(Article changed on December 5, 2013 at 22:08)
Official Portait by US Government
The President, interviewed on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews, proved once again, that Obama is a great public speaker and orator, While Matthew's questions were probing and insightful, the core questions on why the American people are skeptical of government were not fully addressed.
I can understand why a political commentator would let the President get away with not completely addressing a question because of limitations set by the Executive branch on a media outlet that essentially supports this political party this President belongs to. I have no such constraints. I can write and say anything I wish to say, for the time being. If I had President Obama to interview on my radio show or on an independent TV show with no restrictions, I would have asked this question: "Why is the Middle Class in America declining at the fastest rate in history and why do the top 20% of people have 95.7% of the wealth in this country (excluding home ownership) and the bottom 80% of the country have only 4.7% of this nations' wealth?
This is the crux of the problem in America. This is the reason that Americans no longer trust either major political party. We understand all too well, even with the Presidents best assurances that he is working for the "American people", who he is really working for. This is a political reality, not conjecture. This President can try to justify the implementation of a "surveillance state" by conjuring up the threat of terrorism, but I do not believe that the people are buying this. The fact is that Americans are losing their expectation of privacy guaranteed by First Amendment and this is untenable. This fact seems to be lost on the chief executive.
The phrase "Exceptional Nation" and "Indispensible Nation" were bandied about in the interview. I for one am tired of hearing this kind of rhetoric. We are not any more "exceptional" or "indispensible" than any other people. We have not been anointed by any supreme deity with special status in this world. These are terms to make Americans feel good about themselves and the country that they live in. If you ask anyone in any other nation if America is the "indispensible" nation, you may get slapped. We are what we achieve today, not yesterday, and what we have achieved in this last decade is nothing but a redistribution of wealth to the top 1% of our populating, loss of our civil liberties and wars on a grand scale not seen since the Roman Empire.
Obama claims that he is ending the war in Afghanistan while it is clear that American negotiators are now in talks with that nation to keep American troops there indefinitely. Where then is the end of the war? What kind of double-speak will people accept? This government, through the last three administrations, has a habit of saying one thing and doing another! We intervened in the former Yugoslavia and we now have the largest military base in the Balkans. We seem to have a policy of "intervene and occupy". This is abhorrent to what most Americans believe.
Supporting a military that is supported by spending 54% of the discretionary budget. The 2009 U.S. military budget accounts for approximately 40% of globa l arms spending. The 2012 budget is 6--7 times larger than the $106 billion military budget of China! The United States spent more on its military than the next 13 nations combined in 2011. This should be untenable!
"All told, the U.S. government spent about $718 billion on defense and international security assistance in 2011 -- more than it spent on Medicare. That includes all of the Pentagon's underlying costs as well as the price tag for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which came to $159 billion in 2011. It also includes arms transfers to foreign governments. " (Washington Post).
Why are questions not asked about the overbearing military budget that drains this nation of wealth and that also lines the pockets of defense contractors? When will people demand answers about why we have such a huge military? This is a subject that people do not want to talk about. It makes people nervous. It should.
Altogether, Chris Matthews did an astonishing job in his interview with Obama (from the MSNBC view). He managed to ask tough questions that the President was able to glibly answer with platitudes and homilies. In reality the President said nothing. He did manage to support the status quo by invoking the "obstruction of the Republicans" in Congress and basically calling for a Congress controlled by Democrats.
This is all propaganda for the two-party system we have been cajoled into accepting. He even mentioned that we don't have a Socialist Party and a far right Conservative party that are ideologically split. he said that both political parties are "playing on the 40 yard line". This is an admission that both political parties in the United States are on the same page. To this Socialist, I can only hope that one day we will have a Socialist party in this country that is viable and can reflect the will of Americans that have seen their "Middle Class" shrink by 20% in the last decade.
All in all, the President has shown once again that he is a great orator and public speaker. MSNBC managed to appear to be a probing independent journalistic news station while actually pandering to the Democrats. The interview was a waste of my time.