Published Dec 16, 2008Always a man with an opinion, punk icon and former Dead Kennedys front-man Jello Biafra has written an open letter to U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama. While Biafra's spoken word is often hard to take seriously with its hyperbolic vitriol, the letter, available on the Alternative Tentacles website, is surprisingly evenhanded and eloquent.
It's also very, very long. Coming in at just under 18 pages, the letter highlights some suggestions for how Obama can handle everything from the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan through to health care, women's rights, and the general wellbeing of the American people. The full letter can be read here, but we've included the intro for you:
Dear, Mr. Obama,
Congratulations on your recent victory, and for helping build such a strong mandate for change. In that spirit, please do not forget the other aisle you need to reach across. All the relief and publicity for the middle class won't do anything for the 40-100 million Americans who are starving, unemployed or just plain poor.
You have gone out of your way to build a bridge to those of us fed up with war, pollution, inequality, corporate lawlessness and business as usual. You have energized a whole new generation who is far ahead of their elders in knowing what urgently needs to be done. I have never seen such an outpouring of heartfelt emotion, hope and support for an American politician in my life, and I remember Kennedy well. You are the first president in my lifetime to have a bona fide grassroots movement behind you and ready to rock. I hope those crowds' hope and urgency has penetrated deeply enough that you won't let that bridge be washed away.
I remember another person who had the audacity to exploit and toss aside people's hope, and his name is Bill Clinton. Democrats fail time and again when they shirk responsibility and settle for being dealmakers instead of leaders. As important as it is to find common ground and build consensus for change, our situation is so dire we cannot afford any more dealmakers. The people voted for a leader. Anything less risks breaking the hearts of an entire galvanized generation who may then decide it is not worth it to get involved and participate any more.
It only gets better from there. Now, if only SNFU's Chi Pig could get on Harper's ass and make some changes in this country!
Nardwuar vs. Jello Biafra