Trump and White Privilege

I want to be clear that I am making a generalization here about white privilege. White men — who are the most powerful actors in this country, claiming they are the victim. Folks (women and people of color) like me are perceived to be a threat to their hegemony. And we are. A recent study found that white men hire white men from similar backgrounds. Hence — societal inequalities are grand. What a great example of how white men perpetuate white supremacy. Hey — just look at the private school world or major industries.

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Barack Obama: FDR or Clinton? by Alejandro Penafiel

The following piece was written by Alejandro Penafiel, a friend and former HCHS student of mine. Alejandro is a third year student at American University in Washington D.C. Moreover, he spent his first semester of college interning for the Republican Party at its national head office working for Senator John McCain. Alejandro is one of only three students that I have taught in four different Advanced Placement courses. He has submitted articles to the Professor in the past.

As I have been watching Obama’s transition and his first few weeks in office, I have been asking myself this question and trying to decide if he has more in common FDR or Bill Clinton? I got this idea from talking to Carson about the Time cover of Obama stylized as FDR. I am sure he will be kind enough to include the photo with this post. While he has displayed much in common with both his Democratic predecessors, I think he fits much better in the Clinton mold.

What gave me the most trouble in coming to this conclusion is the fact that all three have a great deal in common. They all came after republican administrations during a time of recession and public outcry, as well as with a great deal of popularity. However, what make me tip Obama towards Bill are his centrist tendencies and his pragmatic governing philosophy. Throughout the campaign Obama has consistently shown that he is highly flexible in handling issues and crises, and thus not overly attached to strict ideology. For example, his posturing on NAFTA during the primaries and more recently, his inclusion of Sec. Robert Gates in the new cabinet both show his understanding of the need to be pragmatic in order to get the results he wants. I think the strongest case can be made off his governing philosophy, but you can also see that his administration is filled with Clinton alums. Take into account that Hillary is his foreign minister, which speaks volumes on the similarity of their approach to government policy. This can also be seen with his economic policy and the rise of Larry Summers as Obama’s chief macroeconomic policy advisor. If you take a look at the press releases coming out of the White House regarding the intent and effects of the proposed stimulus package, they match up almost entirely to what Summers has said publicly. I guess the administration is a better fit than Harvard. Maybe this keeps him from talking about social issues that he is “oh so good” at doing. Obama is enacting standard counter-cyclical fiscal policy in order to fight the contraction in the economy.

It is still far too early to say anything lasting about his legacy, and it is impossible to put any two presidents in the exact same category. The only useful part of this exercise, besides the fact that it is fun to talk about, is that it helps create a frame of reference to study his presidency. While I hope he does take after Clinton, the true test will come a few years later when the time comes to apply the flip side of Keynesian fiscal policy rules. It is always much easier and popular to spend more money. The stimulus will get passed. It has to, and everyone knows it. The hard part will be to start cutting spending and moving to balance the budget as the economy begins its expansionary cycle.

His Mistake

'I intend to win this election'

I have not said much about Obama and the DNC of late here at the Proletarian. I am excited about Obama’s vision for a better America, a more liberal one that offers all GROUPS and TYPES of people a voice in being a part of the participatory processes that truly formulates a secular constitutional state. However, with all of the excellent things Obama brings to the table, I do believe he made a calculated mistake in his selection of Joseph Biden, who offers a more balanced ticket with his foreign affairs experience. Perhaps he would have been a better choice as Secretary of State. Of course, it was Biden who stated this:

Presidential Candidate Joe Biden:  “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy . . .  I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”    

Biden is not a sexy pick like John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin, who is attractive, athletic, and highly interesting. Palin does not come across as an elitists in that she was a sports journalist in her past and did not attend an Ivy League school. The only other candidate I believe to compete with such a sexy pick as Palin would have been Hillary Clinton. Palin is pretty conservative: she is pro-life, a member of the NRA, and favors environmental degradation in her support for more drilling.

I fully endorse Obama, though I favored Clinton at the start of the election season. I suspect McCain’s selection of her is in part strategic in that a number of Americans who favored Clinton are upset that she was not Obama’s VP choice. I have yet to see any polls on how this affects those who might vote McCain/Palin because a woman is on the ticket. I made a bet with a friend that it will hurt Obama; my friend thinks that people will not let an issue of gender shift their thinking much. I disagree.

A Bad Example of Historical Thinking

I am sure some of you have seen this. I posted the answers on the first comment. Take a look and see how you did. I think Newt Gingrich wrote these questions. H/T: Walker Parkhill

A little history lesson: If you don’t know the answer make your best guess. Answer all the questions before looking at the answers. Who said it?

