Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
15 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

What Might Martin Luther King Say To Obama Now?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 7   Valuable 7   Must Read 6  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H2 8/18/11
Become a Fan
  (19 fans)

opednews.com

Much else has been forgiven, or blithely ignored, but for many this was the last straw.

Obama's failure to mount even a mild defense of the social contract during the fake debt ceiling crisis has caused many to ask if the man ever really wanted to be president, or was he simply delivering exactly what was expected.

Before we get to the matter of his intent, let's state the obvious, that, of course, Obama wanted it.  Like Sauron in search of the One Ring, Obama bent all his will toward the presidency.  His rise to prominence could not have been better scripted -- early years as a community activist, seven years in the Illinois state senate, and two years as a US Senator set the stage for his presidential bid.  Along the way, he crafted a compelling narrative which culminated in his keynote address to the 2004 Democratic Convention.   He became the rising star of the Democratic Party on the basis of his style and oratory and message of hope.

More interesting than whether he wanted the presidency, is what he wanted to do with it when he got it.  And candidate Obama was quite clear about what he would do:

 - "We need a President who sees government not as a tool to enrich well-connected friends and high-priced lobbyists, but as the defender of fairness and opportunity for every American; 

 - We cannot settle for a second Gilded Age in America.  And yet we find ourselves once more in the midst of a new economy where more wealth is in danger of falling into fewer hands; where the average CEO now earns more in one day than an average worker earns in an entire year; 

 - It's time we had a President who tells the drug companies and the oil companies and the insurance industry that while they get a seat at the table in Washington, they don't get to buy every chair;

 - I know that in every campaign, politicians make promises about cleaning up Washington.  So it's easy to become cynical.  I know that for me, reform isn't just the rhetoric of a campaign; it's been a cause of my career;

 - As a candidate for President, I've tried to lead by example, turning down all contributions from federal lobbyists and the political action committees that the special interests use to pass out campaign money;

 - We will return government to the people by bringing government to the people -- by making it open and transparent so that anyone can see that our business is the people's business;

 - It's time to renew a people's politics in this country -- to ensure that the hopes and concerns of average Americans speak louder in Washington than the hallway whispers of high-priced lobbyists;

 - Early in his presidency, Teddy Roosevelt gave a famous speech before farmers and factory workers that laid out his vision of what government at its best should be. He said, "The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us, and therefore in public life, that man is the best representative...whose endeavor it is not to represent any special class or interest, but to represent all...by working for our common country."  It's time to get to work once more for our common country.  It's time we had a politics that reflected that commitment."

These remarks, from a 2007 campaign speech called Taking our Government Back, are consistent with his repeated themes of hope and change; they are also completely at odds with the present-day reality of his administration.  Of all the statements above -- and all should now make Obama wince in shame -- the last is particularly disheartening.  At no point since his election has Obama "laid out his vision of what government at its best should be", much less has he defended it.  The "audacity of hope", the "fierce urgency of now", "Yes, We Can" and "Change We Can Believe In" -- these phrases have long-since been sacrificed on the alter of expediency.  Worse still, they have become gag lines, joining other fan-favorites like "read my lips".  Or, perhaps Matt Taibbi got it right when he asked, following the debt ceiling capitulation,

"Is it possible that by 'surrendering' at the 11th hour 

and signing off on a deal that presages deep cuts in spending

Next Page  1  |  2

 

http://corporateconstraint.blogspot.com

David Ruhlen is a writer and musician living in Canada. He notes with great alarm the profoundly negative trends that will increasingly affect us all. And the trends that have come to so completely reflect the human condition are these: (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Wealth and Democracy

Class Warfare: More Than The Money

Voting Against Our Own Best Interests

Corporate Crime of the Week: JP Morgan Chase & Co.

What Might Martin Luther King Say To Obama Now?

Canada's Shameless Record Getting Worse

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
8 people are discussing this page, with 15 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

As in, opportunities missed.A recent post in the N... by David Ruhlen on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 8:07:18 AM
No one talks about the rhetoric of the campaign af... by Tom Lewicki on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 9:26:55 AM
Appreciate the comment, thanks.If you're intereste... by David Ruhlen on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 9:44:28 AM
One often hears party-machine Democrats not just e... by PCM on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 9:54:22 AM
for your most kind and generous comments PCM, than... by David Ruhlen on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 10:27:56 AM
Obama  had proven exactly what we all knew- t... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 10:15:19 AM
but he did sell out, and it was in the plan from t... by David Ruhlen on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 10:41:42 AM
but we also should learn not to believe in illusi... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 12:24:54 PM
Obama certainly did reveal enough about himself th... by David Ruhlen on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 12:59:19 PM
Rob Kall has posted a survey at the top of the pag... by David Ruhlen on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 11:54:35 AM
As PCM noted above, a very well argued and well wr... by Consuelo Hernandez on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 12:36:30 PM
what the  Rev.King would be saying to the Ame... by comncents on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 6:38:14 PM
The president saw future votes a promise of a Grea... by Margaret Bassett on Friday, Aug 19, 2011 at 9:00:19 AM
This article ties nicely to Rob Kall's survey on w... by David Ruhlen on Friday, Aug 19, 2011 at 10:09:13 AM
Obama's record speaks for itself.   It is ... by Robert James on Friday, Aug 19, 2011 at 7:59:35 PM