Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Sokath, His Eyes Uncovered!" Cornel West Wants You All to Get in Line Behind President Obama and Defeat Mitt Romney

See, folks far smarter than me are telling you rapscallions to get in line behind Obama because a Romney presidency would simply be unacceptable. Sometimes the strategic and tactically sound choice involves sacrificing some pawns in order to play the deeper game.

Ultimately, a quest for perfect moral clarity, and a "perfect" candidate, will leave us all suffering and far worse off.

The Nader supporters ushered in Bush the Junior in 2000; those who are bailing on Obama are paving the way for Romney-Ryan. We cannot let such a scenario play out (again).

From Cornel West's interview with Vice:

After the polls swung in Romney’s favor after the first debate, did you reconsider your criticism of President Obama? 
We have to prevent a Romney takeover of the White House. No doubt about that. It would be very dangerous in terms of actual lives and actual deaths of the elderly and the poor. Those people who are dependent on various programs would have to deal with the ugly damage of the further redistribution of wealth from the poor and working people to the well off. 
Right. But doesn’t criticizing Obama make all that bad stuff you just said more likely to happen? 
I’m strategic. We have to tell that truth about a system that’s corrupt—both parties are poisoned by big money and tied to big banks and corporations. Speaking on that is a matter of intellectual integrity. American politics are not a matter of voting your moral conscience—if I voted my moral conscience it would probably be for Jill Stein. But it's strategic in terms of the actual possibilities and real options available for poor and working people. 
So voting for Obama is good strategy given the realities of the world? 
A Romney administration would be a catastrophic response to an already catastrophic condition. I still get in a lot of trouble with my left-wing comrades on this—that I would still support Obama winning while continuing to tell the truth about drones dropping bombs on innocent people, which I consider war crimes, about the Wall Street government, about the refusal to close Guantanamo, about [section] 1021 of the National Authorization Act where you can detain citizens without trial or even assassinate citizens based on the decisions of the executive branch. All of those things to me are morally obscene. It’s a matter of telling that truth, strategically. I think we have to ensure that we don’t have a takeover by conservative right-wing or we’re in a world of trouble.
Despite his calls for all thinking and fair-minded people, who care about the Common Good, to support President Obama, Dr. West has some concerns:
Speaking on an empire in decline, we have been moving increasingly towards drone warfare of which you have been critical. We have a nation tired of nation building abroad and supportive of what is regarded as low-cost, high impact security. What do you say to that? 
It’s devastating to what’s left of the soul of the country. Drones, like anything else, can be used in a variety of ways, but when you normalize and routinize drones that drop bombs that include “unfortunately” innocent civilians, these are war crimes. And it cuts the other way too. We know that Al-Qaeda, thugs, and gangsters are killing innocent people—these are crimes against humanity. But governments commit war crimes, too. The fact that we haven’t had a discourse about drones that allows us to wrestle with who we are as a people… For instance, people might want to argue that it was alright to kill Bin Laden or to drop a bomb on Al-Qaeda. That’s a different kind of argument because I understand, I’m an Augustinian myself in terms of just-war—I’m not a pacifist. There are very, very specific conditions under which we engage in war and killing soldiers. But when you include killing innocent civilians, any group, any nation, whatever—those are crimes. They just are. 
You write in The Rich and the Rest of Us about the branding of the relationship between the American Dream and hyper materialism. Do you think that’s why the campaigns refuse to talk about poverty? 
We have a corporate media whose bottom line is making money. They don’t allow robust, uninhibited public conversation. Even last night you notice that when Obama talked about the 47 percent, he mentioned every group but poor people. Of course, what Romney had in mind was primarily poor people, especially poor people of color. When the public thinks of “those lazy people” who view themselves as victims, the first face that comes forward is Latisha and Jamal. Romney knows that. Who would’ve thought that it could have spilled over into the white elderly in Florida, the veterans in Colorado, and so forth. But the corporate media is just so narrow and truncated that you can’t see the humanity of poor people. Even when you’re talking about programs that help them. All of us need help at some point. The banks needed help and they received a huge response. Well, the elderly need help, the workers need help, we all do.
As Big Poppa Pump was fond of saying, holla if you hear Brother West. And at the risk of mixing popular culture allusions, Darmok and Jalad are now at Tanagra--where one is Barack and the other is Cornel. Are you going to be there with them?


Nebris said...

We're gonna keep getting ass-fucked no matter who wins. But with the Democrats it'll be slow and steady, with a chance for a kiss and a reach-around. With the Repugs it'll be straight up Prison Gang Rape.