1) “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) “It’s time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few…and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity.”
A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) “(We)…can’t just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people.”
A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Josef Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) “We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own…in order to create this common ground.”
A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) “I certainly think the free-market has failed.”
A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) “I think it’s time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched.”
A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above


Why I Would Vote for Rudy over Hillary by Joe Moore

The following piece was written by Joe Moore, a sophomore in my World History course. Joe does a nice job following current trends and political developments. Feel free to leave Joe a comment regarding this political piece. Note: The views below do not represent those of Edward Carson. ~EC~

Let’s start out with the basics so members of the voting base will understand who these people are. Rudolph Giuliani and Hillary Clinton are the front runners for the Republican and Democratic Party, respectively. But don’t let their party affiliation confuse you. Giuliani is running on the Republican ballot (the GOP) while Hillary Clinton has maintained her status with the party that got her husband (Bill) elected to the Great White Prison. Remember, Giuliani was the spokesperson for the city of New York on 9/11 .

Just a few notes here: Giuliani has cleaned up the streets and subways for a number of New Yorkers, while Hilary Clinton has been riding the fame of being married to Bill, who wasn’t that bad of a president. Although both candidates are running on different ballots, they enjoy the benefit of being from the Great Northern Blue State (New York). They both have similar interests which may cause people in their own respective parties to go “What did they just say?” More importantly, both have been known to follow the latest polls. For example, Hillary changes the way she looks or talks to get extra votes or poll points (example: Selma, AL). Rudy tends to change not only his hairdo, but his political policies as well. As a republican, he believes in gay marriage and abortion. How is that?

Although “W” Bush supports Rudy, he does not support his social policies. Hillary, on the other hand, will support any policy as long as it will earn her a vote. She is very good at paying attention to her audience. In one of Hillary’s speeches (Selma), she all of a sudden came out on stage talking as if she were from West Texas or the South. Where is she from again? Oh right, SHE’S FROM ILLINOIS!! How does she get to be Senator of New York? Hillary has been very good at using the Clinton name to move ahead (sounds like someone…John Kerry). My only real problem with her is the unknown: Who will be making her policies, reforms, and appointments? Will it be Her or Bill? But in today’s society, what do we want? Someone who is far left or far right? For one I’d like someone who is extremely moderate but leans more to the right on most issues. Giuliani is the one that I believe is the most moderate candidate. Do not get me wrong, he has his flaws like everyone else. I think it is best that Giuliani explains his own flaws over time.

I recall reading Michael Savage’s The National Zoo some time ago. In it, he warns us about Giuliani saying that he is only popular when there is a need for him to be popular and strong. That is why I am supporting him. I will support him until he blows a debate or changes one of his many policies or reforms. Hillary will learn to deal without the White House for another 4 years.

How do Americans feel about Mrs. Clinton?

Can she win the office? It will be a tough call. Republicans and conservatives (yes these two terms can be separated…I just typed it) have painted her as an evil liberal who would like to destroy the conservative home and the traditional role of women. Hello! We have moved beyond the 1950s and the Leave it to Beaver image. By the way, Leave it to Beaver was not the norm seeing that a number of women who did not have to enter the work force opted to do so. If people would stop listening to bad hype about HRC and look at her record, they would see that she is more moderate than her false public image. Moreover, much of the HRC bashing comes from those who fear the dynamic role shift of women since the 1960s. We must not forget that while in college, she was a Goldwater conservative. According to her, the Civil Rights movement pushed her towards the left.

 

Here is how New Yorkers feel:

  • Gov. George Pataki: 19 percent “great” or “good;” 37 percent “so so,” 41 percent “bad;”
  • Sen. Hillary Clinton: 67 percent “great” or “good;” 17 percent “so so,” 13 percent “bad;”
  • Mayor Rudolph Giuliani: 41 percent “great” or “good;” 24 percent “so so,” 33 percent “bad.”

This is how most some Americans outside of New York feel:

So, what are church members hearing? This is from a church memo:

While all the things we know about Hillary are dangerous, the most scary things are the things we do not know. A woman of her demeanor, if it were possible for her to be elected President, would take on a degree of haughtiness that would border on insanity. She would be emboldened by the kind of staff she would surround herself with, and they would certainly further her ego. It would be “Queen Hillary” in her mind, and the very grandeur that would be seen by Americans would make her impossible to defeat. Think of the conduct and attitude that Bill Clinton got by with and double it for Hillary Clinton.Please believe me when I say this woman is dangerous. Every great nation, institution, church denomination, or business must follow discemment in the placing of individuals in places of leadership. Most of the decision is made on the persona that hides behind the face. As
America approaches the future, we must leam to be discerning in electing our leaders. God has a prophetic place for our nation. Our great culture of the past has been wounded to the edge of extinction. It must be resurrected. We need a spiritual awakening that goes far beyond the church face we wear on Sunday morning. Our leaders we elect actually represent what is happening spiritually in the hearts of the voting majority .Let’s prepare on our faces before God for the next election. If we do, and I believe many will, Senator Hillary Clinton does not have the possibility of winning.