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The state of the union and Obama's moment to shine

By       Message Brent Budowsky       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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It is Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) moment and here is how he can make the most of it:

Lead a national mobilization and call to action for an American commitment to our troops and vets that surpasses anything done in America since the Second World War…

To be the true heir to Kennedy and Roosevelt, Obama must do what they did: touch the heartland of America that seeks authenticity, integrity, courage and good will in our national life…

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Imagine if Obama went to veterans in New Hampshire and South Carolina and said we are not a slacker generation that permits troops to die preventable deaths while others return home to $650 billion of unmet needs, according to leading experts.

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Imagine if Obama asks Americans to buy a soldier bond, or pay a soldier surtax, to give troops and vets everything they have earned through their service.

Imagine if Obama asked leading Democratic financiers such as Warren Buffet and Robert Rubin to write a plan and went to the movie stars and studio heads, the record labels and performing artists, the great authors and publishing houses, the investment bankers and venture capitalists and everyone from Main Street to Wall Street and houses of worship of every faith, to join together in a national communion of honor and patriotism.

Imagine if Obama, Clinton, McCain or another candidate promised that after winning the election he or she would stand with leaders of our veterans groups and the clergy of our faiths and say that never in America should even one veteran freeze to death because of $100 oil, starve to death without a loaf of bread, or suffer indignity or neglect, in a great nation of good people ready to offer a salute to their service and a hand to give them hope.

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Imagine if Barack Obama would announce that he will donate the first evening of the Democratic Convention itself to a great tribute to the last survivors of the greatest generation, and use that evening to give veterans groups a national forum to seek volunteers from every corner of America.

The state of our union is great, and that very greatness makes our politics appear so small, sectarian and sad. We are a nation of endless opportunity, limitless optimism and indescribable hope and good will.

Like every American who has answered the call to service in uniform, we await a leader who will issue a call to service in our homes, families and communities.


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Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on thehill.com. He served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served (more...)

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