Anonymous said...


Dr West needs to get his mind right. On one hand he's going to attack the president because of his office's limitations. Now Dr West is saying get behind Obama because the alternative is worse. And you have to be mindful of the White House's limitations. I'm not interested in anything that West has to say. Dr West decided to go in on the man while the GOP was doing all they could to bring the president down. Wouldn't it have been easier to stand with the president the last four years? Why not keep it all the way real? Dude's playing games.

Bruto Alto said...

"Ultimately, a quest for perfect moral clarity, and a "perfect" candidate, will leave us all suffering and far worse off."

Some of these people want Mittens. They think Obama puts black folk in some lull or haze, while ignoring "black needs" Truth is the election is bigger than the needs of a few bloggers. It's fighting for basic rights. Pell Grant limits/Birth Control/ Bright Futures (Florida program)/Healthcare. All of these would help not just "us" but everyone. Stop with that lame ass (Wall street did go to jail crap) It's silly and unheard of for any president not just the black one.

Shady_Grady said...

Disagree wholeheartedly. If civil liberties mean ANYTHING at all to you, you can't vote for someone who thinks he can assassinate and imprison American citizens without trial. Period.

If you keep voting for bad people because the alternative is worse, then of course the choices will continue to be bad and get worse over time.

Tell certain liberals and progressives that you can't bring yourself to vote for a candidate who opposes gay rights, or who doesn't believe in Darwinian evolution, and they'll nod along. Say that you'd never vote for a politician caught using the 'n'-word, even if you agreed with him on more policy issues than his opponent, and the vast majority of left-leaning Americans would understand. But these same people cannot conceive of how anyone can discern Mitt Romney's flaws, which I've chronicled in the course of the campaign, and still not vote for Obama...

Everyone's vote belongs to them and them alone. They should vote their conscience and for the person who best fits their views, not because one corporate drone is slightly worse than another corporate drone.

The horrible hypocritical thing about all of this is that if Romney should win then all of a sudden the left-wing anti-war people, the left wing civil liberties crowd, even the smirking stenographers at MSNBC will SUDDENLY discover that drone attacks, warantless surveillance, undeclared wars, corporate largesse and whistleblower trials are bad things. But should Obama win they will continue to keep quiet and hope they get a belly rub every 2 years or so. Pathetic.

Bruto Alto said...

"you can't vote for someone who thinks he can assassinate and imprison American citizens without trial"

Where have you been the last 100 years. America kills and imprisons more people than anyone. THIS IS NOT NEW, The crazy thing is you believe B.O. could have been different cog in the same machine.

PS you could put Gandi in the oval office and the same system would be in place. If you have someone better that would even have a chance at running for office speak up.

nomad said...

"I’m strategic. We have to tell that truth about a system that’s corrupt—both parties are poisoned by big money and tied to big banks and corporations. Speaking on that is a matter of intellectual integrity. American politics are not a matter of voting your moral conscience—if I voted my moral conscience it would probably be for Jill Stein."

You ain't strategic. You're tactical and shortsighted. What a statement of moral bankruptness that you (pragmatists) can't vote your conscience. That's why we're up a fucking creek. We're brainwashed into thinking that all we can ever have is evil. Lesser, greater, it's still evil. If he voted his conscience, an I voted my conscience and Chauncey voted his conscience and the rest of us voted our conscience, the American nightmare would be over. But these wicked voters have no imaginations. The only thing they can conceive as possible is evil. They deserve the blowback that's coming.

Bruto Alto said...

"Speaking on that is a matter of intellectual integrity"

You have a great point but can you apply this to the average american. Underperforming schools haven't prepared our children for basic skilled life, let alone a moral world view. Hell I talk to kids that have never left their city. Most can't tell you all the states on a map. While B.O. is not the best choice he's a step foward in the right direction. The way forward has to start with the first step. Maybe in a few steps then you will see a "conscience vote" from an educated base.

Right now the average american family makes 53,000 a year. If you break that down between two adults or in our case one parent working two jobs, 26,500 is like 8-9 an hour. What does that tell you about the average american worker?

nomad said...

Man, I think I must have clicked the wrong site by mistake. Is this really WARN? Why are there so few Obama supporters?

Shady_Grady said...

@ Bruno Alto, did you read the provided link? There are some things that are simply not worth MY vote no matter what. If you really believe that the system is greater than whoever is in the office than you are saying that voting is pointless.

In that case why bother voting?

When the next President , who may have a slightly different idea than Obama about who is "evil" starts disappearing people we will have to thank the fearful sheeple who continually voted for more and more right-wing candidates.

