I don't know myself very well. We know ourselves when a situation comes up. It's quite hard to predict how people will behave when the finger of history points at you. Everything is different from what we might imagine. Everything. I have been to this restaurant very recently. [We are sitting at a restaurant in Chelsea, in Manhattan.] In fact, I have already been to this restaurant today. But I couldn't predict how I would feel coming into it.Well, I can't explain it. 1 shouldn't even begin talking about it because I can't explain it. I seem to have a point of view, or a way of thinking about things, that is funny. I don't even know what that means really. Let's start from the premise that the world is so astonishingly far from the way it ought to be that one is driven to ask what thoughts can be large enough to figure out a way forward. There isn't anybody who has mapped it all out perfectly. We have to look in every possible direction.Obviously I was thrilled that the American public declared their feelings of being fed up with [Bush] and what he symbolized. I was also thrilled that the American public voted for a president who wasn't white. But I made no predictions about what [Obama] would or would not accomplish, I almost always have had a visceral dislike of American presidents. In the case of Obama, I actually feel an affection toward him. I feel that I know him. But I don't know him. Of course he has the characteristic that makes people think, 'Oh, Barack shares my attitudes exactly. And if he doesn't act the way I want him to act, he is simply not able to, he is politically constrained." I know that I feel that. And if it's true in my case, and he is really a leftist in his heart of hearts, it raises the question: to what extent can an individual change his society?
Shawn of the Left Robert Hirschfield In These Times; Dec 2009; 33, 12; Docstoc pg. 36 Reproduced with permission of the copyr
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