Stupid Rhetoric Of Presidential Sloganeering
By: Mark W Adams

During today's excruciatingly dull debate, where the candidates talked about boring issues like how they intend to pay for all the change the Democrats promise to bring to Washington, Hillary Clinton summed up the differences in approaches between herself, Barack Obama and John Edwards.

Some demand change (Edwards)
Some hope for change (Obama)
I will work hard for change (Hillary)

I want to break this down a bit.

Trey Ellis reminds us today that Justice Fredrick Douglass said, "Power Concedes Nothing Without Demand." Senator Edwards has been promising to fight the rich and powerful on our behalf, take it to them. I have long been of the opinion that little will change in this nation unless the true sovereign of this country, the people through their elected representatives, limit the influence of the powerful and protect those who are subject to the whims and fancy of the greed driven corporatists. To me, an essential function of a post-feudal democracy is to prevent or at least temper their ability to exploit the working class folks.

My worst fear is that if our elected representatives fail in this duty, the entire apparatus comes crashing down. We're a patient people, and easily distracted. But when push comes to shove, an enraged public can push back pretty hard.

We can and should lay down the law to the corporations and moneylenders that have bought and sold the temple that was our most hallowed democratic institutions. Simply hoping for it won't do. As the ultimate sovereign, we can and should lay down that law -- because we make the laws. They are our laws. They do not belong to K-Street or The Decider. They define who we are and we define what those laws say.

Offering a new face, a fresh and friendly approach does nothing if you con't acknowledge there are points of no return -- positions that the entrenched power brokers will not relinquish willingly under any incentive. If Obama truly believes that the hope for change he represents is enough to melt the conservative heart, he's never been turned down for a loan, or faced that "wet your pants moment" where you have to decide whether to take you chances in a trial or accept a plea bargain or settlement. Real life decisions are unnaturally academic to professor types, even those who taught law.

Working hard for change is noble, indeed required. Presidenting is hard work after all. But working towards a deal is not the same as working towards a goal. Change for change sake alone is meaningless. Hillary says, and probably believes that she will work hard for us. We need more than someone who will work hard, we need someone who will fight hard.

The exploitive energy cartels, criminal telecos, corrupt military industrialists and predatory financial institutions are who we, the people, need her to fight against. Unfortunately they are the very organizations who in large part have funded Clinton's campaign. Perhaps they know something we don't. Something we should be afraid of.

We need hope, and we need to work hard. For Hillary to imply that Obama or Edwards will not work hard was a callous rhetorical trick. And if she cannot offer us hope, why on earth should we bother to even go out and vote.

But we can, and should, demand better. We can demand better from our government just as we demand better from ourselves.

We did not negotiate with the British crown for more autonomy to create our republic. We demanded that our basic rights as free human beings be recognized and demanded our independence from a despot. Women who demanded their right to vote paved the way for Hillary to seek this high office. African Americans demanded their god-given civil rights which give us hope for a better tomorrow every day.

You do indeed demand justice, then work hard for it -- or you have no hope of getting it.
There was a palace that was a city. It was a palace! It was a palace and it can be a palace again! A palace in which there is no king or queen or dukes or earls or princes, but subjects all -- subjects beholden to each other, to make a better place to live. Is that too much to ask? Are we asking too much for this? Is it beyond our reach?! Because if it is, then we are nothing but sheep being herded to the final slaughterhouse! I will not go down that way!! I choose to fight back!!! I choose to rise, not fall! I choose to live, not die!! And I know, I know that what's within me is also within you!