Sunday, January 27, 2008


I've been thinking recently about the President. No, not him. Just the role of President, specifically of the United States.

I've been thinking that for some reason, most presidents seem to be former lawyers. Like, they're lawyers, and then they become prominent and then they go into politics and then they become president. I'm not actually sure if this is true or if this is just what I've always thought, but whatever, go with it. I mean it makes sense that a lawyer would go into politics, because they have to learn a bunch of stuff that relates to civics in general just to practice.

One of my friends who is a psychologist was telling me that he thinks the reason that Hillary won't get elected is because archetypally she's a fighter. And we are all really, really sick of fighters--Bush is a fighter too. We're sick of having our country led by someone who wants to defeat everyone.

So I was thinking, like...what is a lawyer but a fighter? I mean that's what lawyers are paid to do. A client gives them money, and they go on to use every resource at their disposal to defeat the opposition so that their client can win. To me, this is creepy. Because that's what the presidency has become in a way. That is bad, even if the 'client' were the American people, which it isn't. I think we're all well aware that the client in this case is people with money. You know, big soul-less corporations, Saudi sheiks, other jerks. And I'm not just talking about the Bushies, because economic neoliberalism gets its rocks off in the democratic party too. Sure, it's a benchmark of neoconservative policy, but that shit went down in the Clinton era too, and it goes down in Congress as we speak.

Honestly, that's one of the things I like a LOT about Obama. He was a lawyer, and he quit to become a community organizer. He was working in poor communities to organize people. In fact, I quote: "What if a politician were to see his job as that of an organizer?" (Barack Obama, quoted in the Chicago Reader 12/8/95) No, SERIOUSLY. What is the president but an organizer of people? The organizer of this big community of Americans? The fact that Obama sees himself as an organizer and not a fighter is apparent in his speeches and his policies. Because to a fighter, there is always us and them. To republican fighters, the them is the immoral, the muslims, the hippies. To democratic fighters, the them is big business, the religious right, etc. Obama never tries to polarize shit like that. To him, everyone is part of the community that he must organize to help itself become better.

On that note, here is my favorite part of Obama's SC victory speech:

What we've seen in these last weeks is that we're also up against forces that are not the fault of any one campaign but feed the habits that prevent us from being who we want to be as a nation. It's a politics that uses religion as a wedge and patriotism as a bludgeon, a politics that tells us that we have to think, act, and even vote within the confines of the categories that supposedly define us, the assumption that young people are apathetic, the assumption that Republicans won't cross over, the assumption that the wealthy care nothing for the poor and that the poor don't vote, the assumption that African-Americans can't support the white candidate, whites can't support the African-American candidate, blacks and Latinos cannot come together. We are here tonight to say that that is not the America we believe in.

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