Yes, It’s Obama Time

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[Speaking Truth To Power]

Today's national “Super Tuesday” primaries will make history, especially, on the Democratic side where the question to be asked is: is this Obama time?

The Illinois senator has already made history, galvanizing the hopes of many craving for real “change” with his mantra of “yes we can.”

This message has resonated with the young, poor and disenfranchised in the country, most of who make up large numbers of eligible voters who often see no one and nothing to vote for. Obama has lit a fire under many of these Americans whose votes will decide if he pulls off the biggest political upset ever in American politics.

Two months ago no one thought this was possible. Hillary Clinton, then, was just going through the motions. Like many, she assumed the nomination would be a cakewalk. Then Iowa happened. Now, America is facing the dawning of a new political era. It wasn’t just that the Clintons lost, it was the fact that they lost to a Black man in a virtually all-white state.

Shocked by the outcome—and no doubt frightened by seeing his chance slipping of again running the White House, Bill Clinton complained that the media was giving Obama preferential treatment. He asserted that Obama was peddling “false hope” and “fantasy” to Americans. Before long, the Clinton smear machine launched a full offensive against Obama, alienating many in the process, by wallowing in the tactics of gutter politics, enlisting BET founder Robert Johnson as their “Black” attack dog. Those antics have backfired. In the South Carolina primary, Obama secured over 80% of the Black vote, and 25% of the white voters in a state where Confederate flags still fly high.
Moreover, Democratic Party stalwarts, like Ted Kennedy reviled the methods employed by Camp Clinton.  Kennedy, reportedly, was so furious after talking with Bill Clinton about stopping what Kennedy saw as a race-baiting strategy, that his neutrality turned into support for Obama. He also realized that Obama was drawing in new voters who may possibly join and energize a timid, out-of touch party.
Kennedy’s endorsement was another blow to the Clintons. Kennedy’s campaigning for Obama will today garner more votes in critical states like California, where the Clintons margin is reportedly dropping by nearly two points per day. As of this morning some polls had Obama ahead there.

Losing California would be a chilling omen for the Clintons. California accounts for nearly 25% of the nation’s electoral delegates. Kennedy’s pull with those in the Latino community is also important.
Today’s primaries will be an important precursor to this year’s momentous election. On the Democratic side their will be either one of two firsts: a female or, Black male presidential candidate. Chances are one will be America’s next president.
The country is screaming for change, after six years of war, tax breaks for the wealthy and rising costs in energy. And nothing— not even a female president—could represent change more than a Black man in the White House. Since, many whites would have to vote for Obama for that peculiarity to occur, what could be more of a repudiation and declaration by regular white people that they are feed up with the lies and thievery coming out of Washington D.C.?  Are whites ready to vote for a Black president? Apparently, a growing number of young whites seem to be. 
Then there is the “experience” argument being made by Camp Clinton; an assertion that rings increasingly hollow. Obama has more years of experience as a legislator. Does she think that her years as First Lady, where she was unaccountable to voters, count? Wasn’t the decision to run Hillary for the senate in New York an attempt to strengthen this weakness? 
Obama was against the war from the beginning. Mrs. Clinton likes to blame the president for the Iraq War. Isn’t she also to blame? Shouldn’t her judgment in this regard give voters pause? Protestations aside, isn’t her vote for the war similar to her votes for the Mexican border wall, and the bill she proposed to make flag burning a crime? Where was her voice during the first years of this war she says she never sanctioned? Aren’t all these actions cold political calculations designed to pave the path to the Oval office?
In 2006, many Americans frustrated with the war and the criminality of the Bush White House decided to punish their Republican lackeys, by wrestling away majority congressional control. The recent winds of change started there, now, coupled with the spurring in the grassroots of young, independent and minority voters a new movement of political activism shows potential promise. An Obama victory could unleash the genesis of widespread fundamental change.
No, an Obama presidency won’t fix everything in the nation. Only the American people fully engaged can do this, because there are serious structural problems built into this system. How can America be a “government by the people and for the people” when big money poisons the political process?

Obama’s voice has awakened sleeping giants among the masses like none in recent history. Jesse Ventura’s upset in the 1998 Minnesota governor’s race is instructive. Ventura showed that by aggressively pursuing young voters with grassroots campaigning the status quo could be toppled.
The politicization of young Americans at this time is a very positive sign. Hopefully, many who rallied behind Obama stay engaged in the political process. American politics needs an infusion of new leaders. An Obama win would signal a move in that direction.



Benjamin is a member of The Black Star News's Editorial Board.

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