Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Friday, August 29, 2008


The Rose Garden set
I watched the Obama speech last night with three other people. Our consensus was that it was a corporate funded display of nationalism and militarism. One housemate remarked that Obama never once talked about our place in the world in a real and holistic way.

The first thing I noticed when Obama approached the podium was that he was wearing the controversial flag pin. Everyone in our small group kept asking, "What is that stage set supposed to be?" Throughout the speech this question kept emerging. I kept responding that it was designed by Hollywood with some purpose in mind, but I could not "pin" it down.

Obama started with the domestic issues. He mentioned in passing that he supported nuclear power and that everyone who does not have health care today (that would be me) would be getting "the same health care that Congress has." I can see the long lines now at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington as those of us without health coverage stand at the locked doors saying, "Mr. Obama sent me."

Obama went on to his foreign policy track and mentioned the obligatory opposition to the war in Iraq and then of course said that he had "Argued for more resources and troops to finish the fight" in Afghanistan. Finish the fight or expand the fight into Pakistan? Small detail - no need to worry.

Obama also said he would "Rebuild our military to meet future conflicts." Just how much will that task cost us at a time when our nation is busted?

He took a rightward turn down the street called nationalism by declaring, "I got news for you John McCain, we all put America first. Our universities and culture are the envy of the world....We must always march ahead.....and never turn back." Wild cheers, just what are those convention delegates and guests thinking?

I have a confession. Watching the cheering crowd, waving their flags, some crying as they listen to Obama, my mind flashes to Hitler's famous speeches before flag waving and cheering hoards. There Hitler told the masses that they were god's chosen people. They were destined to liberate the world to bring them peace and prosperity - or as it is explained these days - freedom. When you are an American it is hard to see this similarity but if you can allow yourself to emotionally detach then you see that despite a few cultural differences, the end result is the same misplaced nationalistic frenzy. How else can you explain that self described "liberals" would cheer the declaration that we are going to send more troops and more military hardware to Afghanistan knowing that just this past week the U.S. military had killed 90 civilians, 50 of them children? "Yes, give me more," they seem to cry to Obama! No reflection allowed, this is a corporate coronation, and you my dear citizen, are a willing victim.

As Obama concluded, a country western song rang out over the stadium sound system with a chorus that went, "Only in America." Yes, I thought, only in America would we find such a corporate funded extravaganza of lights, fireworks, paper streamers, music, flags, color, totally scripted and choreographed. Even the ties of Biden and Obama were planned - Obama with red tie and Biden with blue. Bridging the red state-blue state divide I am sure. Nothing left to chance.

At the end the families of the two conquering candidates came onto the stage for hugs, kisses, and waves and then they moved toward the back of the stage and entered the subtly lit doorway that had a vague familiarity. Then it dawned on me.

The stage set was designed to remind one of the White House - the huge stone pillars of power on each end and in the center what appeared to be the Rose Garden where the president often holds news conferences. And after each news conference is over the president, and his guests, always move behind them to enter the French doors back into the halls of power.

The set was designed to emotionally connect us with the notion that Obama-Biden do indeed fit in the White House, and in our hearts and minds, are already there. They have attained the crest of the mountain. Peace and prosperity are restored in the land.

We can now return to life as normal. All is well at last.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most excellent article and exactly the way I felt!

Cross-posted this, as well.

Wonderfully written.

8/29/08, 11:10 AM  

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