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Purely Dominica

Purely Dominica

Photo of barack-obama.jpgPhoto by:marcn

In case you have not observed, a revolution is sweeping the United States of America where Barack Obama, an African American, stands a relatively good chance of becoming the next president when the presidential elections is held in November. Pinch yourself if you want to but you’re not dreaming.

Obama, who is described as the 21st century Martin Luther King or Bobby Kennedy, has been surprising everyone by his strong showing in the primary election over the last few months. With his message of hope and change, Obama makes the case for racial harmony and a kinder, gentler America. Key aspects of King’s “I have a Dream” speech.

Obama’s message of change is so fresh and innovative one begins to wonder whether some of our current politicians in Dominica should not adopt the theme. The fact is over the last few decades our politicians have been applying the same solutions to our problems, over and over again, and surprisingly they anticipate different results. The slogan “Change we can Believe in” from the Obama campaign has tremendous relevance to our socio-economic conditions in Dominica and around the Caribbean.

If you believe that this discussion we are having here on *DW*, and the many other Dominicans are having on the street corners, the barber shop and in the dasheen fields are just examples of the burden American influence on our culture, you should think again.

American politics is not just about America. Dominica is like a piece of driftwood in the Caribbean Sea being tossed this way and that as the super-cruise liner, the USA, sails by on its course, caring little whether we are swamped by its movements. This should leads us to speculate about Obama’s possible policy to the Caribbean if he eventually occupies the presidential seat in the white house, seeing that he has co-sponsored legislation that if enacted into law could have a negatively impact Caribbean economies.

Realistically, do you expect any major changes in American policy as it relates to the Caribbean whether the Democrats or the republicans win the November presidential elections? Share your opinion in the comments.

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Comment by Dan
2008-02-19 10:18:52

I would not expect substantive change. At the end of the day, he’s just another politician, and they dance with who brought them — in the case of our politicians, that would be the moneyed interests. I also don’t expect him to win the nomination. That is because his “base” consists of the less well off (who haven’t the money he needs) and students (who don’t retain fervor — have you noticed that all his speeches are on college campuses?).

Money has ruined American democracy. Only the wealthy donor class have political influence in America.

Obama, like John F. Kennedy, is a great orator. But JFK could not get anything through Congress. Had he not been killed, he’s have gone down in history as an ineffective President.

I wish I were wrong to be so cynical, but am afraid that I’m right.

Comment by Eric Hoyt
2008-02-21 20:33:41

I am a student in Madison, Wisconsin in the USA. A side note, when I was 6 years old, my mother, an anthropologist and teacher, wanted to move to Dominica. We almost moved; my father quit his job and traveled ahead of us to search for work and scope out the scene in Dominica. He returned to tell us that the schools had no walls, and there was no work for middle class people. Only really wealthy and really poor people in Dominica. So we stayed in USA, and my parents had to look for new jobs. But anyway, I agree that Obama, though he would signify significant change in the USA, and he will likely win, I think there will have to be a REAL revolution in the USA before we take a new policy to address economic injustice in places like Dominica. Obama plays lipservice to turning free trade policies into fair trade policies. He says he will still push for free trade deals, but he will demand there be stipulations of labor and evironmental standards. Also on the slate to passed in the US congress if Obama is elected is an Anti-Sweatshop bill, which would require that all imports will have to made in workshops with unions (no sweatshops) fulfilling all ILO obligations. Do you, as Dominican, think these policies will make a difference?

Comment by Dan
2008-02-21 23:22:58

No politician can change America much. Our politics have been too thoroughly corrupted by money. America’s eminence in the world is not the triumph of democracy, it is the triumph of capitalism. Within the capitalist system, only subtle degrees of difference can ever exist between the major political parties.

Comment by Dan
2008-02-23 21:41:23

Obama’s greatest vulnerability is that with its latent racism, and rampant stupidity, the American public is eager to spread and/or believe the worst about him.

False smears against Obama are posted on the Internet and arrive in my e-mail daily. One claims that he’s a muslim and against America. Another is directed at his wife and the church he attends.

He’s not perfect, but then no candidate walks on water. Why is it news when one is found to lack the ability?

Comment by Eric
2008-02-24 13:30:49

This is a question for Dan, or the original poster of this blog thread. I agree that many things can not be changed in America or the World while the capitalist system still holds. For example, there will never be housing for everyone, jobs for everyone within capitalism, which is why I am opposed to capitalism. However, I do believe it is possible for certain policies to reform capitalism. That said, do you think the anti-sweatshop bill that Obama has signed on to, which demands all imported goods (ie. goods made in the Caribbean) be made in unionized/worker-friendly workplaces, will help the Caribean economy?

Comment by Dan
2008-02-24 14:19:40

You’re asking me to be wiser than anyone who has ever lived! Yes, regulations are necessary to keep capitalism from becoming as cruel as it can be. Remember, there are only two economic systems: one is an appeal to greed (capitalism) and the other an appeal to envy (socialism). Neither can solve mankind’s problems, because both are men’s creations. The only system that would would is one that we can never have: a system that is independent of human nature.

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