Give ‘em hell, Mr. President.
That’s what I found myself yelling at the TV screen
yesterday as I watched Barack Obama give it all he’s got to try to bring this
country together so we can get back on track and regain our No. 1 standing in
the world, as he put it.
Here he was appealing to our better natures in urging us all
to put aside our personal and collective ideologies and do the hard work
managing our affairs and our money better, to reach deep inside to the heart of
what it means to be an American and balance our own needs and interests with
those of others.
I was astonished when minutes after what I thought was a
great speech, CNN – the voice of the passion- less — cut off the discussion
and moved on to mindless blather about vague worries and months-old concerns that
terrorists MIGHT strike on the 10 anniversary of 9-11.
Could they be right that Americans are more worried about an
act of terrorism than what this profound economic and political crisis is doing
to the country, to our future?
What the talking heads of the left and right did during the
hour after the President spoke was far more calculating. They demeaned
everything the President said, trivializing his effort to change the conversation
and stop the free-fall decline of America as nothing but political cunning as
MSNBC put it, or pointless as Fox characterized it.
Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney went head to head
with Bill O’Reilly who began their chat by warning he hoped his guest would
still be happy to have appeared on “The Factor” for the first time after he was
put through the ringer of total disbelief.
O’Reilly first question went to the heart of the matter:
What was the point of the President’s effort to reach out when Republicans will
never vote for his plan because they took blood-oaths to never raise taxes on
anyone, especially the rich?
There can’t be any doubt that we have reached the point
where our cynicism fed by corporate media has made any form of since honest
It’s all just become a game of verbal jousting where points
are scored – which may explain why the President of the United States was
forced to speak to the nation at a joint session of Congress at 4 p.m. Pacific
Time to avoid conflict with the start of the NFL season. Football is what we
all live for, isn’t it?
I’m no pansy when it comes to criticizing public officials
from LA to Sacramento and beyond for their long-time failure to serve the
public interest, for their selling out to special interests as if there were
never going to be dire consequences.
But I see in where Obama is going that he sees the potential for calamity — and not just to his own political fortunes — if we keep engaging in this
political death struggle as if even the slightest tax increase or reduction in
public employee payroll costs will cause the Sun to stop shining.
The world as we’ve known it is ending and we need to radically change our ways to
avoid turning the difficulties we now face into a catastrophe that will hurt a
lot of people, a lot more than the millions who already are feeling the pain of
three years of economic decline and decades of failed leadership.
The era of domination of our society by big government, big business and big labor must end. They have had their day since the end of World War II but they can’t generate wealth anymore and that’s what kept us in line all these years.
You don’t have to agree with the President. You don’t have to like him. But he in the President and he’s opened the door to start a conversation about how we begin to reinvent America.
We can either join this debate or escalate the destructive political wars of recent years.