed him except the sycophants, losers, and the kids who had something to be afraid of. As a political strategy, it sounds a lot more like Homeland Insecurity.

There's alway gonna be people you don't want to play with- the nutter who whips out his peepee in the middle of the game, the jerk who hordes all the pieces, the deluded kid who says his country got rid of homosexuality. But remember how there was usually one really cool kid who was secure in who he was that everyone loved him - nice to everyone, cajoled the assholes into letting everyone play, and shrewd as fuck in maintaining the equilibrium? Wouldn't it be sah-weet to have that guy leading our country? In terms of the overall message to the international community, Obama represents that the United States is ready and willing to be a partner and an ally in this global game, and that we're secure enough to let everyone- even our own citizens- play.

So Iowa- thanks.


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