This is the week when everyone in Washington, and even some of us in the rest of the country, become aspiring State of the Union speech writers.  The papers are full of speculation about what the president will say and even more advice about what he should say.

The conventional consensus, 36 hours out, is that he will talk about jobs.  Now there is a safe bet.  Of course he will talk about jobs.  We still have over nine percent unemployment, large corporate cash reserves and little expansion investment, and workers who are giving up the search.  He will talk about the need for investment in education and training, in new technologies, in less regulation for job-creating small businesses, and how we must become competitive in innovation.  Democrats will cheer.  Republicans will sit on their hands, and in interviews afterwards criticize him for not cutting more spending–in the abstract.

Beyond the predictable, however, a few of us would like to hear something else.  A reminder of the principles upon which our nation was founded.  The ideals of self-reliance, but also of community.  Beneath the strains of more government-less government, more spending-less spending, leave-me-alone versus the commonwealth lies the deeper question: what kind of society do we want?

The president alone can authoritatively answer that question, at least based on his own perspective.  He can suggest that the best way to liberate the energies of the individual is to create a nation that cares about the individual.  The best way to let people stand on their own two feet is to help create an economic platform to stand on.  The best way to preserve freedom and liberty is for all of us–together–to build a society in which everyone can share and no one is left behind.  The best way up is on a ladder that all can climb.

Having heard all the old arguments before, some of my generation have moved beyond the old quarrels and the stale rhetoric and the worn out ideological disputes.  We want to return to the principles and ideals which make our nation unique.  And by that return, we believe that we can leave the debris of the past behind and all move forward together.

8 Responses to “We Are All Presidential Speechwriters”

  1. Tweets that mention We Are All Presidential Speechwriters | Matters of Principle -- Says:

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  2. T. Dunne Says:

    I’m all on board with that. Know where we can find a real Government with functioning politicians that can actually help “US” achieve that goal?

    Because I watch C-Span and I gotta tell you, my faith in America’s ability to pull out of this downward spiral is nil. Honestly, I expect to turn it on tomorrow just in time to watch the GOP challenging the DEMS to a belching and flatulence contest.

    Meanwhile, a hundred families will lose their house this month and another 200 will die in one of our many senseless, expensive, stupid oil wars.

    Oh yeah, future’s looking so bright, I gotta wear shades!

    So how are things among the rich and powerful these days?

  3. Jim Engelking Says:

    I could not have said it better, Gary. We have a President who understands in his bones the essence of community. He has been teaching us by his leadership and example what it is and how to build it wherever we are. At my advanced age, I’ve been learning, or relearning, about being a brother. About seeing a brother or a sister when I look at someone else. It’s a lot like being a shipmate in the Navy, or a fellow scout in the Boy Scouts, or a classmate from the first day of kindergarden, or just a good neighbor. The principles of community are not new, but have just been ignored too long. Cheers. Jim

  4. MinerSam Says:

    This is all good HOWEVER:

    For people to accept this The President must Educate the electorate that DEBUNKS Repbulican Propaganda (that is repeated on every station and creates a bridge that opens people minds up to what you are saying:

    (1)One-Time Stimulis ==Tiny fraction of impact on Long Term debt. Example
    (2)However the Republican Prescription Drug bill COSTS $500B EVERY YEAR
    (3)Looking like the $700B Bail out will only Cost tax payers $28B
    (4)Saving the US Car Industry = 750,000 jobs & Millions in the Supply Chain.
    (5)Mainly Obama Put Trillions Off Ballance Sheet debt back into the Budget

    (6)Unemployement = 175% Return on Investment because it keeps the PEOPLE the
    unemployed BUY FROM Empployed. Only 9% of Tax cuts for rich went to US Jobs
    (7)Investing in Training & R&D == 1,000% Return on Investment

    (8)Past Invesments by The National Institutes of Health, Energy Department,
    NASA and the Pentagon Where at the CORE OF MANY SUCCESSFUL INDUSTRIES.

    (9)A Major CAUSE of Annual Budget Deficit -40%– is all High Unemployement.

    This is important because the Republicans (who control 90% of US Drive time and 80% of a Media have persuaded millions of Americans busy with their lives
    and who are not psychic that

    (A)That the debt is the CAUSE of the financial meldown and
    (B)Turned the Employed agaist the Unemployed.
    (C)Though Republicans destroyed (FEMA, SEC, MMA, CPSD)people are not making the connection that every tragedy we endured was CAUSED by the Implemntation of Republican hatred of our Government.
    (D)They also Divided us one group against another: Veteran against Veteran, Catholic vs. Catholic, Christians against LGBT, Employer against employee,
    Workers against Unions, State vs State etc. ect. etc. Through demonization.

    AND A MAJOR BRAINWASH == “We do not have a Revenue Problem”

    See what I mean?

  5. Christine Gallo Says:

    “Create a nation that cares about the individual”, a concept much on my mind as time goes by with another administration turning a blind eye to torture being inflicted on a young man at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia. Are we having to endure this again, under yet another President, one we thought was better educated, more enlightened?

    I’m sorry, but I think I have reached my limit. As a nation we seem to have become numb to the pain and suffering we are inflicting on one another. Robber Barons are back in business, prohibition and its drug wars are making parts of this country uninhabitable, we have lost our pensions, retirement accounts, homes, jobs and health care all because of banks gambling with money that didn’t belong to them, but was “guaranteed” by our tax dollars. We lost twice, and banks have yet to be held accountable.

    But the worst, most criminal, cruel and inhumane violation of human rights that is occurring right now, under this President sickens me. The way this young boy, barely in his twenties, is being treated is illegal. What is happening is grounds for impeachment, and removal from office for the President, Quantico’s Commander in charge and the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, at a minimum.

    As long as this barbaric behavior is allowed to continue, our inhumanity to one another will simply grow. President Obama will stand and deliver his address to the nation, but unless he can demonstrate that the least among us matters to him as much as his Wall Street cronies, I’m afraid whatever concern he expresses about job creation, education and helping the small businessman will sound hollow. They will be the words of a false prophet.

  6. Neil Daniel Says:

    So you have any ideas on overcoming the need for saintly leaders? How do we spread truth? I’m doing all I can but I don’t think it’s enough.

  7. Gary Hart Says:

    As always, thanks to those who have commented here. T. Dunne asks how things are with the rich and powerful. Being neither, I’m the wrong person to ask. But if I run into anyone who is either rich or powerful or both, I’ll inquire and report back.

  8. Tom Gleason Says:

    Bravo, Gary! We are as a nation desperate to move beyond the stale rhetoric and ideological disputes. Our children’s and grandchildren’s futures will depend on it. You have the ability to play a major role in that effort. It may be one of the most important contributions you will ever make.

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