Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Activist Dolores Huerta is awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

I know President Obama is a centrist. I greatly enjoy claims from the whacky right that he's a radical leftist. Do these people have any understanding of political history at all? They really might want to travel a bit to see what else is out there.

I fully understand that Obama is defined by the realities of politics in America, by the art of the possible. But, I suppose, the Republican Party has moved so far to the right that the president's centrism looks like the left, if relativity is your guide.

For all that, I thought it was nice that President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday to Dolores Huerta, an 82-year-old labour activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union.

Huerta is also a noted civil rights and women's rights activist. And, according to the Wiki entry for her, "as a role model to many in the Latin community, Huerta is the subject of many ballads and murals." Isn't that lovely?

Best of all, she's an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America. That puts her in the wonderful company of some of my political heroes, such as my former professor Frances Fox Piven and author Barbara Ehrenreich.

It must be hard for President Obama to show an openness to ideas not necessarily within the American mainstream, but I appreciate it when he makes the effort. I really do.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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