I haven’t done a lot about the election on this show. I’ve been talking more about the foundational issues that underlie the situation we find ourselves in — an age of very imperfect politics, government, finance, and business. Our democracy and our governance are dominated by a handful of billionaires, and a number of multimillionaires and their corporations who do not share the interests of the larger society.
But In early September I read a piece by Tom Hayden at Truthout.com. Over the next several days, it appeared all over the progressive blogosphere – Saving Obama, Saving Ourselves. I immediately contacted Tom to come on and talk about the election.
Among other things, he reminds us of the accomplishments of the first Obama administration in light of the actual political and economic circumstances he faced. He also looks at history of previous social movements. How did they interact with the political process in pursuit of their goals? And what did they gain and sacrifice in the process?
HAYDEN: “History will show that the first term was better than most progressives now think…By their nature, the achievements of social movements are lesser versions of original visions…If Obama loses, it will be unfair to blame the left, but they will be blamed nonetheless. As a consequence they will become more marginal, far less able to connect with the progressive constituencies and mass movements with vital stakes in Obama’s re-election.”
Dr. Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecologist, activist, editor, and author of many books. In India she has established Navdanya, a movement for biodiversity conservation and farmers` rights. She directs the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy. Her books include Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge, Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply, and her newest, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis. Shiva has been awarded several awards for her efforts including the Right Livelihood Award and the United Nations Environment Program [UNEP] Global 500 Award in 1993, and most recently the 2010 City of Sydney Peace Prize.
TAD DALEY, author, APOLCALYPSE NEVER: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon Free World
TAD DALEY, J.D., Ph.D., is the Writing Fellow with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the 1985 Nobel Peace Laureate organization. He spent several years as a member of the International Policy Department at RAND, where many of the nuclear theories of the Cold War era originally were forged. He has served as a speechwriter and policy advisor to Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Congresswoman Diane Watson, and the late Senator Alan Cranston -- and once ran for U.S. Congress himself to represent mid-city Los Angeles. The LA WEEKLY said about his campaign: "Tad Daley boasts the most impressive credentials and much the most thoughtful platform of all the 16 candidates in the race .... (His ideas are) as sensible as they are unconventional."
Daley has written for the Los Angeles Times, USA TODAY, the Christian Science Monitor, Tikkun, and frequently in the at HuffingtonPost.com, TruthDig.com, AlterNet.org, TruthOut.org, and CommonDreams.org. His first book, APOLCALYPSE NEVER: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon Free World, has recently been published.