Safe and Sound

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S SPEECH TO CONGRESS, 2/24/09

This is a Commander.  This is a Chief.  This is a leader.  May he stay safe.

I have never heard a speech like this in my entire life.  We elected the right man.  May he stay safe.

President Obama tonight took his campaign rhetoric and firmly placed it on the front lines of the United States of America.  His dedication to energy independence, health care reform and education betterment will transform us as a nation and as individuals.  We have the blueprint of a new, higher standard laid out before us.  It will be a difficult road to tow, this recovery, and the scars will never be erased, but the opportunity is incredible.  We need to get it right.  President Obama will lead us on that straight and narrow.  May he stay safe.

President Obama’s speech called this our “day of reckoning.”  We can not continue to sacrifice long-term planning and goals for short term profits.  This reflects one of my consistent themes: that carefully designed, well-thought out and monitored implementation of modern policy must have precedence over immediate gratification.

With regard to energy independence, I found myself listening in mid-2008 to T. Boone Pickens, the oil magnate, who spent his own money to pay for an advertising barrage to educate us and make a case for a complete energy overhaul.  Then, when oil prices steeply declined late last year, I did not hear any more from Pickens.  This week, he is back.  Despite the man’s political leanings (and I really do not know what they are) and his past as an oil baron, what he is proposing makes sense.  He explained today that for the U.S. to be at the mercy of foreign oil prices is a total forfeiture of our country’s future.  Instead of paying what is basically a subsidy to oil nations, we need to develop our own resources and alternative energy.  This way then, we would not only stop sending our dollars abroad but also be developing real energy independence.  Obvious by-products would be job creation and measures to battle global warming.  OUR nation should be the only nation we subsidize in energy development.

Obama said the same thing about health care reform tonight.  The skyrocketing costs of health care have caused many business to move overseas and even worse, have made many enterprises just plain go out of business.  As a result of this domino effect, we have lost an incredible number of jobs.  The spiral continues downward, each previous lack of policy causing another brick to collapse.  Over the last decades, it has been simply a fluke that private industry became responsible for our nation’s health care.  This practice is not tenable anymore.  It has never been more obvious than the nose on your face that we need a completely different system, because what we have now is not a system in any way, shape or form.

Obama’s third challenge tonight addressed education.  While two-thirds of our school buildings are in dire need of refurbishment, while we constantly harp on whether or not religion should have a presence in our public schools, while our elected officials never consider education as a real issue because children do not have the vote, we are suffering globally because we are not delivering to our children what they need and ultimately, what we need as a competitive, prosperous and respected nation.  Shame on us.  On a personal note, Obama proved himself to be a man after my own heart: he called on parents to turn off the television, shut down the video games and read to their children.  He spoke to the common sense in all of us, and he also spoke from his role as a father of two young daughters.  He has been there, he has done it, and his rationale is first-hand.

Our past policies (or lack, thereof) on all three of these issues —– energy, health care and education —– has been penny wise and pound foolish.  We concentrated on the immediate results and forewent the hard work and innovation we truly needed to ensure a better future.

This recession has magnified the waste and greed of our ways and Obama is calling us on the carpet here and now.  This stimulus package is only the first step towards recovery; he admitted that there will be more requests for funding.  He appealed to Congress tonight for their help because “we can not consign ourselves to an open-ended recession.”  This recovery IS “government catalyzed,” but at the same time, it is exactly this stimulus that will produce investment, growth and prosperity.  Additionally, when we clean up our own house our international standing will also undergo a rebirth.

As I have said for over a year, this man Obama is eloquent not only in his speech but also in the content of his words.  Every noun, verb, adjective he used, individually and linked together, created an understandable thesis.  His plain explanations are the crowning glory of his eloquence.  Above all, his presentation tonight perfectly balanced the severity of our economic, social and confidence crises with an excitement for a successful, innovative recovery.  His honesty was refreshing; he warned us that this process is going to be slow and will not happen overnight.  He laid out factual, specific plans to ensure our country viability and continuity with accountability.  Tonight’s speech WILL go down in the annals of history as a measure of our 44th President.  If Obama can accomplish what he has set out to do, or at least a major portion of it, his oratory tonight will be the benchmark in the renovation, a new high point, of our country.  If we do this right, we can turn tragedy into wonderful opportunity.

We are so lucky to have this man as our leader.  Two years ago I became very excited about this man Obama because for once in their lives, my children had a national leader who they could actually admire.  Little did I know that this man would be a man for the ages.  Tonight I was awed by the content, delivery and passion of his speech.  President Obama is so right in the place that he occupies now.  He is a gift to all of us.  We need to follow his lead.

May he stay safe.

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2 Responses to “Safe and Sound”

  1. amy lilley Says:

    amen, amen, amen to every noun, verb and adjective you have used in this post…

    may he stay safe…

  2. Natalie Rosen Says:

    Again, I could not have said it better myself. His speech was brilliant we were riveted on every word. At time the tears welled up. Finally, finally finally a leader who can articulate, understands history, knows policy and READS! Jindal looked pathetic after Obma’s speech. He LOOKED pathetic because the Republican message is bankrupt. (pardon the pun). CNBC will spew their rancid policies against Obama that have no use but spew them they will. We must try not to let them bother us and HOPE always HOPE Obama’s ideas prevail!

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