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Joe Conason
Joe Conason
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When Obama Won, So Did America's Future

Comment

What Barack Obama tried to tell America in the hour of his remarkable victory is that the nation's future won on Election Day. Seeking to inspire and to heal, the reelected president offered an open hand to partisan opponents in the style that has always defined him.

"Tonight," he said, "despite all the hardship we've been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I've never been more hopeful about our future."

In the days ahead, there will be time to absorb the magnitude of this moment — achieved under the cloud of persistent unemployment and a multibillion-dollar campaign of calumny — but the president clearly knows that he returns to the White House with a renewed mandate. Against great odds, he won nearly all the same states that elected him in 2008 and won the popular vote despite an enormous, angry backlash in the old Confederacy.

Victory conferred on him the authority to speak of the days and years ahead whose agenda he will shape, not alone, but as a proven leader who knows that "we rise or fall together as one nation and one people." He spoke of a future where the children of immigrants can dream of becoming doctors or diplomats, and the children of workers can dream of becoming president — a future not threatened by excessive debt, worsening inequality and climate change.

It is an inclusive vision of a nation where politics can be big not small, as he said, because the goals of public life are great for everyone — and where the best is still ahead because the adversity, prejudices and illusions of the past are receding.

"That's the future we share," he said.

"That's where we need to go... Our economy is recovering, a decade of war is ending, a long campaign is now over."

How can he "seize that future," as he urged us all to do? The conventional wisdom of Washington punditry is already telling the president that he must "work across the aisle" with the Republicans, who will still control the House in January. But while he acknowledged the necessity to reach out to his opponents — and alluded to his long-held bipartisan spirit — he hinted that he has learned something else during his contentious first term and this hard, grinding campaign.

If he hopes to leave a legacy of accomplishment in his second term, he cannot count on the cooperation of the right-wing rump in Congress. If he wants to tax the wealthy, reject austerity, implement Obamacare and begin to cope with global warming, he will have to rely upon on the people who entrusted him with their votes, their energy, their hope.

"The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote," he said. "America is about what can be done by us together." Mobilizing the public is not only the way to win elections but also the way to win an agenda for the future.

To find out more about Joe Conason, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM



Comments

6 Comments | Post Comment
So in short the president is delusional. We need to talk about the debt, inequality, and unemployment not sugarcoat reality. There are issues regarding Americas future that Obama will make worse, just like he did the first term. Anyone who is hopeful about the next 4 years, contact me at in 2016 and lets evaluate the hope and change.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Thu Nov 8, 2012 6:24 AM
Benghazi!
Comment: #2
Posted by: David Henricks
Thu Nov 8, 2012 7:36 AM
Re: Chris McCoy;... In one respect, Mr. Obama was correct, that Washington cannot be fixed from the inside... It will never be fixed by those who put re-election above fixing the problem, and so long as the people cannot bear the truth of the situation there is no point in telling it to them... I think Marx said something like: The working class are asses...
It is true... All human being have an ass gene that keeps them from thinking of general interest before self interest... If they think their future depends upon a lie they demand that lie from government and those they elect... Mr. Romoney was a crap candidate, but he had the sense to lie, and that sort of intelligence is good for a vote any day... It is just that feeling people get that asking for the time will not get you the right century from him that cost him votes... You have to have liars know their sensible limits, and Mr. Romoney lied about everything...
So where is your reference point, your north star you can sail by even if your have turned your map into a Picasso???...Now he can tell the biggest lie of all: That he is president of the United States and gets to be the decider in chief... What a bunch of hogwash... Hemingway said tell one true thing... You have to have that simple true declarative sentence to begin every fiction because everyone will follow you from a point of agreement... Where is our point of agreement with that man???... Where at all was our point of agreement and when??? We suffered an error or predicate... We said down, and he said up... We said despair, and he said hope... We said poverty, and he said joy... He did not get us, and if he did, he did not characterize faithfully... We were numbers, and never people... We were not real to him, so he could not be real to us...
Have you ever been bit by a dead bee... A person does not have to be too incredibly smart to know how to tell if some one is real or not, and the general proof is, that if you treat me as real, with real problems needing real solutions and not more sand up the ass solutions, then you are real to me...Mr. Romoney died as a candidate on his lack of reality... Platic people do not get to be president...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #3
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Nov 8, 2012 3:02 PM
Re: James A, Sweeney Substitute "Obama" for "Romney" in your tirade and it would then be more accurate.
Comment: #4
Posted by: David Henricks
Fri Nov 9, 2012 8:24 AM
"The old Confederacy", sound a little like Donald Rumsfeld calling France and Germany "old Europe" when the resisted the invastion of Iraq. Somebody needs to tell this condescending twerp that those southern states are part of the United States, and these are Americans exercising their right to vote, the democracy we speak of so rapturously. That freedom includes their right to vote the way they want for whatever reasons they want, including religious reasons. Leave it to the liberals to celebrate democracy except when people don't vote the way you want them to.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Jeff Bass
Fri Nov 9, 2012 2:49 PM
Sweeny if government is to be fixed from the outside, then you're talking government takeover, which is awesome, but probably not what you mean. Other than that government has to be fixed from the inside. Problem is that the people who benifet from the corruption are the only ones who can change it. I don't see things ever changing.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:02 AM
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