Thursday, February 21, 2008

Howard Zinn on election madness

Okay, okay, so I read The Nation and I love Howard Zinn. No one is surprised at this point.

This piece of Zinn's is in the latest issue of The Progressive, which I read for years before I even knew what The Nation was. It's still alive. The piece came to me via Truthout.

An excerpt:

I’m talking about a sense of proportion that gets lost in the election madness. Would I support one candidate against another? Yes, for two minutes—the amount of time it takes to pull the lever down in the voting booth.

But before and after those two minutes, our time, our energy, should be spent in educating, agitating, organizing our fellow citizens in the workplace, in the neighborhood, in the schools. Our objective should be to build, painstakingly, patiently but energetically, a movement that, when it reaches a certain critical mass, would shake whoever is in the White House, in Congress, into changing national policy on matters of war and social justice.

Let’s remember that even when there is a “better” candidate (yes, better Roosevelt than Hoover, better anyone than George Bush), that difference will not mean anything unless the power of the people asserts itself in ways that the occupant of the White House will find it dangerous to ignore. ...

Can I hear an "Amen"?

Read it all here. And click to enlarge the photo. Handsome fellow.


Diane said...

Amen Amen Amen!
How about THAT?

lj said...

And another ... amen!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Amen. I'm watching the Democratic debate. Amen.

We ain't gonna get a politician who will save us. We gotta save ourselves.

pj said...

Right on. This Hillary vs. Obama thing is really beginning to make me nauseous. For one thing, some of us don't like either one of them very much. For another thing, we all better unite behind whichever one gets the nomination, or we'll only have ourselves to blame when we get more of what we have now. For another NOTHER thing, people who make it as far as these two have are just NOT nice people. They are thick-skinned, ambitious and crazy. Still, ANY Democrat will do at this point. Sorry for ranting. How are you, Jane? :)

johnieb said...

Amen! It's good to hear somebody else say it for a change.

And what Mimi and PJ said.

Now to read the rest, so thoughtfully provided by our host. I donno what made me think I had to have a blog, with y'all three around.

Jane R said...

PJ, honey, never apologize for a good rant. Especially when it's a rant I want to cheer.

JohnieB, how are ya? Thanks for your recent posts. Brave man. Speaking truth and memory is brave.

We gotta save ourselves. Amen, Mimi.

LJ, hey! (I'm about to write you off-blog this weekend -- sending you a soon to be alumna who is a real kindred spirit. Also just saying hi.)

Diane, thanks!

I am just out of class and have to go have a phone meeting now. I don't even have time to rant about the non-leisurely life of academe.

Solidarity forever. Over and out.

Mary Clara said...

Great post, Jane. Very important perspective. I love Howard Zinn, too, and also 'The Progressive' which I started reading back in my undergraduate days (nearly a half-century ago); still pick it up from time to time. God bless them for carrying on and pricking our conscience.

Cecilia said...

Indeed. Amen!