Obamarama!

4 02 2008

Will.I.Am from Black Eyed Peas did a song over Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” (si se puede!) speech that he made after the New Hampshire primaries.

My opinions on Obama’s platform and actual policies aside, organizers and activists of all stripes should be playing close attention. The way Obama is raising expectations, involving new people, and constantly referencing social movements creates a lot of space for us to build on that momentum and involve people in movement building well past this presidential election. Not only can organizers learn from the way Obama has been able to speak a language of social movements and relate it to people’s preexisting values and narratives for change, but we can also think strategically about how the electoral world and the social movement world affect and shape one another – or could – in the coming years.

When a politician is winning a presidential race based on rhetoric like this:

It reveals something important about where the public is at. Will Left organizers make the most of it?

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