With their own lifelines and legacy on the line, African-Americans must adopt the fighting stance that President Barack Obama is too big to fail.
Bailout strategies have been crafted to rescue cars, banks and oil companies. So why shouldn’t blacks bail out our embattled president, especially when the GOP’s strategy to ensure his failure is the same as that used to ensure the failure of people of color down through the ages.
The beat-down strategy is not just about Obama. It is also about us. The modern Republican Party has fought civil rights, erected anti-affirmative action barriers, pursued redlining, refused to regulate financial institutions that eventually helped destroy the middle-class dream of homeownership.
The rise and fall of President Obama is inextricably tied to the rise and fall of people of color, symbolically, as well as financially and politically. Symbolically, the daily picture of a highly intelligent black gentleman and family man as president of the world’s most powerful nation is a potent image that those who need to stoke their feelings of white superiority have an inherent desire to destroy.
Politically, from the day the president was elected as the nation’s first black president, GOP leaders announced their number one agenda was to ensure Obama’s failure. If he fails, his policies that aid the elderly poor, medically needy, the working class, immigrants and black colleges will also fail.
The GOP and the Tea Party may have captured the House and much of the governorships, but they have not captured the moral high ground or the battlefield of America where our civil rights martyrs spilled their blood to advance honorable causes.
As an unpaid, unsolicited and probably unwanted advisor to the president, I am among those urging him to come out from the mid-term morass swinging, fighting and using his presidential powers to stop the GOP in their tracks. I am also calling for a leftist third party or third force to under-gird his policies and push for even stronger measures, like banning Wall Street derivatives, than the president, himself, is fighting for.
Looking back at the 1960’s civil rights movements, president John Kennedy and Richard Nixon Lyndon did not just see the legislative branch as the final answer. When they looked out their windows and saw the civil rights troops in the streets that put starch in their backbones to pursue social change.
Progressive movements have not only pushed the GOP to do the right thing, but also Democrats. A mass movement of workers forced FDR and the Democrats to establish the Social Security Program, and to pass labor laws making it easier for workers to organize. Grass roots movement helped bring an end to the U.S.war in Vietnam as well as the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid.
When President Obama looks around he sees the passion of the Tea Party gaining ground, but where is the left? Where is the spiritual energy and solidarity that historically came from the black church and the college campuses?
There must be another force or party--a counter to the Tea Party--that can convince President Obama that we want a fight, not a surrender, nor compromise. The GOP’s goal is not compromise but his utter destruction and the continued devaluation of the office in which he serves, as well as those who depend upon him for empowerment.
Compromise with the GOP is outlandish. President Obama was elected to initiate real change. With the success of the Tea Party in the mid-term elections, the GOP is running to the right. The country does not need the president to join them. We need President Obama to use his presidential power to throw down the gauntlet against the unprincipled move of the GOP to make permanent extension of tax cuts to the rich, which will add $700 billion to the national debt.
How can anyone compromise with Republicans who want to undo health care reforms, cut up to $100 billion dollars from social programs, raid Social Security and Medicare, while maintaining funding for the disastrous trillion dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, the GOP plans to further reduce the regulation of big business, which would embellish the same culture of greed whose practices caused the meltdown in the housing market and started the downward unemployment trend.
The latest tactics to getting rid of President Obama are calls for him to give up on a second term. In a recent article in the Washington Post entitled, “Obama Can Save America By Not Running in 2012,” the writer said: “Such a move would give Obama more bargaining leverage and make it harder for opponents, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) who has flatly asserted that his highest priority is to make Obama a one-term president - to be uncooperative”.
President Obama has already saved the nation by stemming an economic crisis caused by the George W. Bush administration and winding down the unnecessary Iraqi war, both of which have piled up unprecedented debt and drained trillions from the economy.
In the future, President Obama must use his resources to create new jobs and hold onto his own job for a full two terms. If the GOP can accomplish its goal of making the president fail, a lot of us will come crashing down with him.