Words Failed Him
Obama has always firmly believed first and foremost in the power of his words. As the LA Times said, describing Obama’s Farewell Address: “Whether as candidate or president, Obama knew it came down to words, the way they spun and gathered, lifted and fell on precise beats with restrained flourish.”
Indeed, Obama rose to national prominence based on the speech he gave in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention, a speech which was widely praised for its soaring rhetoric. The most famous line from that speech was this:
Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.
The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too: We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States, and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the Red States.…
Obama’s speech was extraordinarily well-received and widely praised for its inclusiveness. “I have to tell you, a little chill in my legs right now. That is an amazing moment in history right there. It is surely an amazing moment. A keynoter like I have never heard,” gushed Chris Matthews. The Chicago Tribune declared: “Obama delivered a brilliant, passionate and heartening speech.” Just this year, Salon argued, in retrospect: “Using his own eclectic background and biography as evidence, Obama forcefully argued that America’s greatness derives from its diversity.”
For whatever reason, people believed him. They believed he was extolling the virtues of true diversity—diversity of opinion—and was eschewing division based on skin color or ethnicity. For decades, Leftists had been using PC language rules to bludgeon anyone who didn’t speak correctly, tagging as “racist” anyone who refused to toe the line on identity group politics. When Obama was elected in 2008, as America’s first black president, he had the credibility and capital to deliver on the promise of his 2004 speech. He utterly failed.
Look at the record:
On every single occasion, Obama automatically characterized the incidents in racial terms and either suggested racism was at work or, as in the Dallas shootings where the police were the victims, treated both sides as equally blameworthy. Meanwhile, Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, repeatedly called us a “nation of cowards” on race, and Obama’s surrogates, like Jay Rockefeller, characterized all opposition to Obama’s policies as racist. Obama did nothing to stop this, instead constantly echoing it by claiming Republicans were partisans who were “willing to tank the economy” and “willing to hurt people just to score political points,” arguing “I won,” and claiming Republicans had to sit in the back of the car if they wanted to come for the ride. On the one issue where Obama’s words alone would have helped - race relations - he either took a pass or actively made things worse.
Obama believes in the power of his words. The country once did as well. Imagine what he could have said. Imagine what he could have done. Obama’s words failed him. Obama’s words failed us all.
1/19/2017 08:21:11 pm
I often wondered why he said the things he did, and left so many other things - good things, healing things - unsaid. More than anything else, his has seemed a time of missed opportunities. That much is our loss.
1/19/2017 10:47:09 pm
I always took Barack as an amiable but not very bright opportunist who was wafted upward by entities seeking to relieve their own guilt. He recited what he had learned to recite. How many times was he left completely lost when his teleprompter quit? His fumbling incoherence and the way the media hung on his every word was comedy gold, day after day. He will be missed.
Leave a Reply.
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.