(Jim, I appreciate your e-mails as always. I don’t always have time to pass them along to my friends and acquaintances, but this one is so important that I took the time to post it here – and I’ve added a few clarifications of my own as my contribution to the campaign.)
If you didn’t catch any of the President’s speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, you should watch or read it now:
President Obama laid out an approach to rebuilding the economy that will inform every discussion we have with undecided voters over the next year. So we put together a highlight reel you can share with anyone you think needs to hear this message:
This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class. And we need to make sure that what is left of the middle class believes that we are acting in their interests.
Our country is still recovering from the greatest economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression – to which the Bush Jr. administration, with the President’s approving vote, contributed by giving trillions of dollars of your money to banks. And when he took office the President put more or less the same people responsible for the financial crisis, the beneficiaries of that unprecedented transfer of public funds to the private sector, in charge of the Treasury Department.
Oh, he believes that Americans should be able to earn enough to raise a family, send their kids to school, own a home, and secure their retirement – so long as in struggling harder and harder to achieve those things, they continue to let the private sector drain off the products of their labor.
Here’s how he put it: “This country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules. These aren’t Democratic values or Republican values. These aren’t 1 percent values or 99 percent values. They’re American values. And we have to reclaim them.”
Those are the values we want you to believe we’re fighting for in this election. And believe me, no matter who our opponent is, he or she won’t fight for them any more than we will — the candidates from both sides want to let Wall Street write its own rules and keep the country’s wealth – the wealth all of you create by working and by spending – concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite, the millionaires and billionaires. And as anyone who understands these things the way we do knows, we must continue to concentrate that wealth. That is simply how the system works.
We’ve seen how that kind of economic plan plays out. We Democrats have been part of the problem. We’ve participated in the plan all along. We’re just a bit more clever than the Republicans are at portraying ourselves as politicians who have the interests of working people at heart. As President Obama said yesterday: “It doesn’t work. It has never worked. It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression … And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade.”
That’s the message we’ll need to drive home in our communities over the next several months – that the “other side,” our “opponents,” are responsible for the war against the “middle class.” Keep harping on that idea of the “middle class,” and try to keep people’s attention away from the fact that what was the largest and most comfortable middle class in history is quickly becoming what history has destined it to be: an impoverished class living on the edge of dispossession and willing to do almost anything to survive. That is how the system works.
Because just as surely, as the President said in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, as we will never be able to end war in anyone’s lifetime, we will never be able to end domination and the poverty and suffering it brings. But what we can do is to try to put a kindler, gentler face on it.
So join us. Help us cover up the contradictions of our position: Ignore the fact that with the wealth you allow us to accumulate, we continue to extend the most destructive military-diplomatic machine the world has ever seen, and that the domination of which that machine is the instrument is depriving people just like you all over the planet of the opportunity to earn enough to raise a family, send their kids to school, own a home, and so on. There is just no other way. Join us. Do it for yourselves, but also for your families, your children, and their children… Watch the video we put together — and pass it along:
Obama for America