So, the debates are over. I found myself looking at last night’s debate from two different vantage points.
First, Obama did well, debating wise. He came out strong; he made good points; and Romney looked weak and indecisive. In fact, Romney actually came across as a sort of “me too” character.
Second, the content of the debate was very unsettling. As i have raised elsewhere, it is very clear that this election is not a referendum on empire. Both candidates were making it clear that their objective is to defend the empire. In fact, there was a moment that i really hoped that Obama would seize when Romney attacked him for the alleged “apology tour.” In that moment Romney suggested that the USA did not dictate to other countries.
Mitt: you have got to be kidding?!
The USA has not and does not dictate to other countries? Try Haiti beginning in the early part of the 19th century, for starters.
I thought that at that moment that Obama would repeat something that he raised in his speech to the Muslim World back in 2009 when he pointed out that the USA had been directly complicit in the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 1953. Obama walked around that point the way that i avoid pot-holes.
Yes, i will be voting for Obama but not due to anything that he raised last night. I do believe that Romney is reckless and inconsistent. I am also very troubled that he will be far more likely to be pushed by the neo-cons and right-wing Christian and Zionist fundamentalists than Obama. But what we must all be certain is that in either case, the struggle against US efforts to dominate the world will continue. These will be struggles around militarization, drone strikes, destabilization efforts, etc. These struggles will not cease and we should have no illusions about that.
A final point. Genuine disgust and anger about foreign policy issues should not lead one to either abandon the elections or vote third party. The strength of the peace & justice movement in the USA is not such that, at least at the electoral level, it can make its voice heard by either sitting out the election or voting for a third party candidate. The strength of the movement will first need to resurface in the streets, the classrooms and workplaces of the USA and then be tied to an electoral challenge. After November 6th we need to be discussing just that.