A Pledge for Anti-interventionist Progressives in 2012

There are distressing signs that some antiwar progressives are withdrawing support for Obama as the 2012 election draws near.    A few have gone so far as to whisper a begrudging respect for Ron Paul, although they have scrupulously refrained from acting on it.  It is high time to stem this tide carrying votes away from our president, to take a stand, to show some ovarian fortitude and to slog on for Obama.  In just such a spirit this pledge is offered for anti-interventionist progressives, a term redundant under Bush but edging closer to oxymoronic under Obama.

I pledge in the year 2012 to link the fight against war to the fight for justice and to do so without exception.  With equal vigor I pledge to fight for justice with total disregard for the fight against war whenever it suits me.  I pledge to follow the MoveOn segment of the Occupy Wall Street movement in so doing.  I pledge that this will be the cornerstone of my approach, to be known henceforth as Van Jones Logic.

I pledge to exclude potential allies who do not share my notions of justice from the antiwar movement.  After all the antiwar movement belongs to progressives.  I pledge to keep at bay libertarians, paleoconservatives and, above all, the average American Jane and Joe, with an unscalable Chinese Wall of political correctness.  Let’s keep out the riff-raff.  For this I pledge to look for leadership to “Progressive” Democrats of America, UFPJ, Peace Action and Juan Cole.

I pledge neither to sponsor nor to join any large antiwar marches or demonstrations this election year. For if there are antiwar marches, it is a sure sign that there are wars.   I pledge, if forced into such marches of folly in order to preserve my credibility or my donor base, to censor any mention of Obama.   I pledge to treat impeachment as a taboo subject.

I pledge until November 7, 2012 to keep far from my consciousness the unspeakable suffering being visited on the darker peoples of the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia by my president with his sanctions and bombs.  These sufferings are as nothing compared to the purity of my movement and the hollow promises of Obama for better social programs.

I pledge to avoid like the plague any consideration of Ron Paul.  I pledge to  tear him down with bogus charges of racism based on guilt by association.  I fully recognize that Ron Paul is especially dangerous, because every day he converts more to the antiwar cause and thereby threatens a breach in the wall that keeps antiwar barbarians out of the movement we own.  I thought libertarians respected property rights.  If pressed, I may whisper a word or two of praise for Ron Paul but never a full throated endorsement – and never, ever anything good without walling it off with airtight condemnation.   I pledge most of all never to aid Ron Paul by money or action.  After all, what would my friends say?

I pledge never to think tactically when it comes to Ron Paul, as many progressives do with their favorite candidates, forgiving piddling shortcomings – like voting for DoD funding.

I pledge to work with others to keep a serious challenge to Obama from emerging in the Democratic primaries.  I recognize that this work is largely done with the passing of the New Hampshire primary and Iowa Caucuses; and I find myself on occasion smiling with satisfaction at this feat.  I pledge to remain vigilant nonetheless.  If our man, Obama, becomes even more embarrassing to the antiwar movement, I pledge to support a candidate from the moribund Green Party or some other entity cobbled together quickly, with no extensive organization and no hope of winning.   If we cannot bring ourselves to vote for Obama, let’s get out there and waste our votes.

I pledge in the year 2012 to hold fast to wishful thinking – Obama is our man. I pledge to remind one and all that Obama is keeping secret his loyalty to the progressive cause to avoid criticism by Republicans.   And he is proving damned good at it.  I pledge to believe that combat troops left Iraq because Obama wanted it, not because Bush signed an agreement to do so (and to ignore the fact that Obama wanted to stay but Maliki refused).  I pledge to believe that those troops returned to the US (and ignore the fact that most of them were transferred to other countries). I pledge to believe that the NDAA is the Republican McCain’s idea (and ignore the fact that is was Obama’s baby according to Carl Levin). In general, I pledge to ignore reality, and to believe in the virtual world presented to me by the progressive authorities and gatekeepers.  It will be as easy as doing my yoga or meditation.  And besides Obama is sure to change course in his second term.

In sum, I pledge to ignore Obama’s Patriot act, his numerous wars, his bloated military budget, his deficit, his service to Wall Street and to the insurance industry.  This is his dazzling plan to protect us from Republicans by tricking them into thinking that he is their man, so they will vote for him – our man!  It is nothing less than brilliant.

John V. Walsh, @JohnWal97469920, until recently a Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, has written on issues of peace and health care for several independent media. Read other articles by John V..