BO is responsible for decisions HE made around civil liberties. He's the worst president in a long time (ever?) on civil liberties.'s_nightmare

But as long as abortion remains legal and Obama says nice things about gays and women that is really all that matters to a sizable portion of the Democratic base. How sad that people's understanding of civil liberties and citizenship has shrunken so.

nomad said...

"The way forward has to start with the first step."

Yep, but can never get to a desired destination by going in the opposite direction. (Well, you can, but it would necessitate crossing two oceans and three continents.)

fred c said...

Good question, Nomad. Maybe it's because many of us, if not most, agree with my cousin on the Grady side, Mr. Shady, about the drones, the assassinations and imprisonments, the warrantless surveillance, the undeclared wars, the corporate ass-kissing, and the prosecution of whistle-blowers. To borrow from Chief Keef, "that's the shit I don't like."

Most of the things on that list, however, are beyond the reach of the sitting president. Maybe the whistle-blower thing is negotiable; maybe the corporate ass-kissing is allowed to vary somewhat; but the other things are cut in stone. I believe that it is wrong to blame President Obama for those things, which I believe are administered from another power center, not answerable to electoral politics. At the risk of sounding paranoid or redundant, I mean the permanent-emergency, unified-executive, national-security-state thing.

Reasonable minds may disagree as to whether anyone who was not already in the cabal would ever be allowed to get near the presidency. But whether they are initiates already, or get initiated upon being elected, the effect is the same.

My endlessly repeated point is that one of the few things that a president can influence is the makeup of the Supreme Court, and there is a big, big difference between the direction that the Court will take under Mr. Obama or under that Nelly, hysterical little girl, Willard Romney.

nomad said...

This trope again. The most powerful man on earth cain do nothin but appt centrist supreme court judges to balance the right wing judges. If the position of POTUS is that impotent, then what's the big deal? It really doesn't matter a whole lot. If, on the otherhand Barama does not now or ever will desire to do anything progressive, which is a more accurate statement of the situation...again, what's the big deal? Vote for him if you want, but please, don't fool yourself about what you're voting for. Fool me in 2008, shame on you. Fool me in 2012, shame on me.

Laurice said...

CWest is the man! He continues to provide interactive real time pragmatic advice for the community.

Given the legacy of white tenure in the white house an Obama less than superior tenure in the white house is not a problem.

For decades white folks have lived in white privledge status even 2 decades of passive Affirmative Action makes them piss out hate on us.

Observing Nomad, CNu and others engage in the tired over the top beat down of Obama is backward and does nothing to advance the interests of the community.

Allow me to cliff note Miles Davis I could spend centuries of fucking up white folks to balance the scales and I still would need more time. Attacking Obama right now is insane on historical and present day reality.

CWest just states the obvious and every poster on this site knows this.

Black Sage said...

I’m not a fan of Hafrican Obama or Rum Romney, however, I propose that we all vote for Romney so that things will begin to stink so much that the condition that we eventually find ourselves, would compel us all act or respond in a manner that this empire hasn’t witnessed since the Civil War. I agree with @Nebris, it truly doesn’t matter who’s in office. The only difference is how America really wants it this time ………from the FRONT or the REAR?

fred c said...

Oh, I think I'll pass this year. I'd be voting by absentee ballot in California, and if Mr. Obama hasn't won the election before the absentee ballots from California are counted he's lost already, big time.

How about you? Are you voting for that Green woman? (Star Trek reference!) If we had a parliamentary system I would vote, and I'd probably vote for her. But we don't, so a vote for her is a vote for Romney, plain and simple.

"The most powerful man on earth . . ." If only it were true! I saw a great ventriloquist in Central Park in 1984, a Black guy with a Black dummy. The "dummy" was abusing the crowd quite severely, and some of the crowd were really ready to jump that dummy. They totally ignored the ventriloquist, like he wasn't there. That's the dream of our new masters, that we get furious at Mr. Obama, or whoever is the president, and leave them the fuck alone.

This shit would be interesting if it weren't so bloody depressing.

Anonymous said...

You have a choice between two roads, one leads to destruction, the other leads to utter disaster, choose wisely...

I will not be party to this immoral tyrannical system. It is morally wrong to give it legitimacy. If I vote for anyone at the national level, it will be for Gary Johnson, or the Green Party Lady.

Our remaining time would be best served planning and preparing for contingencies. Preparing for defense and/or escape of one's family, and pushing the local level to buck the feds.

We really are truly screwed. It's immensely sad.

