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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23 thoughts on “We, The People”
I disagree. I think the President needed to say what he said when he said it and everyday from this day forward until the November elections are over! I did vote for him and respect and agree with his polotical ideals. I am grateful for his courage to speak his mind and to pull us out of the deep pit of economic doom that nearly crippled us so badly that We The People will no longer exist forever more. We cannot sit by and pretend the damage done by the pevious administration was no big deal! We can’t allow these people of NO to take over the Senate and House only to move back in the deep ditch again! I am sorry this is too important! The president moved many young people that day to get involved and vote if they agree with him. I was so very proud of that speech. Very proud!
This was not a strong speech–it blamed, it separated, it seemed desperate.
Will I vote for him again? Depends on what real effort and real change I see in the next 15 or so months.
There are better ways to “campaign” the President could have talked about the Democratic candidates he was supporting. Russ Feingold (U.S. State Senator) for example.
I voted for the President. I have been a Democrat my whole life but I think President Obama needs to stop approaching every speech like a campaign speech. Frankly, I am a little tired of his approach. Will I vote for him again? I’m not sure he has a lot to show me in the next 1 1/2 years
I voted for President Obama. I was excited by the idea of change but I agree this speech was not one of his better one’s.
Our President needs to focus on the issues. The campaigning and the blame is getting old. I agree, it may take time but if he wants to be reelected he better start taking responsibility.
I live in Madison and went to hear speech. I was disappointed. I wanted something different. I think the President is trying has good ideas and I do think it will take time. These are the things that interest me…what is being done, where we are driving to, and what he thinks he can accomplish in the next 15 months. Our President is whining and blaming more than he needs to….I support his efforts but he has to show me more sign posts along our drive that say “I DO …”
My feeling is he is going to lose the flashy support of a lot of the younger people and needs to talk to the Older folk–who do realize change does take time.
And yes, it offended me that he separated us into them and us–Because I was one of the “them” that voted for him.
Funny–I was a “them” that voted for him, too!
Rebublican vote that thought he could, hoped he could but he hasn’t—he CAN Campaign really well, tho!!! 😀
Republican that Voted for Obama! Doubtful he will keep my vote, tho. To much talk and to little action.
The President is the head of his political party, but unless he know something most American’s don’t–the economy is still on the brink. With control of both houses, and lots of sympathetic judges, it’s surprising he’s not getting his agenda through.
“Republicans are being obstructionist” Not. The fact is the Democrats have large majorities and can’t get their own in line.
I guess I’m still wondering “where was Russ Feingold”
Russ Feingold and Obama didn’t appear together. Feingold spoke for a few minutes and left the stage. Then, Tom Barrett was up next to introduce Obama. Feingold never was on stage standing with Obama.
Poor planning by accident…or poor planning on purpose.
Democrat or Republican, President Obama is a very good and influential speaker. I hope he is able to fire a lot of people up before the next election!
I voted for Obama. I have high hopes that he will continue to push for change over the next 15 months because frankly I’m disappointed at what he has managed to accomplish so far. I knew he was inexperienced when he ran for office but I thought he would grow with his time in office–he campaigns and blames way to much for being this far in the game.
God Bless Our Country, Our President, and the strength and generosity of All American People
I am staying very neutral here—Thanks for introducing me to They Call Me Jane’s blog! 😀
Obama is not the first nor will he be the last to spend most of most of his “talk time” putting down and blaming what came before them. Frankly, I am always more interested in hearing what the President does or does not support–than his opinion on who is or isn’t to blame.
Great post! And the comments have added more depth to the issue. Thanks, Katybeth, for this wonderfully inspired post 😉 and thanks to all of you who gave your 2 cents. I really appreciate all the different opinions – it’s what makes our country great!
Wonderfully inspired! I agree.
My 3 kids were very upset with me because I would not vote for Obama. Upset t 😥 o the point where I told them why and they said to me, lets agree to disagree. I said okay but as soon as I am right you must let me know. They have all decided I was right. They will not vote for him again. I am a Republican. I am however disappointed in the Republicans now more than ever because they gave in to the pressure of public opinion and voted for things they didn’t agree with. I will not blindly vote with the Republicans again, because I need politicians representing me- who are strong enough to stand up for what we believe in and not back down. Especially since some very important issue are in front of us. Obama set out in the beginning to divide and conquer. I said then, how can he separate We, The American People. United we stand and divided we fall. God bless America. Pray hard, research and VOTE. 🙄
I did not respond to this post for a few days because frankly I thought it was rather simplistic as were the follow up comments. I thought the President made a strong speech in Madison. I voted for him and respect the changes he is trying to make. He came into office with a lot of problems to overcome.
I’m informed, and as you know part of the political process. Joe and I went toe to toe during the election. From your small sample of comments, tho, I can see how President Obama is starting to irritate people. Even the people that voted for him and might like to vote for him again. What worked to get him elected might not work to get him re-elected. Perhaps over the next fifteen months our President needs to talk a little
less about himself and listen a little bit better to all American’s.
Thanks Katybeth. You are kind and You are thoughtful. I have always appreciated that about you. Now, try really hard to be a Good American and vote for President Obama next time, will ya? OX
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