In election cycles, a narrative that develops context in order to highlight deadly and illegal US policies is often viewed as a distraction and a liability. The dominant topics in conventional campaigns are the economy, ‘bread-and-butter’ issues, and national security. Playing ‘catch up’, Obama spokesmen’s pointed rebuttals to critics recognized no political logic for progressive or radical or revolutionary acts against state violence; only legislative acts, the agency of the political class, had currency. Without the appearance of state violence in our discourse, the presence of resistance becomes viewed as irrational. Political agency disciplined by revolutionary struggle is perceived as criminality, or political and social insanity. Thus, only the politician is understood as the rational harbinger of ‘change’; and the conventional wisdom remains that she or he need only say what they will do for us – once we have elected them into executive office.
Joy James, “‘Campaigns against “Blackness”’: Criminality, Incivility, and Election to Executive Office,” Critical Sociology 36:1 (2009): 12