President Obama, Please
Set the Tone
A return to “Yes, We Can”
We need nuance, facts, direction, compassionate calm; in short;
The President’s remarks to the graduating classes of 2020 over the weekend were striking in their simplicity and powerful in their eloquence. They were the carefully crafted and considered words of a man, a world leader, a figure who stands so far above the political fray of this moment; our moment of national and global crisis, as to shine brighter than the tarnished remnants of the Fractured Union in which we now barely live. We exist in a nightmarish netherworld of altered reality populated by bloviated expulsions from a huckster and a fraud who never wanted this job that he currently holds and does not have the intellectual capacity to maneuver within. The current occupant of this global stage plods and plots his daily course with only the inept and mono-visioned focus of a man held captive by his own demons; demons which now have grown to infect, much like the virus he is being defeated by, the entire world’s hunkering and panicked population.
We ask ourselves daily, “How much worse can this get?”, “How much more damage can he do in three months?”, or six, or however many months or years he will have at his disposal. With the legislative checks and balances gutted, neutered, or in many cases euthanized, who will stand up to his schoolyard bully-ism?
Who will speak truth to faux power?
As a populace, we have been beaten into a stunned silence by the barrage of non-fact and fictionalized “truth” by what can only be described as a despotic demon. This is a caricature that he undoubtedly thinks is a good thing based on his fawning obeisance to other world leaders who operate under the protection of militaristic, propped up, potentates. We know this. It is a fact firmly in evidence for years now as proven and witnessed by the sycophantic salaaming with which he believes he is flattering those whom he admires, or needs, or wishes he were more like.
These other world leaders, however strong-armed and backed by strong arms, know him for the fraud he is. They know him for the weaknesses he displays and are angling with ever more efficient aim, at the heart of our democracy. Our time in the sun is passing. Our American Century is already well passed its “use by” date. We are two decades into a new century and what nation or global cabal will lay claim to this shredded, barely formed, next 100 years? We can only surmise and none of our worst imaginings will be bad enough when we finally have to face to ultimate reality.
The winner will not be us. Unless.
Unless our most recent past president retakes the reins of civil discourse and once again shows us why he was the best of the brightest. Why, in the history of our country, we had eight years of scandal-free governance, global accord, and record economic expansion, innovation, and development; all while literally pulling us up out of the fiscal and cultural morass he was left with as he assumed office in 2009. It is what, historically, Democrats appear to do best. They problem solve our way into prosperity when the other party has looted our savings accounts of cash, courage, and convictions.
President Obama’s soft, thoughtful, rhetoric to those students of 2020 whose immediate, hard-earned, transitions into the real world were abruptly cancelled spoke more than just graduation oratory. They resonated into a human core that we have had literally excised from our current consciousness. Numb to even the most blatant abuses through a daily barrage of instant twitterishness, we are reeling in a boat without a rudder; bobbing on seas that grow more stormy, and more disturbed, and more threatening hourly.
Something is going to snap.
The rubber band that has held our democracy together is old, frayed, and brittle. The virus appeared as if to prove this point. It could have been a nuclear attack on an ally, or on us. It could have been a massive cyber-attack on our infrastructure. It could have been a thousand tiny arrows aimed at a million points of perceived weakness. Instead, it is a stealthy, one-celled, unseen, virulent agent that is taking us all out. The world was stopped as efficiently as if someone had pulled the power cord to our lives. And in reality, all the rest of those horrific end-times scenarios are still quite possible. They could be heaped on top of the trash pile we are currently wallowing in. If you doubt that, I beg you not to tempt the universe for fate is, indeed, a cruel mistress.
Now. This moment. President Obama chose to speak out, critiquing the current president with the slipperiness of an eel and with a fluidity of words that only the highest intelligence can muster. Heartful yet truthfully blunted, Obama reintroduced us to statesmanship in a ten-minute lecture format. He must continue and once again take up a mortarboard of leadership that he set aside for loftier goals in his post-presidency. It is a requirement. History will judge this moment.
It is true that past presidents, as a rule, hold their tongues on the current administration’s foibles. But today, the rule of law is abandoned, the courts are now akin to sacrificial altars of paganistic political power grabs, and the congressional oversight is in hiding. Now we need the shock and awe of a thunderbolt, but one sounded with the velvet-smooth cloth hammer of an orator of good cause.
I call on President Obama to once again pick up the overly onerous task of leading us into that unseen future he promised us once more than a decade ago. Craft a message and deliver it to the Viral Times we are suppressed by. Give Ted Talks on leadership, speak to organizations and political action committees, and yes, directly to the people of our country and our world, with the clear-eyed vision of a pragmatist, and from the stolid foundation of someone who trusted us through untested times in the recent past.
To hell with the “norms”. They are dead. Let us bury them.
Give us back our hope, Mr. President. Show us how to think again and what to do and we will cheer you on with a resounding,
Yes, We Can…..Again.