The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for October 15th through October 17th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for October 15th through October 17th:

  • Steven G. Brant: When It All Falls Down – You see, if Barack Obama ushers in a "new American Century" based on such great American principles as "All people are created equal" and that we are really the "United States" not the divided states… coupled with such religious beliefs as "Love thy neighbor," this will — literally — be the "end of days" for people who believe in hate, divisiveness, and domination. And I just worry that they won't let their word view die without a fight. I know it's a crazy thought. But America is filled with some pretty crazy people. (Hey, it's a big country!) So…. what to do?
  • Adam Kernan-Schloss: Eloquence–yuck – Eloquence has now become the GOP's newest four-letter word…and this from the party of Lincoln, our most eloquent president. Amazing….
  • Tom Brokaw: Every Day I Say Aloud, ‘Timmy We Need to Talk’ | wowOwow – Personally, I like what I call this Tom Paine environment — so many voices and so many opportunities for citizens in even the most remote locations to have access to the world’s greatest newspapers and periodicals. The downside is that the culture thrives on the shouted voice rather than the thoughtful and more muted expression.
  • Bruce Tenenbaum: Abe The Accountant – As America's wealthiest person, Warren Buffett, once said, "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." The preceding link, by the way, will take you to an article written by, of all people, conservative Republican Ben Stein, in which he also argues for higher taxes on the rich. Joe The Plumber, on the other hand, likes things the way they are. He thinks that increasing taxes on the very wealthy will be damaging to the economy, even if it means lowering his own taxes. So, where Barack Obama has Warren Buffett as an advisor, John McCain is taking his lead from Joe The Plumber. I'm going with Warren too.
  • Sara Whitman: A New Level of Hate – As we all dissect the last debate and worry about the economy, the level of hate in this country just reached a new high. Or should I say low. In Illinois, an elementary school bus driver taunted a ten year-old boy, calling him "gay." He then, at the child's bus stop, encouraged other students to go beat him up.
  • Paul Hipp: Hate Talk Express – Normally I try and stay away from the cheerleading but I think a bit of cheering and highly stylize schmaltz is in order here. The candidates are SO different. One candidate makes me feel like I am a suffocating hemorrhoid at a taping of The Lawrence Welk Show (sorry Lawrence). The other makes me feel all giddy and tingly inside, like I could fly away on a magic cloud of hope and possibility. See if you can guess which one is which.
  • The 10 Biggest Differences Between Obama and McCain That Will Affect Your Daily Life | Election 2008 | AlterNet – From the fate of the Supreme Court to the future of Internet access, here are the 10 most important differences between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain.
  • Open Left:: The Myth and Power Of Joe The Plumber – The reason the story is so popular is almost certainly connected to the national, established media's continuing fetish for socially conservative whites s the dominant archetype for swing voters in America. This obsession has a long history, with an almost uninterrupted lineage dating from the silent majority, through the southern strategy, Reagan Democrats, soccer Moms, Bubbas, and on to "values voters" in our own decade. It is an obsession that came out frequently in this campaign in the hundreds of stories about Obama's supposed problems with socially conservative white Democrats, and how those problems posed a barrier to winning the Presidency. If you can't win the socially conservative white vote, you supposedly can't win national elections. Not-Joe the Not-Plumber is just the latest instance of this type of story, which grants an absurd amount of power to socially conservative whites in our national political discourse.
  • Open Left:: What Joe the Plumber Really Means – Joe the Plumber is the latest of many colorful, mythic characters to grace the nation's presidential stage – an individual who epitomizes how our nation conducts its politics. Our democracy is kabuki theater, replete with symbolic archetypal Americans, some used as scapegoats (Reagan's "welfare queens") others used for fearmongering (Harry & Louise) and still others cited as mythic idols (Joe the Plumber).
  • – Freedom Rider: If “That One” Wins – Obama is truly admired, even loved, by many white people. His appeals to hope and change are indeed potent. The consultants who marketed those phrases certainly knew the power behind them. … However, it has to be pointed out that lofty campaign talking points can't placate people who are proudly and openly racist. They still don't to see a black person in the position of ultimate political authority, not even an eloquent, biracial, photogenic politician who never addresses black people's needs and who even has a white grand mother to trot out at convenient times. The very idea that a black man will be president makes these people very, very angry.
  • During Gay History Month, we have to make sure gay and lesbian citizens count – We’re in the midst of Gay History Month, an ideal time for this question: How much progress has been made in the 40 years since the gay liberation movement began? Gays and lesbians entered American public life in the late 1960s, with the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City, sparked by a police raid on a gay bar. Since then, an intense campaign, marked by academic study, political lobbying and anti-defamation work has demanded recognition and respect for gays and lesbians. Much has changed; much has stayed the same.
  • Peter Wolson: America’s Racism: Hatred of “The Other” in the 2008 Presidential Election – In view of white America's traditional racism since slavery, Obama's candidacy shows enormous racial progress. Obama himself considers racism "a wash" when comparing those voting for him because he is black and those who hold it against him. But pervasive fears of his assassination, incorrectly stereotyping him as a Muslim, considering him an uppity elitist, or the question, "Is the country ready for a black president," suggests that racism can cause him to lose the election.
  • John Lewis, George Wallace and John McCain – Jack & Jill Politics – McCain can push back all he likes, yet he went out on a limb to stump for George Wallace Jr in Alabama (a state far from Arizona) at pricey $250-1000 a head events. McCain did this even AFTER Wallace was pilloried for his many speeches to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group that has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The CCC wants to use military force against immigration and is opposed to “race-mixing.” You can imagine how afraid the CCC are of Barack Obama. Wallace later lost in the primaries to Luther Strange, a more moderate Republican who sits on the board of Talladega College, one of Alabama’s oldest historically black colleges.

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