September 6th, 2012

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#619 – Dick Bernard: Election 2012 #44. Four years later, Barack Obama, the expense of “Citizenship”

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

UPDATE Sep. 8: If you wish to watch the President Obama speech, here’s a link provided by a friend.

Watching and listening to President Obama’s speech tonight at Charlotte I kept thinking back to one of the last campaign events we attended on October 13, 2008, at Macalester College in St. Paul MN.

The event was a campaign rally, and the featured guest was Michelle Obama. We were guests of the Paul and Sharon Miller family of Northfield, whose daughter Natalie had been chosen to introduce Michelle Obama at the rally.

As I recall, Natalie was chosen to introduce Michelle because of her family message: a need to do something about access to health insurance for all in this country. Natalie made her case well in the introduction of Michelle Obama at Macalester that day. The largely student audience was with her.

Health insurance reform with access for all was a top priority need.

Natalie’s parents had good reason to be very proud. She did a masterful job, far better than my attempts at photography that afternoon. Here are a few that more-or-less turned out that afternoon.

(click to enlarge.)

Natalie greets Michelle Obama as she comes to the podium October 13, 2008

The Millers and Grandma after the speech, October 13, 2008

Similarly, Michelle Obama was outstanding. Natalie watched the speech with the rest of us.

Michelle Obama October 13, 2008

Michelle Obama October 13, 2008, Macalester College St. Paul MN

Natalie and Sharon Miller, October 13, 2008

I don’t remember the specifics of Michelle’s message, but I do know that the general message to the students was “cell phones up”: “if you want Barack Obama to win, you have to get out and go to work”.

Cell phones went up that afternoon, and as we all know, people got to work, and President Obama won by a landslide.

It was a cooperative effort.

But it was not long after the election that I began to notice something that has dismayed me during Obama’s entire first term:

The ink had hardly dried on the newsprint of the reports on the 2008 election, and Obama’s friends were criticizing him for what he hadn’t done, or done enough of, for their particular issue.

It was if they had hired him to do their bidding: “don’t bother me for any effort on my own part. I have my own life to live.”

There were few “cell phones up” after the election, or in the subsequent, so far, 3 1/2 years.

My small e-mail list knows that I started noticing this attitude problem even before the President took office: “I voted for you, now it’s your problem. What are you going to do for ME?”

Passage of the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – in early 2010 was one of the signal accomplishments of any President and Congress in any time, but there was wailing and gnashing of teeth…even among Obama’s supporters: “too little”; “the wrong stuff in the bill”, etc., etc., etc.

In 2010, a good share of those people who elected Obama stayed home from the polls, with the resulting landslide of the angry tea party types in the 2010 election.

To me, the troubling fact of 2010 was solely that: Democrats did not vote.

Which leads to the present day:

I was at a meeting this evening and got home just in time to watch the entirety of President Obama’s speech.

I felt the speech was, from Obama’s rhetorical standards, good, but not great…

UNLESS one looked at the content of what the President was saying to every one of us.

As I translated what he was saying, I’d summarize it this way: “This Job Wasn’t, and This Election Won’t, Be Easy…I Need Your Help For the Long Haul.”

The cost of citizenship is far more than just voting for one person, then expecting him or her to do our heavy lifting.

Get on the court.

For other posts of a political nature at this blog, simply enter Election 2012 in the search box and click enter. Especially note yesterdays, here.

UPDATE: September 7, 6 a.m. My favorite blogger, Just Above Sunset, summarizes what was said about the most politically newsworthy item of the day, most every day. Here’s his summary of what was said about last night at the Democratic Convention.