21 January 2010

My e-mail to President Obama

I have written to the White House numerous times before, urging the President to give up on conciliation with the enemy, and urging him to adopt a more populist progressive stance, and to get smart about the necessity of framing the issues in a way that communicates an emotional message to overcome the propaganda manipulation of fear which the Right Wingers have become so very good at. George Lakoff and Manuel Castells have written very cogently on this subject. See also the excellent comments of Matt Taibbi in the Village Voice on what is needed in the way of reframing the progressive message.

The president seemed to get this, at least to a great extent, during the campaign, but, frankly, his governance has been abysmal. We are the verge, if not over the verge, of complete failure.

The president must listen to new voices. He must abandon those who advocate compromise and conciliation with the Right, because it could not be clearer that the Right… virtually all Republicans and some Democrats, such as Nelson and Lieberman, will stop at nothing to block and impede the President’s efforts to change the message from “government is the enemy” to “we need good governance, and reform, to ensure that the interests of ordinary people are put first.”

The president needs desperately to not only change the tone of his message, but its substance as well. He must clearly and squarely oppose those, even in his own administration, who refuse to recognize the need for sweeping financial reform. He must embrace a truly progressive agenda, and not approach every issue by proposing the compromise before the negotiations even begin.

Yes, we are in a real pickle legislatively. But the president must LEAD us out of it. Demand, in the state of the union, that the Senate be run on a majority rule basis, and ASK the people to write to their Senators and make this demand. Fight like hell, giving no quarter, to elect Democrats who will actually support a Progressive agenda, and leave those that won’t in the cold. We have to build a legislative majority… it may take a few years, but if the President truly changes course now it can be done.

Otherwise, the President will have already been defeated, and the Right will regain power sooner rather than later. The choice IS as stark as that. Mr. Obama, I implore you: get smart. It's all out war. Slash and burn; use every tactic; learn from the Right Wing the power of message and propaganda, and fight like the future depends on it (because it does). The future of the whole world is at stake.

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