|Stop me if you've heard this one before...|
"It* will only happen if we fix our politics*.I swear to you dear reader that I am not making this up - I copied and pasted it directly from the speech and, as annotation demonstrates, the President of the United States does not understand the nations founding, democracy, citizenship, history or his post-Presidential responsibilities.
A better politics doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything*. This is a big country, with different regions and attitudes and interests. That’s one of our strengths, too. Our Founders distributed power between states and branches of government*, and expected us to argue, just as they did, over the size and shape of government*, over commerce and foreign relations*, over the meaning of liberty and the imperatives of security*.
But democracy does require basic bonds of trust between its citizens*. It doesn’t work* if we think the people who disagree with us are all* motivated by malice, or that our political opponents are unpatriotic*. Democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise*; or when even basic facts are contested*, and we listen only to those who agree with us*. Our public life withers when only the most extreme voices get attention*. Most of all, democracy breaks down when the average person feels their voice doesn’t matter*; that the system is rigged* in favor of the rich or the powerful or some narrow interest*.
Too many Americans feel that way right now. It’s one of the few regrets* of my presidency – that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. There’s no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln* or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide, and I guarantee I’ll keep trying to be better so long as I hold this office."
- It - As in "the future"
- fix our politics - This "fix our politics" line was unctuous back in 2008 and it's only become worse over time. What a bunch of pie-in-the-sky, lazy, cliched bullshit this sophistry represents.
- agree on everything - Great point. No, we don't have to agree on everything Chairman Mao - in fact we can agree on very few things and still have a "democracy".
- distributed power between states and branches of government - Actually, no, the founders put most power for day-to-day operations in the hands of the states, but made the Federal Government the supreme power. Because the Federal Government was all powerful its authority was circumscribed and "checked" by three co-equal branches of government and, further more, specific restrictions were placed upon the Federal Government. These restrictions - the Bill of Rights - were the quid pro quo required by the states to ensure ratification of the US Constitution.
- size and shape of government - see above.
- commerce and foreign relations - again, these issues are clearly delineated in the US Constitution
- meaning of liberty and the imperatives of security - Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is, to some minds, rather ambiguous and certainly IS worth arguing over.
- democracy does require bonds of trust between its citizens - NO IT DOES NOT nor is there ever likely to be a democracy (or any other political entity) that enjoys bonds of trust between citizens. Adults do not blindly trust each other and political parties certainly do not - they have competing interests and will often stoop to egregious moral depths to achieve their aims - this President should know this (he must know this, right?).
- It doesn't work - "It" being democracy. Great, now you tell us. 200+ years and the whole time we were fooling ourselves into believing we had a working model of governance.
- all - Who in their right mind believes that "all" people who disagree with them are doing so out of malice? Only a clinical narcissist could hold such an opinion.
- opponents are unpatriotic - The cold hard truth of the matter is that there are US citizens who ARE unpatriotic - these traitors do not like or admire the USA or The People by whom the Federal Government was created. You can either accept that fact (reality) or deny it (illusion) but if you choose option 2 you can't demand that every citizen buy into your daydream.
- Democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise - NO IT DOES NOT. Democracy does just fine without compromise. In fact, democracy overrides obstinance by design and is the reason we keep moving forward despite recalcitrant objectors on every front. Ideas, policy and leadership are presented, mulled over and voted on - many times the margin of victory is very thin meaning that 49% of the citizens just have to lump it until the next vote comes around.
- basic facts are contested - methinks the President is referencing
global warming, er, climate change here but the BIG FACT is that there are no "basic facts" in politics. Everything can, and should, be contested and argued with skepticism and prudence.
- those who agree with us - In a Republic comprised of democratically elected representatives it is imperative that we listen to both those who agree with us and those that disagree, but I ask, in all honesty, which side has the loudest megaphone? And which side proposes laws and regulations to silence or drive underground the apposing view? In my opinion it's Barack Obama's side and though my view is primarily supported through empirical evidence I feel sure I could find "basic facts" that would back it up.
- only the most extreme voices get attention - This guys giving the State of the Union address on every network, live streamed from the White House, broadcast everywhere and has the gall to say this. He's followed by Gov. Nikki Haley who gives the official GOP response and urges calm. The extreme voices get very little attention and the "most extreme voices" get no attention whatsoever - zero, nada, silence.
- democracy breaks down when the average person feels their voice doesn’t matter - Since when? Democracy doesn't "break down" when the "average person" feels disempowered but gets invigorated. It's the whole reason to have a democracy in the first place - to a give the individual citizen a vote is to give them a voice - a say in the direction of their country. What does "break down" or erode the value of that obligation is capricious regulations invested with the weight of law administered by unelected agency heads, whimsical judicial edicts justified by imaginative interpretation of the law and executive orders that overrule the will of the people as expressed through their democratically elected representatives.
- the system is rigged - Ahh yes, the system - the fix is in and all the democracy gloss won't change a thing.
- rich or the powerful or some narrow interest - The rich being folks like most members of Congress. The powerful being the President of the United States (hard to get more powerful than that). Some narrow interest and here the list grows very, very long but what if the villainous interest is not narrow at all but is, in fact a $3+ Trillion enterprise (currently $20T in debt) that directly or indirectly pays the salary of 1/6th of the American workers - what do you do about THAT "interest?"
- Few regrets - If there are just a few then please innumerate the other regrets before taking your final global lap in Air Force One and yucking it up with fawning celebrities. After 7 years of mismanagement and abject failure on the foreign and domestic front "my regrets are few - I've had a great ride so thanks a lot, suckers."
- Lincoln - It must be said, because apparently neither Obama or any of his speech writers know this, that Lincoln was not great at bridging the partisan divide of his day. The "basic fact" is that during Lincoln's Presidency the United States descended into civil war that killed over 500,000 people and impoverished the Southern States for 100 years.
- FDR - Those same Southern States began their phoenix like rise with the overwhelming election of FDR in 1932 and gave the new President an unassailable majority that required very little bridging to achieve legislative success. This was particularly true after the 1934 Congressional elections that GREW the Democrat majority on Capitol Hill (democracy in action).
- so long as I hold this office - Because Barack is a relatively young man there are, theoretically, many enterprises he might work for or even lead post Presidency but because BHO has no discernible talent other than windbaggery it is unlikely that he'll be hired by any organization other than his own 501c4. So long as he's President he'll temper his remarks, but once he's out of office you better step back brother because he's gonna let her rip.
President Obama aspires to be a Lincoln or FDR but he is, in reality, a Buchanan or Hoover. He is not the future, but the past - a last gasp attempt by the DC cartel to preserve the Post-1932 domestic political order. It's fading away - in most ways it's already gone and he'll never be able to get it back.