I should probably not guestimate the outcome of the first big primary round for the Democrats while the voting is in process. However, there is a certain freedom in doing so that one may not have after some sort of definitive outcome. I expect that we shall not have one when the votes are tallied. Both will do well with delegates. The polls are at this writing all over the place — most likely because Democrats are.

Starting with OBAMA — he is one impressive guy — obviously brilliant and with a road map to guide his campaign that he adjusts rapidly with each new development. Today Reagan is out and poverty is in. My qualms follow from the feeling that he is an outsider to the suffering of African Americans who are still struggling to escape the on-going outrages of American racism. Believe me it is still there. In Mobile they have separate sets of reigning Mardi Gras kings and queens — black and white — who generally don’t meet up in their separate parades — so I learned only last night from an npr interview. Much of my life has been spent working with African Americans in Harlem and as a CUNY teacher of philosophy. I know all too well that racism still runs hard. Columbia University of all institutions is moving in on 17 acres of lower West Harlem (Manhattanville) which it will grab by fair means or foul (eminent domain). Some folks are ready to go along with Columbia; others are aware that the impact of super gentrification will fall on the heads of Harlem’s people generally who will be driven out — residents, businesses, and jobs. They are being offered in return a few crumbs off the table — with no legally binding guarantees.

What I fear, then, about Obama, is that he may be another of the get-along-go-alongs — on a high level — who will leave the vast numbers of Africans Americans where they are — in our jails, homeless, leading criminal lives to survive, struggling — while the fortunate 10 to 20%(?) — such as Obama — thrive. Ray Jones, the “Harlem Fox” for whom I worked briefly as an administrative assistant, made me forever a skeptic about those profiting from the high side of the plantation.

CLINTON? I have watched Hillary Clinton at work since she first tried to get into place a universal American health care system — and got whacked by the Harry and Louise routine which is what the drug companies and uncaring among our doctors still feature as their ultimate weapon and with which they sabotaged universal medical care back in the Truman years. The Clinton plan (in contrast to the more Republican oriented one of Obama) makes the move again that our nation (alone among the developed ones not to have single payer) desperately needs to avoid spending twice as much for half the services — all those profit-making medical insurance outfits with their bureaucracies set up to deny pay outs to those promised them by ‘contract’.

I have watched Clinton survive on-going false, but ugly attacks from the right wing that have half convinced too many good people that there must be something there with all that noise. What a shock to have her husband make a damned fool of himself precisely when his integrity was critically needed to block the theft of services plotted out by the Republicans (some of them at least)! She rode that out and, as many a good wife, forgave her wayward husband. I have known far too many divorces and rarely are they anything but destructive of all — mates — and particularly their children. Chelsea is obviously a proud and happy young woman who loves her mom.

CONCLUSION —- There is going to be much more voting to be done before we have chosen our Democratic candidate. I hope my fellow Democrats will do their homework on both Barack and Hillary and not simply commit to ‘born again’ like feelings. Barack is very impressive at charismatic things, but he, too, has a record to be examined. And parts of it that have been brought to my attention are disconcerting. See who his supporters are — from where monies have been coming to him. I go with the doubts of Andrew Young and some of the former Black Panthers. Watch closely and don’t be blinded by the headlights. We can’t afford having our party — and with it our nation — end up as road kill!

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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