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  •  We need a first-person politics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, Jeffrey Feldman, chuckvw

    not a third-person politics.

    The civil rights movement wasn't about "them" but about "us" -- the people participating were working on their own liberation, not on behalf of some (other) oppressed group.  Even though MLK himself wasn't poor, and had grown up as a member of the educated Black middle-class, he never described himself outside of the constituency of the Movement, even when talking about poverty.

    For decades, though, Democratic politicians have talked about our need to "offer a helping hand" or to "lift people up" -- to talk about those in need in the 3rd person, not the 1st person.

    The right-wing almost never does this -- even their most privileged political leaders talk about fighting against the Liberals, even those born to DC power (Bush, McCain) deride Big Government Washington as if they were standing outside with the ordinary voter.

    Obama used 1st-person rhetoric, but only in a goo-goo context -- there was no real opponent or oppressor in his conception.  His rhetoric was very effective as a first-person call to political action, but I think his attempt to speak for a group of everyone (oppressor and oppressed alike) weakens his case in the long run.

    We need a leftist, first-person politics.

    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

    by Pesto on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 08:50:49 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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