Bruto Alto said...

"There are some things that are simply not worth MY vote no matter what."

"But as long as abortion remains legal and Obama says nice things about gays and women..."

Ahh, Now I understand your theme and thinking. F women, F the kids, f the gays, but understand I have problems that need attention.:(

Have you ever went to the store and been stopped by a crackhead asking 20 cents for something to eat? You ask him what would 20 cents do when a meal would cost 3 dollars at the least. You offer to get him something to eat but he declines. See he only wants to buy crack and he knows 20 cents is easier to get than 3 dollars.

You want that 3 dollars but throw the meal back at the guy. Get help

chaunceydevega said...

@Bruto. ""you can't vote for someone who thinks he can assassinate and imprison American citizens without trial""

Cosign. Folks have been very naive. If they think these violations of civil liberties are new they should do a little research about what happened to war resisters and pacifists during World War One. Stuff straight out of Gitmo if not worse.

CNu said...

Few things more pathetic than emotional negroe efforts to compel/enforce racial political orthodoxy.

Only a pure-dee-pure hypocrite and fool fails to recognize and acknowledge that the Hon.Bro.Preznit exploited his complexion to facilitate the total and abject niggerization of the 99% by the 1%.

Everything else is frivolous bickering among whipped dogs over rotted table scraps...,

nomad said...

Table scraps! And he won't even make sure the one good thing he authorized for drowning homeowners gets implemented.

"HAMP was supposed to help three to four million homeowners, but has so far resulted in just 825,000 permanent mortgage modifications. One million borrowers, meanwhile, have started the program but been booted out before getting their mortgage permanently modified. Stewart is correct that just a fraction of the money dedicated to HAMP has been spent.
President Obama’s Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), under acting director Edward DeMarco, has also prevented homeowners from receiving more help. States, meanwhile, have been siphoning off funds from the $25 billion foreclosure fraud settlement and using them for non-housing related purposes."

Oh, yeah. He is struggling mightily. If only those dastardly obstructionist Republicans were not tying his hands...

nomad said...

Not at all. I'm just illustrating that Barama is not trying as hard as some seem to think. "Can't do it by himself." "Hands tied." Respectful Negro puh-lease...

Shady_Grady said...

"Ahh, Now I understand your theme and thinking. F women, F the kids, f the gays, but understand I have problems that need attention.:("

This is a completely ridiculous statement that permits you to continue to ignore the actual issues raised.

Look I am under no illusions. Either Romney or Obama is going to win this election. Bully for them. But they will do so without my vote.

If Obama came out tomorrow and said he was against ALL affirmative action, decided that he was pro-life and revoked his deferred action executive "Dream Act", would you expect the groups to whom those things are not only important but critical redline issues to say "Well Obama is better than Romney on health care so he still gets my vote?".

Well YOU might but I'm betting that most people would understand that there are limits. For ME, assassinating American citizens and signing indefinite detention crosses the moral event horizon.

It is critical that each citizen casts his or her vote (or does not) in a way which is congruent with his or her conscience. Unless you happen to be a billionaire with cash to burn, the only way to influence things is to organize, agitate and vote. To argue that one should "vote strategically" for Obama as West is doing is cowardice. It will simply confirm the (so far correct) Democratic assumption that no matter how far right they move as long as they stay just ever so lightly to the left of Republicans on 1 or 2 issues they can continue to rely on the support of their base.

It's MY vote, not the Democrats' or Republicans' and it's up to me to make the best choice as I see fit. For ME that's not Obama.

makheru bradley said...

This proves that Dr. West, despite his valid criticism's of Obama, has not broken the monopoly which the corrupt two-party system has on his mind. That otherwise smart people can be mentally incarcerated is not surprising. However, how can anyone who professes to be spiritual support a despicable war criminal under any conditions.

"It’s devastating to what’s left of the soul of the country."

West will picking up the fragmented pieces of his soul after pulling the lever for an assassin.

Invisible Man said...

he Nader supporters ushered in Bush the Junior in 2000; those who are bailing on Obama are paving the way for Romney-Ryan. We cannot let such a scenario play out"

Yea lets blame the most courageous folks in the demo-rat-ic party those who principled enough to vote for the best candidate, which as Nader. Lets not blame Gore for picking a frightening critter named Joe Lieberman just because Clinton got a blow job in his office. Lets not blame Al Bore for caving the election instead of fighting to keep it from being stolen. Nader was my proudest vote

YouKnoMe said...

SHAKA!!!!! When the WALLS FELL!! ^_^

Just had to say it LMAO