Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
on the Recall
3.43 MBs, 4:14
Short version: mp3,
2.50 MBs, 3:03
Statement on Mumia Abu-Jamal; mp3,
466 KBs, :29
The recent recall
election for the office of governor of California was an amazing
demonstration of American democracy. Once again, one must judge
it by the process, and largely ignore the result. Yet, what is more
quintessentially American than the election of an immigrant to the
states highest office, indeed of a state with perhaps
the 6th largest economy in the world?
There have been
kudos for the unorthodox governor-elect, one Arnold Schwartzenegger,
the Austrian-born body-builder-turned-movie star-turned-politician.
Democrats took it on the chin for losing a race in a state that
is deeply Democratic in registration.
as ever, became the fodder of late night talk shows, and mid-day
talk shows, as talking heads used the recall election as yet another
reason to poke fun at the state.
Lost in much
of the criticism however, was the real nature of the former administration,
headed by the feckless, unpopular Gray Davis.
the mantle of the Democratic Party by the national media, Davis
was hardly a liberal. He was a conservative who ran his office as
if he were an honorary member of the Republican Party. Unions, the
poor, the urban, students, immigrants, and the elderly fared poorly
under his reign (with the exception of the prison guards bargaining
unit, which virtually owned him).
of Californians, who received his back hand during his first term,
the prospect of voting for a guy who acted like a Republican, as
opposed to a guy who actually *was* a Republican (albeit one who
appeared moderate on social issues) didnt present much of
a challenge. Especially when the challenger was an actor, in a state
that reveres actors.
It also didnt
help matters that this was a reporters dream come true
the photogenic, movie star vs. the colorless bureaucrat (a guy named
This race was
As to the politics
of recall, many politicians and their spokespeople, underestimate
the appeal of such a device to millions of Americans who look to
their elected officials with scorn.
What do you
think would happen today, if such an option were available to determine
whether US President, George W. Bush should be recalled from office?
In a nation
that prides itself on the illusion of democracy, on the elaborate
fiction that this is a government of the People, it
is indeed interesting that there are not more offices open to the
option of recall. If it were otherwise, presidents and other officials
would be loathe to run roughshod over the wills and wants of the
people as they
have done. If a recall were a live option, Bush would never have
dared to plunge the nation into a mad war in Iraq, for he wouldve
been on the unemployment line in a matter of months.
Bush (whom the
critic Arundhati Roy calls, George, the Lesser) holds
the office because of his name, his family wealth, and the whim
of the US Supreme Court. Period. Ah-nolt won the office
of Governor of California because Gray Davis violated the first
rule of politics; he alienated his base in pursuit of a fictitious
center, and left them with no real reason to vote for
him. And neither Clinton, nor Vermonts Dr. Dean,
nor Jesse, nor Barbara Boxer (Sen. D-Ca.) could remake him to his
Those who really
favor change in American politics should endorse more, not less,
recall devices in the nations polity. It presents the very
real probability of recreating the politics that presently prevails,
of unbridled corporatism (practiced by both major parties).
want business as usual; thats the source of their alienation.
They want change. And in such a context, even a man who is the son
of a Nazi officer, who claims to be a self-made millionaire, who
has no political experience, who is said to be a boorish, serial
butt-fondler can win one of the biggest plums in US politics.
more recalls not less!
2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.