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Russell Banks on the American Dream

How do you get people to vote against their own self interest?

That’s the trick.One way is to make people believe in a dream. That’s what all of the mainstream politicians are doing — feeding that dream. Obama is feeding a dream — a dream of change and renewal. He’s feeding a dream that the conditions that surround us — Iraq, the economy, the racial divide, the class divide in this country — that they are magically going to go away by voting for this centrist Democrat.

The Obama moment is a feel good moment,” the novelist continued later in the interview. “It makes us feel good. But the programs Obama is proposing — up and down and all around — are the same centrist Democratic positions. The same people are going to be running the show. All of the corporations are rapidly switching their contributions to the Democrats.

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