Obama’s Harder Path
I got tired of hearing Osama Bin Laden get killed over and over again last night–it was like they kept dragging his remains out of their watery grave and rhetorically putting them on display. At one point I was startled to realize that the president was using Fracking as an applause line (“a future where….we develop a hundred-year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet…. we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone”).
I’m genuinely glad that GM is still open for business and that there is net growth in manufacturing for the first time in decades, but I am long past believing that with a little more regulation here, a little more equity there, corporate capitalism can be repaired and redeemed.
I wish Obama had been a more progressive president than he’s been, that his administration’s record on civil rights was better, and that his vision for the next four years was bolder and less incremental than the one he offered up last night, because I admire him and trust him and support him and I believe that our country has profound structural problems that desperately need to be addressed.
But when I remember who and what the alternative is, I can only hope that he is getting through to the demographic that he pitched his speech to. Because if Obama hasn’t brought us to the promised land, the backwards journey that Romney/Ryan proposes to take us on is simply unthinkable.
For the record, this is the line that brought me out of my seat:
We don’t think the government can solve all of our problems, but we don’t think the government is the source of all of our problems — any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles — because — because America, we understand that this democracy is ours.
Ours. Not in the Clint Eastwood “we own this country” sense, but in the “we don’t turn back, we leave no one behind, we pull each other up” sense. “If you reject the notion that this nation’s promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election,” he said. Amen. “If you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election.”
What moved me the most, what gives me hope, was the spectacle of the delegates: white, black, brown and Asian; young and old; male and female. I loved seeing all those turbans and headscarves and saris.
It looked like the America that I live in.
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