In his renomination acceptance speech here on Thursday night, he told us that America’s problems were tougher to solve than he had originally thought.
And that’s why he has kindly agreed to give us more time.
Because, after all, it’s our fault.
“So you see, the election four years ago wasn’t about me,” President Obama explained. “It was about you. My fellow citizens, you were the change.”
We were the change!
We were the change? Us?
I have to admit it: this time Barack Obama is right.
Our political system has grievous faults. Our two parties are far too enthralled to those who finance them. The Boomers make politics a mess.
But we have had two starkly contrasting visions put in front of us, even though in both cases their actualisation is problematic.
The Republicans present an idea that we should return to a country where the system allows people to move up in a real economy. This does not sit well with communitarians or the powers that be, threatened by any upsurge from below, be it revolutionary or in the system.
The Democrats want a system where our government directs how we should go and prevents (or at least mitigates to a large degree) the failure that results. Restless individualists find this stifling, and resist.
That being the case, we are deciding, be it in an imperfect forum, what kind of country we want to be, and the kind of people we want to be. In doing that we, voting from where we’re at, are telling the world–and ourselves–what kind of people we are.
Barack Obama has, to a large extent, done what many people who sent him wanted him to do. They wanted to cut our consumption so that we would have less impact on the environment, especially the release of carbon dioxide. The increase in energy prices and the stall/contraction in the economy has accomplished that. They wanted more people to look to our government for their sustenance, and looking at the statistics on SNAP and SS disability, they’ve succeeded. They wanted nationalised health care and we’re on our way to that (admittedly, Obama is taking the scenic route). They wanted a less adventuresome foreign policy and they got one, albeit one that backs the same kinds of things that they desperately fear their domestic opponents want to impose on them.
So why is the left unhappy with Barack Obama? Because to carry out his agenda the economy has had to stay in the toilet. The left has entertained itself with the delusion that these things could not only thrive in a healthy economy; they would cause it. But, like Solyndra, that was delusional. People like Maureen Dowd would do well to understand the real nature of their own political and economic philosophy before complaining about the results.
It was this combination that sunk Jimmy Carter and brought Ronald Reagan to the White House. So why is Barack Obama ahead in the polls? Because we have changed. In 2008, in all the soaring rhetoric, we said that hope and life came from an earthly messiah, that if he applied his healing touch to our lives, our government and our planet that life would be good. The results are only a failure because the basic framework that Barack Obama and people like him work in does not make a great nation or a prosperous people.
The question we must ask ourselves one more time is whether we really want to be a great nation or a prosperous people, or do we just want to bounce along from generation to generation, watching our best and brightest emigrate to happier shores while those who are left take what’s handed to them. We are frankly too swell-headed to think the latter will ever happen, but given our debt structure we are closer to the latter than we think.
As I say ad nauseam, it’s our move; we need to make it.