The idea that human freedom is just the ability or good fortune to be free from harm, or free from the more blatant abuses the strong may perform upon the weak, is pernicious and absurd. It is an idea of freedom contrived for the weak or the unfree by those who wish to abuse them, intended to make them feel content with the little piece that they have — e.g. their own ‘backyard’. Witness the arguments that say ‘you can do whatever you want in your own backyard’.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has drawn fire for statements she or her surrogates have made that have been poorly received by african american voters. Her comment regarding Lyndon Johnson and MLK seems to have drawn the most ire, suggesting that it was Johnson’s presidential powers rather than the commitment and life risking political resistance of MLK and the movement that brought about the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Sen. Clinton is accusing the Obama camp of stirring the pot. Sen. Obama has called her remarks ill-advised, an accurate comment to say the least.
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In their ominously titled Truthout essay What is He Capable Of? The Presidential Psychology at the End of Days, Briggs and Briggs describe President George W. Bush as having a personality that operates in a defensive binary mode. That’s fancy shrink talk for someone who sees things in black and white and thus avoids the anxiety that comes with ambiguous shades of gray. It translates to “you either love me or you hate me.”
With nomination contests in lily-white Iowa and New Hampshire settled, minority voting power now moves into the spotlight.
Historical realities suggest that blacks and Hispanics won’t play much of a role in determining the Republican Party presidential nominee. But this year’s Democratic primary and caucus schedule was designed specifically to give increased influence to minorities, particularly Latinos.