Sunday, March 06, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I've been listening to President Obama give speeches since he was a State Senator from Illinois. I know he can give a great speech. For the most part, his speech was what I expected to hear. It was sad that he largely ignored climate change, completely ignored gun control and the declining middle class.
Instead he talked about an issue he knows best. Hope. Hope is a wonderful thing. It gives people a reason to continue their lives each day, to better themselves in a national environment that does so little to help the least amongst us. In fact, income inequality is at it's highest gap since the beginning of the Great Depression and Republicans in Congress are more than willing to increase it for their friends in the large industries and corporate boardrooms. Hearing Obama tout federal salary freezes and talk about lowering corporate taxes when large corporations pay next to nothing (or even receive tax refunds) is the last thing I want to hear from a Democratic President's State of the Union speech.
Of course, there were plenty of good ideas mentioned. Rewarding small businesses with big ideas (such as the company that built the contraption to help Chilean miners). Cutting the Defense Department, promoting the DREAM Act and ending tax breaks for oil companies are all items that ring well in this progressive's ears.
What is most important to me in his speech, is that we are a nation of big ideas. He is right. A big idea would be to push Obama back away from Republican talking points and their anti-government and anti-working and middle class agenda. We need to push him away from being affected by their nasty rhetoric and back to the base of the Democratic party. Making sure he stays on track with a forward thinking education system and reminding him about climate change and that unlike the mantra of the N.R.A., guns actually do kill people (and they make it far easier when bullets cost seventeen cents a piece). In order to accomplish the progressive movement's big ideas and those that will help to make our union a stronger and more effective one for the nation, we must ceaselessly and thoroughly guide the President, the Senate...and yes, even the House through the next two years so that we do not descend into the madness that a large portion of the Republican party is offering us.
Do not count on Obama to pull a miracle out of his hat for us, we must make that miracle for ourselves.