Tuesday, May 8, 2007

obama's "taking it to the streets"

Yes I voted for Barack Obama two years ago, and yes, I have been disappointed. But at some point I also ended up on his mailing list, so every now and then I get emails or letters addressed, "Dear Friend."

Today's email is to let me know that Barack's campaign strategy is outsourcing. Well, he calls it grassroots organizing, or in terms that he feels will appeal to me, "taking it to the streets." He has (personally?) emailed me to ask if I will organize a walk through my neighborhood to tell people how awesome he is. But as I've always understood it, grassroots organizing is when a community has strong convictions about an issue and then organizes their friends and neighbors, and that organizing spreads--the key is that it comes from below. When a boss or politician organizes that same community--from above--we call it propaganda.

Obama's shtick used to be that he supported improvements to welfare and social programs, ending the war, gay marriage, immigrant rights, labor rights, and that above all he can relate to people (of color). Okay, so he's abandoned most of that (Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C, and Exhibit D for starters). What's left is his knack for relating to people...or at least enough to get them to go out on "walks" for him, his veiled way of asking people to spend the summer canvassing--getting doors slammed on them, dodging sprinklers, and having an otherwise unhappy time door-to-dooring for someone else you've never met.

No matter how many times he calls me "Friend", I am still so disappointed.

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