Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Changing His Tune

Last June, then Senator Obama gave a moving speech as he accepted the bid for the Democratic Presidential Nominee. In that speech, he gave hope to millions by saying, "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...this was the moment when we ended a war, and secured our nation, and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth."

Throughout his campaign, Obama drew massive crowds of people hungering for change, moved Oprah to tears, and sent tingles down Chris Matthew's leg. He eloquently read the teleprompter, promising a better way of life for America. A life with free health care, low unemployment, clean green energy, an end to the war in Iraq, affordable housing and higher education, and lower taxes for 95% of Americans, just to name a few. No wonder so many people voted for him! I would've too, if I had taken him at his word and not questioned his success rate in his career so far, studied how he planned to implement those goals, or looked at history to see if such implementation had been successful in the past. The only thing Obama has been successful in is getting elected. He planned to improve American life by expanding government involvement and spending, and taxing the rich to pay the poor. FDR's New Deal, which was a tremendous expansion in government, has now been proven to have prolonged the Great Depression by as much as 10 years.

I don't blame those who fell for Obama's seductive promises. My great grandmother used to say alluring lies fall sweetly on the ears. Everyone wants to live in an ideal society. I consider myself a pragmatist in knowing that an ideal society is not possible on this Earth; that utopia is reserved for Heaven. During his two year campaign for President, Barack Obama promised that utopia could be here and now.

Today, Senator Obama is now President Obama, elected by American people like Peggy the Moocher, who famously declared, "I never thought this day would ever happen. I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know. If I help [Obama], he’s gonna help me.”

Now is the time for Obama to make good on his promises, to keep his word to America, to restore our image as the "last, best hope on Earth." To bring our troops home, to end our dependence on foreign oil, to provide jobs with decent wages, free health care and respectable retirements to all Americans...and to get a puppy for his daughters.

Since his monumental election November 4th, Obama has, in almost every public appearance, felt the need to remind his adoring public of the difficult times we are facing as a nation, and of the long, hard journey that lies ahead of us. It is a very different tune from the one he sang when he was courting the public for their votes, when he was full of hopeful and beautiful rhetoric about the change he was going to bring about in the country.

In his inaugural speech this morning, Obama again reminded us that, "we are in the midst of crisis," and that "our economy is badly weakened." And then he broke his campaign promise of growing a government that would assume responsibility for the health and welfare of its citizens, and laid that responsibility upon the people. He stated, "For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."

Interesting. He almost sounds like a conservative with that attitude of encouraging citizens to help one another rather than relying on government assistance. I for one am happy that he seems to be breaking his pie-in-the-sky promises of a government that can do everything short of wiping tushies for Mr. and Mrs. America, but I wonder how his scores of admirers feel about his new song.

Well, at least one promise will be kept. The First Family is now accepting applications for First Dog. Ok, not really. But it would be funny if they were.


Anonymous said...

I found Obama's speech interesting myself, but I'm not sure I can get over my deep-seated suspicion of almost everything persuasive political speakers such as Obama say. He and his advisers are no fools. They know that the inaugural address will get a tremendous amount of attention and analysis unlike almost anything he said before he was actually the president. They have to tone down what Obama might really want to do because they know that not everyone will take this kindly.

But on the bright side, no matter what Obama wanted to do before he got into office, we can only hope that once he gets there and starts hearing what things are really like, he will realize that there is only so much he can do at once. The middle of a recession is hardly the time to start pushing idealistic project to improve the quality of life. Even a president can't do everything he wants to.

Winston said...

great blog

Nikki said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog. I think many people who voted for Obama were very naive. He is only a man and can only do so much. I have also noticed him going back on some things he promised in the beginning. He is a politician, that's what they do, make promises they can't deliver. I am hoping that he is going to be a good president though because I have to live in this country. I just hope in 4 years that the Republicans can find a well qualified candidate to run against him.