It looks like the election primary season is upon us and at the NA, based on our tax status, we cannot talk about the candidates but can talk about the issues. And the issues that have kept us together are, amongst others, racism and homophobia.
On the Republican side of the fence it seems obvious that there is a deep mistrust of immigrants. On previous blogs I have tried to argue that this is wrong and racist. There are many reasons to encourage immigration not the least of which is that immigrant rights are black and white rights to.
In addition, Republicans appear fear the loss of “their way of life” family values. These ideas are understandable but do not seem germane to the US in the long run since we are becoming a country with a more diverse make up than before. The concept of conservative politics seems to have been co-opted into prejudice.
As a European immigrant I realized that in England the Conservative party was much more friendly to workers and those struggling, the less educated, the working class and the poor. And I noticed that the Conservative leader just announced a plan for a more social approach. where government can play a role in rebuilding social capital and in healing some of the traumas fueled by scarcity and family breakdown.
On the Democrats side there is much to agree with their ideas. Both candidates for president oppose prejudice, both want to reduce economic inequality and want change. The NA members would agree on this, however, how they go about fighting these evils is an issue to think about.
One of the candidates wants to to work on primarily income inequality, the other wants to attack
racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice because they are powerful forces in their own right.
Paul Krugman in the New York Times* thinks that “the rise of the American hard right was the rise of a coalition, an alliance between an elite seeking low taxes and deregulation and a base of voters motivated by fears of social change and, above all, by hostility toward you-know-who”, read President Obama.
He goes on to say that the American right uses “racial dog whistles, demagogy on abortion and so on would be rolled out during election years, then put back into storage while the Republican Party focused on its real business of enabling shadow banking and cutting top tax rates”.
So whats more important social issues other than income inequality or the latter? The division in politics and our methodology as progressives sets the stage for the way forward. Do we go for a radical change and attack “the root of all evil – money” or hitting hard on a variety of issues and slog through making, gradually, the changes to root out racism and homophobia and other preducies?
It’s a tough call but I am warmed that these issues important to the NA are being voiced by all Democrats in these times. Again all the above is not to endorse a candidate or suggest that the NA favors one approach but to give my opinion. What is yours?