I approve this message: “Wake The F*ck Up!”

I’ve been considering this post for a while, but Samuel L. Jackson’s message hit home:

There was a conversation on Facebook about this a few weeks ago. I know you can argue that Obama hasn’t been as good on many issues (such as openness and transparency) as we would have liked. Many of us who were passionate about him four years ago have been disappointed that he wasn’t everything we wanted. But that disappointment shouldn’t blind us to how clear a choice is before us and how important this election is. If you’re in doubt about that, please take a look at “WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS, IN THEIR OWN WORDS: A Side-by-Side Comparison of the 2012 Democratic and Republic Party Platform Documents.”

While it’s not part of the issues covered on that site, Romney has publicly stated that he wants to cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by half (source and this is also stated on his own site). NEH provides grants to many projects related to archives, and I think it’s safe to assume Romney would be no friend of the NHPRC if he has no love for the NEH.

Don’t be lulled into complacency by the latest polls. This election hasn’t been won yet. Please, as my friend Mr. Jackson says, wake up! Do what you can. Volunteer, organize, talk to friends and family, and donate. We all know the Republicans have supporters with very deep pockets and seemingly unlimited sources of money available to them. If you can afford to give, please donate to the campaign. Here, here’s an easy link for that too.

Note: I’ve disabled comments on this post because conversations about politics can get quite heated and this blog isn’t about politics. I posted the message that I wanted to post, but I’m not interested in moderating a discussion about it.

UPDATED NOTE: The People of Twitter wanted comments turned on, and so I’m turning them on. However, I reserve the right to turn them off again any time I feel like it. It’s my blog, after all. I’m not a government agency.

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2 thoughts on “I approve this message: “Wake The F*ck Up!””

  1. Breaking this down into two comments with separate, though related issues:

    The telling line in the post to me is “this blog isn’t about politics.” This is, I think, part of the problem. Even if we do not recognize that our profession is part of a larger picture, politically and economically speaking, and that we may have cause for concern with larger issues of economic policy because of how it effects the market-at-large, even if we abhor those sorts of political conversations, the ones we are stuck having with our relatives on Holidays, WE STILL MUST RECOGNIZE THAT ARCHIVES ARE INHERENTLY POLITICAL. How much the profession has ossified in the past several decades since Howard Zinn pointed this out has much more to do with just standards and the digital divide. We complain that “Advocacy” is a sore spot in our profession, but we frequently forget to investigate one of the roots to this problem: We are afraid (or have been cowed or have been tricked) into being non-political (or **shudder** “post-political”).

  2. and TWO

    Part of being political as a professional means being on the offensive rather than purely reactive. By being purely reactive we are left in this position, every four years, of running afraid from the blunt and absurd policies of one of the ruling ideologies. But we are then often sent running into the arms of coercive (rather than blunt), but no less absurd policies that are also harmful to us. So, while we speak of how utterly horrid the GOP is in its views of utter destruction of all things, let’s not delude ourselves into thinking Obama proposes an alternative way forward.

    For example: Most of you (I hope) have noticed the recent teachers’ strike in Chicago. What you may not have noticed is that the policies which fomented the conditions necessitating a strike to save their jobs are policies which Obama buys into. I mean: The administrator who introduced and approved the most destructive of these policies IS the current US Secretary of Education under Obama. All of this speaks to the generally NeoLiberal market philosophy Obama (really all Democrats since the Clinton admin onward) has used as a guiding principle in policy. If these NeoLiberal policies have already come for the schools (among other things), do you think they will not come for the Arts and Humanities? Obama has already stated (frequently) he is not afraid of cuts to programs and has described himself literally as a “Blue dog” Democrat.

    Now, do not mistake me for saying “Don’t vote for Obama”, that decision is pretty complex and what i mean in ALL of this is to begin to become more political while steering AWAY from Electioneering … Also PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE ME for saying “Vote for Romney” cuz Christ would that be tragically misguided. What I am saying is that should you be voting for Obama I would advise questioning the nature of how you hold your nose why you do so. Begin to question the roots rather than continually hacking at the limbs, to borrow one of the oldest of phrases.

    Also, I would use much more forceful language than “not been as good on many issues” for Obama, maybe even particularly for our profession and its concern for open records. But I’d shelve that argument for now (for this forum).

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