We, the People.
While Odd and politics certainly have a lot in common, I would have probably steered clear of this post, if the blog post, Tsk, Tsk Mr. President. Are You For Us Or Against Us? on They Call Me Jane, had not riled me up and poured me a cup of courage. I heard President Obama’s speech in Madison on NPR, was angered by it, and wanted to add my opinion to the blog mix.
On November 4, 2008, the ballots were counted and Barack Obama became our 44th President. Over 125,000 people crowded into Grant Park in Chicago to celebrate his victory. It was estimated that a million Chicagoans jammed the streets, watching on a large television screen outside the park.
On January 20th, 2009, President Obama was sworn into office, and began his inauguration speech, “My fellow citizens…” and spoke about how WE, THE PEOPLE have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers and true to our founding documents.
I did not vote for President Obama, but once the campaign was over, and the votes were counted, I became a part of We, the People. I supported his promise for change, and while I might disagree with OUR President’s solutions to the issues, I have supported him as OUR President.
Having offered President Obama my support as our President, his speech in Madison, Wisconsin offended me. As President, he took the low road – the road that separated the American people into US and Them.
Here are three excerpts from the President’s Madison speech: (quoted first on NPR and second from They Call Me Jane)
“I hoped and expected that we could get beyond some of the old political divides between Democrats and Republicans, blue states and red states that had prevented us from making progress for so long, because although we are proud to be Democrats, we are prouder to be Americans.
“The other side would have you believe this election is a referendum on me or a referendum on the economy, a referendum on anything except them. But make no mistake. This election is a choice. And the choice could not be clearer. If the other side does win, they will spend the next two years fighting for the very same policies that led to this recession in the first place.”
“If the other side does win, they will spend the next two years fighting for the very same policies that led to this recession in the first place.”
With these words, OUR President divided our country into two sides and then pitted the sides against one another. While this offends me, here is what really angers me. In my opinion, at this moment in our history together as Americans, there is nothing that can be more important than coming together. United, We Stand. What better person to lead us in unity than the President of The United States? If you want us to drive the car forward, drive forward. Lead by example, Mr. President.
I’m not naïve. I understand the need to campaign for re-election. However, I think the Madison speech was given by the wrong person, at the wrong time and place. This was not a speech written for the President of the United States. This was a speech written to be given by a Presidential candidate, or at the very least, the leader of the Democratic party.
It’s past time for President Barack Obama to represent ALL the American people, Democrats and Republicans alike, and to work toward uniting us on the issues that divide us.
Mr. President, the Madison speech needs work – perhaps from the inside out.
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