Friday, January 22, 2010

Howard Zinn** on Obama's first year in office

US historian Howard Zinn has contributed a short piece to The Nation assessing President Barrack Obama's first year in office. Zinn writes that he has not been terribly disappointed in Obama because he did not expect much.

Zinn sees Obama as a traditional Democratic President who is little different to Bush on foreign policy and only marginally different to Bush on economic, constitutional and domestic issues. Zinn writes that Obama is strong on rhetoric but his reforms are cautious and limited and ultimately subservient to powerful interests. Zinn concludes that Obama is a dangerous President:
"I think people are dazzled by Obama's rhetoric, and that people ought to begin to understand that Obama is going to be a mediocre president--which means, in our time, a dangerous president--unless there is some national movement to push him in a better direction".
** Howard Zinn is a distinguished American historian and professor emeritus in the Political Science Department at Boston University. He is the author of more than 20 books, including A People's History of the United States (1980).

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