There is a useful summary for thinking people of what the real implications are of last week’s congressional elections in the US on the Sojourners’ website (http://sojo.net/). It is written by Jim Wallis, who founded Sojourners 40 years ago in Washington. It focuses mainly on those areas that Sojourners have been writing about for a long time (race, the economy and its distribution, peace and justice, the environment) from a Christian viewpoint.
Of interest as well is the raft of comments at the bottom of the article in which the anti-Obama republicanism comes through, even amongst those who are sympathetic to some aspects of Sojourners’ work. Certainly it makes for happier commenting than you get on the Guardian, but it makes you wonder at how deeply the reaction to Obama has embedded itself in US political life – and hence in the political life of the world.
What seems not to have been an issue at all in the congressional elections was schooling. It hardly got a mention. On a post on Diane Ravitch’s blog yesterday, she underlines exactly why:
Educators had little reason to come out to vote; in many states, the Democratic candidate was indistinguishable from the Republican candidate, and both took campaign contributions from the same Wall Street sources. Education should have been the Democrats’ strong suit, given that there are at least five million professional educators, and many millions of public school candidates. But this was an issue that the Obama administration gave to the Republicans by acting like Republicans, by embracing the Republican education agenda of testing, punitive accountability, and choice.
Are we in danger of exactly the same lack of fight from the Labour Party next year? The Liberal Democrats are already firmly behind Tory education policies. Can Tristram Hunt speak up for teachers?
On the Sojourners’ site there is a great poster of Gandhi you can order if you subscribe to their magazine. A tiny version I reproduce, possibly illegally, here.