15 Feb 2008

Obama first Green President?

Having now outstripped Clinton in delegates the Obama band wagon could deliver America's first black President. After Bush Obama seems like a radical change, he is widely seen as a progressive. However to win in the American system big dollars are needed and the corporations are piling into the Obama campaign now that he looks like the front runner. One of his biggest backers has been Exelon one of the US's biggest nuclear power companies (http://www.counterpunch.org/stclair07042007.html). He has also supported a Liquid Coal bill opposed by environmentalists http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glenn-hurowitz/burning-tires-and-liquid-_b_52857.html. The highly toxic bill sought to turn coal into automobile fuel. It doesn't end there, despite recent environmental friendly sounding rhetoric, Obama voted for George Bush's 2005 energy act that paid $27 billion to energy corporations.

Obama is also pro war, he wants to keep the troops in Iraq and believes in beefing up the military to take on perceived threats around the globe. In short despite feel good inspirational words, it is going to be largely politics as usual if he wins.

More than ever for real progress on climate change, civil liberties and against war, the Green Party looks attractive. Ok as a prominent member of the Green Party here in Britain I am biased. I do think Greens in both Canada and the UK could learn something from the likely US Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. She is a former Democrat member of Congress who has called for troops out of Iraq, for justice for Palestine and for real action on climate change. Last year she toured Britain, I met her and was very impressed. She is a keen supporter of Hugo Chavez and the emerging Latin American left, she is the only candidate who is on the side of the poor rather than the corporations. On fossil fuels she simply states 'keep the oil in the soil'.

Could she be the first black president, the first women president, the first Green Party president, well its a tall order in the far from democratic US two party system, run by and for billionaries. What is clear is that she is a candidate that represents radical common sense rather than the capitalist media spectacle.

You can find out more about her on her campaign website. Nader may make another run but has not yet declared, I think even if he does go for it again, the Greens will pick Cynthia and even if I am wrong she is surely a shoe in for VP candidacy.

3 comments:

charliemarks said...

Obama favours a pull-out from Iraq, you confuse his position with that of Hillary Clinton.

I agree with what you have said about Cynthia. As a black woman and a real radical on workers rights and environmental issues, she beats Obama and Clinton on all counts!

Daniel said...

Intersting. A bit sad though that due to the immense funding that is needed for a succesful presidential campaign a plethora of concessions have to be made to the large corporations. What does that tell us about liberal (read capitalist) democracy?

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, Senator Obama's campaign has been financed by the people of America. Over one million people have donated to the campaign--the average donation being 109 USD. Obama is not a "corporate democrat" and is NOT on the payroll of corporations or other special interests. His campaign is run by the people of the United States.

Additionally, Senator Obama does not support continuing the war in Iraq. He opposed the war from the beginning. Part of his campaign platform is to begin the immediate withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq.