I think Iowans spoke loud and clear at the Iowa Caucus, and I think what they said, among other things, was, “We’ve had it with the Old Guard and we’re ready for big changes.” Obama and Huckabee are, above all, new faces, new blood. There is a perception, I believe, that these candidates have and have demonstrated courage, have some integrity, and are comparatively untainted by the stagnation, overall inertia and good ol’ boys machinations of party politics. I watched a young journalist interviewed on television after the caucus last night, a woman of color, and at the end of the interview, her voice broke, there were tears in her eyes, for a moment she couldn’t speak. She had been talking about the very real possibility that Obama would become the Democratic candidate, might become President, and how thrilling that was to her. I cried too, watching. How refreshing and invigorating might it be for us as Americans to send Obama to summit meetings in the Middle East or with African or Asian nations instead of yet another rich white man? I’d prefer to send Cynthia McKinney any day, but I have to acknowledge the appeal of Barak Obama in certain ways as well. Huckabee is an atrocity, of course, in every conceivable way, then again, he has no chance in hell of actually becoming president, so his popularity in Iowa is not of any real concern. Worst case (or best case!) scenario, Huckabee will split the Republican Party right down the middle, meaning Republican warmongering and pro-big-business, anti-environmentalist policies and practices will no longer be any real threat to those of us who are sick and tired of what they have done in this country.
But I couldn’t stop thinking, as I watched the reporting of the caucus, what it might be like to have Free Soil Party caucuses throughout this nation, on the precinct level, on the district level, moving towards a national Free Soil Party convention, where progressive people of good will, interested in a real and permanent end to the ugliness of sexism, racism, poverty, war, and violence, interested in a new beginning for this country, could come together with real revolution in mind– not violent revolution or military revolution, but truly revolutionary politics which center human rights, justice, the health of the planet, and the welfare and well-being of all benificent life. What might it be like if we began to really hope, dream, plan, for a new day and then make it happen, beginning with ourselves, our friends, our family members, those around us who, just like us, are tired of the apathy, inertia, and above all, anti-human, inhuman practices and platforms of both of the major parties?
We will have to dream big if we are ever to make real change. We will have to take big risks, act with big courage, demonstrate every bit as much confidence, all the way to hubris, as the very tired old guard has demonstrated as it has brought all of us, and the earth itself, to the brink of destruction.