One of the people in Defiance, Ohio posted this yesterday on their website, and I agree with what he has to say. I urge everyone who reads this blog to at least consider his points. It is perfectly okay to wholeheartedly disagree with the things he brings up, but you should only do so after the entire thing is read. When people stop considering the other point of view and to not constantly challenge what they believe in they run themselves into a rut of ignorance and stubbornness to see any other opinion as viable. By challenging your ideals and listening to the other side you strengthen what you believe in if you disagree with what is said, and you allow yourself to consider and possibly accept new ideas if you agree with what is said. Being ignorant and stubborn to listen to others is the only thing I hate in people - not someone's ideals or actions, because no one should look down on another for what they do or believe in, but someone's refusal to use their mind for non-selfish reasons and to consider what the other person has to say.
This is not an attack on anyone, just me voicing my concerns/frustrations with what I feel, which seems to be very close to Geoff. If you want to talk about this stuff next time I see you, I'd be more than happy.
What Geoff Said:
Two nights ago, at our show in Bloomington, I talked about why I'm voting in this election and why I'm frustrated that many of my punk and activist friends feel like not voting somehow changes all the things that are wrong in our world and all the things that are problematic about electoral politics. As usual, I didn't feel like I articulated myself as well as I wanted to, but instead of trying to explain at greater length why I'm voting in November especially in the presidential race, despite realizing all the problems with many of Obama's policies and rhetoric and the shortcomings of electoral politics in general, I'd like to quote from Adrienne Marie Brown because she says it really well:
it scares me to feel even slightly authentic in my excitement about a candidate, understanding what i do about the history of candidate failures, disappointments, flip-flopping or sheer incompetence, the broken system, the inherent flaws of humanity...i will not hit the streets stumping for obama, i will not start a little fundraising page for him that spirits more money away from the projects i work on 365 days a year election or not. i will continue to pour my energy into election protection, and raise money to support grassroots organizations who make sure candidates who are willing to listen have organized bodies to hear from.
i specifically want barack obama to be the next president of the united states, in spite of all my doubts and cynicisms and fears. i like how he splits the difference on the hardest issues, i like his ability to find a common sense middle ground, and i like that he is passionate and visionary at a time when the easiest space to occupy is debilitating and isolating anger. rereading the transcript of his speech on race, delving into his organizing analysis from his early years in chicago, seeing parts of my story in his own, and wanting to debate him about those issues on which i deeply disagree with him, i confess: i want barack obama to be the next president of the united states.
I urge everyone to read the post in its entirety. What I love about it is that it shows that political engagement is not about a singular decision or moment, it is not about investing oneself fully in the promises or rhethoric of a candidate (or a grassroots movement for that matter). To me, politics have always been about the constant process of questioning and requestioning both the external and internal messages. It has always been about reconciling hope, fear, anger, cynicism, and accountability to my history, my family, my loved ones, my community, and the social work that I do.
The post she made can be found here, and discusses that while he is flawed and will not live up to what people are making him up to be, he is someone that we should consider rooting for:
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