President Obama at 2012 DNC: “Choose”
When President Obama stepped into the White House almost four years ago, he had a plan and a vision for this country. Even though he has faced incredible opposition from Republican lawmakers in Congress, he still has succeeded in moving this country forward, though not as much as he first anticipated.
President Obama’s acceptance speech at the 2012 Democratic Nation Convention (DNC) sets the stage for a campaign of Choice of what Americans want America to be. Obama closed the convention, leaving Americans with the options of either continuing down this road of gradual progress, or returning to the policies of the Bush administration, which caused the collapse of our economy in the first place.
President Obama made it clear to those listening that there was a fundamental choice they would be making at the ballot box this election, saying,
“Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace — decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children’s lives for decades to come. On every issue, the choice you face won’t be just between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America; a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.”
President Obama’s message was personal as he talked about how he started his career because of a shuttered steel mill, helping others. Then with a little humor, he made fun of his opponent by saying,
“Now, our friends at the Republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America, but they didn’t have much to say about how they’d make it right. They want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan.”
“Then he added,” And that’s because all they have to offer is the same prescription they’ve had for the last thirty years:
“Have a surplus? Try a tax cut.”
“Deficit too high? Try another.”
“Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!”
Later in his speech, he referred to his Republican opponents’ lack of foreign policy experience when he said,
“My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we’ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly,” said the president before continuing,
“After all, you don’t call Russia our number one enemy – and not al Qaeda – unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War time warp. You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally. My opponent said it was “tragic” to end the war in Iraq, and he won’t tell us how he’ll end the war in Afghanistan. I have, and I will.”
A great deal of what the president said is what he has been saying on the campaign trail about his plans for America, as far as a jobs program that will put Americans back to work fixing our infrastructure. His remarks were,
“And while my opponent would spend more money on military hardware that our Joint Chiefs don’t even want, I’ll use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work – rebuilding roads and bridges; schools and runways. After two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it’s time to do some nation-building right here at home.”
Obama quoted the late President Lincoln when he referred to his own mistakes, saying,
“And while I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together, I’m far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.” But as I stand here tonight, I have never been more hopeful about America.”
Though I found the president’s speech not his best, I do think joined with the other speeches at the convention — which all carry one positive message — that President Obama and Democrats are ready to move the country forward with jobs and paying down the deficit. They have also done well, laying out the case that Republicans will do nothing but take the country back to the Bush years.
The presidential debates will begin next month, starting Oct 3, which I believe will be most pivotal in deciding who shall be our next president. Not only will the debates give all Americans a chance to see both candidates side by side, the candidates’ responses should be telling. Perhaps by then, the Romney ticket can give Americans a more specific plan on where he wishes to take the country, which has been lacking so far in this campaign.
By the end of those debates, I am certain that Americans will be much more clear of whom they want to lead this country and the direction they want it to go; back to the same old policies of the last thirty years or forward into equality for all.