The open meeting of President Obama with the Republican members of Congress was a good step. It should have convinced him how stubbornly they hold on to their ideology.
Now is the time for him to also meet with the people who elected him, the progressives of this country and the young people who expected him to change the politics of Washington. These are the people he has forgotten. They are missing in his choice of advisers, they are missing in his decision-making. They are missing in Washington and in Wall Street.
In the great debate on health care, single-payer or Medicare-for-All, favored by 70% of the people in this country, was off the table. His state-of-the-union speech inviting those with good ideas for health care to let him know, didn't include Dr. Margaret Flowers, whose letter was rejected at the White House.
In the great reflection on Afghanistan policy, the military solution took precedence over the voices of Afghanistan Ambassador Eichenberg and humanitarian hero Greg Mortenson. In Middle East negotiations, it's business as usual: the U.S. suggests, Israel refuses, Palestinians suffer. Occupation continues, settlements increase. The disaster of Gaza following Israel's assault and continuing blockade is ignored. The defense budget takes up at least 56% of our budget (more including supplemental appropriations and homeland security), and domestic discretionary funding is cut back.
In the great economic recession Wall Street is saved while Americans lose their homes and their jobs. The persons who caused the collapse are put in charge of fixing it... as they see fit of course. No one is held accountable for their actions. This also applies to past actions in the so-called "war on terrorism", which we fight because we are too arrogant to examine "why" these people hate us. Can our foreign policy have something to do with it? Can we put human rights on the back burner?
Yes, now is the time for President Obama to meet with the people who elected him, to listen to progressive voices, voices for peace and for the people, and to show the courage to make the changes he promised. Unfortunately, he's in with the wrong crowd. Let's raise our voices and tell him: Listen To Us, too.