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Obama’s Vision for America

Scott on June 5, 2008 at 11:16 am

So Tuesday night Barack Obama gave his first speech as the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party. The first thing I will say is that he is a GREAT orator, maybe even fantastic. Of course, his skills in oratory are magnified in comparison to the last 8 years of President Bush’s less-than-stellar communication abilities, but at the very least he is a great speaker and communicator.

Let me stop here and say that I dislike political speeches like this, I don’t care who is delivering them. I don’t like hyperbole. I don’t like it when people try to cast a vision of total idealism without it being anchored in a foundation of reality. I am bothered to an extreme by the “chicken in every pot” promises that knowingly pander to what people want to hear without bothering with the pesky details of fact and realism.

But all that being said, it was a REALLY GOOD speech. And it certainly sets a vision for his campaign and a vision for America should he be elected. The questions I have is – Is he creating a false image of what America is, in order to bolster his campaign? -and- Is he doing so intentionally, lying as it were, to mislead the masses into believing that he is the conduit through which the problems facing America (both real and imagined) will be fixed?

So here are some excerpts from the Obama speech along with some thoughts and observations:

…tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another, a journey a journey that will bring a new and better day to America.

(“A new and better America?” That is a great slogan. A great sound bite. And yet at its heart is the idea that now that Obama has arrived he will lead us to this new and better day, like Moses leading the children of Israel to the Promised Land. However, this statement is rooted in the idea/belief that America is broken and needs to be fixed. Not that it needs to be improved but that it needs to be FIXED, because right now we are living in bad days and we need Obama to lead us into better days.)

And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country — and we will win that fight — she [Clinton] will be central to that victory. When we transform our energy policy and lift our children out of poverty, it will be because she worked to help make it happen.

(Universal healthcare. I’m not so sure how I feel about that one. I agree that healthcare is important, especially for children. However, the government mandating that everyone must have healthcare is quite a step of intrusion into the lives of its citizens and its businesses. And our government has proven one indisputable fact over the years – it cannot manage or control anything, especially a massive bureaucracy.

What does bug me is the line about “lifting our children out of poverty.” Yes, there are children who live in poverty both in our country and around the world. But Obama’s statement is SOOOO misleading. “Lift our children out of poverty” is a deliberate turn of phrase to create the false impression that “our children” in the U.S. live in poverty. Some do, but most do not. And be honest, even those who do live in poverty in the U.S. live the life of royalty when compared to how the poor live in other parts of the world.)

It’s not change when he [McCain] offers four more years of Bush economic policies that have failed to create well-paying jobs, or insure our workers, or help Americans afford the skyrocketing cost of college, policies that have lowered the real incomes of the average American family, widened the gap between Wall Street and Main Street, and left our children with a mountain of debt.

(” failed to create well-paying jobs “ And why is it Bush’s job to create well-paying jobs? Considering the growth of the economy over the last 8 years IN SPITE of 9/11 and the war on terror, I don’t really see that Obama has much to complain about. And again the “have – have nots” paradigm rears its ugly head. This is the cry of the communist/socialist revolutionary from around the globe and years past – We should all be the same and earn the same, so if there are some who have more money than others, we should fix that. One could argue that Clinton in his 8 years did more to widen that gap than did Bush, considering the tech boom and the number of millionaires that were created during that time.)

Change, Minnesota, is realizing that meeting today’s threats requires not just our firepower, but the power of our diplomacy: tough, direct diplomacy, where the president of the United States isn’t afraid to let any petty dictator know where America stands and what we stand for.

(” tough direct diplomacy “ Yeah, riiiiight. So far it seems like Obama’s tough direct diplomacy will involve giving Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-il a good, stern talking to. AND, if that doesn’t do any good, he’ll go back and give them a good verbal thrashing using lots of words that sound like threats but are really just words backed up by more words. Does Obama REALLY believe that the “petty dictators” of the world don’t ALREADY know “where America stands and what we stand for?” Does he really believe that they will listen more to him than they have to Bush? Seriously?!?)

Change is building an economy that rewards not just wealth, but the work and the workers who created it.

(The economy DOES reward the work and workers who created it. It’s called a pay check. It’s called quarterly and year-end bonuses. It’s called sales commissions. Again, Obama wants to be sure that EVERYONE is able to stand on the same footing, the same/level ground. The problem is that such a perspective ignores the fact that not everyone works the same, tries the same, and/or has the same work ethic.)

And maybe if John McCain spent some time in the schools of South Carolina or St. Paul, Minnesota, or where he spoke tonight in New Orleans, Louisiana, he’d understand that we can’t afford to leave the money behind for No Child Left Behind

(If Obama wants to complain about the funding of education, then he better talk to the Democratic controlled congress. If No Child Left Behind is under funded, it is THEIR fault. If No Child Left Behind is an ill-conceived attempt at education reform, he should go talk with THEM and in particular Senator Kennedy, since it was the Democrats with Kennedy leading the charge that pushed through the NCLB legislation.)

Americans are a decent, generous, compassionate people, united by common challenges and common hopes. And every so often, there are moments which call on that fundamental goodness to make this country great again.

(Hmmm. ” make this country great again.” It sounds like Obama is channeling his wife, echoing her statement from awhile back that for the first time in her life she was/is proud of her country. Does Obama really believe that the U.S. isn’t great now? Why do people still flock by the tens of thousands every year to live here and make their lives here? I guess they didn’t get the memo that America is no longer great and that it needs Mr. Obama to make it so again.)

Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal

(I’m sorry, but is he serious here? ” this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick.” BEGAN TO PROVIDE CARE FOR THE SICK? Since when weren’t the sick cared for in this country? And what’s this about “good jobs for the jobless?” Define “good job?” According to many liberals, a good job is one that allows an individual enough money to afford those things they need and want. Sorry, but if that is what Obama is thinking he is WAY OFF. You have to work your way up to a “good job,” which is a surprise to many of my high school students who want to graduate from high school and/or college and immediately earn $50,000 – $75,000 a year, enough to earn what they need and/or want.

The whole thing about ” the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal ” KILLS ME! I didn’t know whether to laugh or hang my head in sadness. Hasn’t Obama heard the news that the earth HAS a savior already? His name is Al Gore!)

I guess I’m done. I’m not thrilled with McCain, but to be honest Obama scares me. He’s either a consummate liar (more so than most politicians) -or- he’s dangerously naive -or- he’s frighteningly arrogant -or- he’s a complete idiot. None of those options bode well for the U.S. if he wins.

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