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copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
On the eve of President Obama’s birth date, thoughts turn to his time in office. As a man, countless admire the person, Barack Obama, and yet, feel that they cannot fully celebrate his performance. Hope has all but disappeared. Audacity appears vanquished. Still, some are sure that there is reason to believe. People ponder potentials not fully realized. Prospects for change loom large. Several may be shared in the sentiments offered on this auspicious occasion.
Dreams have yet to die. The desire to write to the President on the anniversary of his birth or converse with him personally is strong. Most will only be able to meet Mister Obama circuitously. Nonetheless, millions will try to talk to the man in the White House. People, such as esteemed Educator, Doctor Cornel West has addressed the President profoundly though the airwaves. “One of America’s most provocative public intellectuals,” West speaks of what is needed for a genuine success. The Princeton Professor ponders aloud; if only President Obama advanced classlessness.
The obligation of a citizen, in a democracy, is to speak to truth. Silence secures a society ruled by the few. Those who serve power, the elites well-endowed with dollars, will do the bidding if the people let them. In a society established on social parity, it is vital that each of us acts on the values avowed in the Declaration Of Independence, advanced in the United States Constitution, and a G-d-given veracity, “all men are created equal.” A President, in the United States, is not exempt from this truth.
A Commander-In Chief is not meant to be more royal or right than Jane or John Doe is . . . or at least that is what our forefathers intended. If a citizen chosen individual authentically thinks to serve society, he cannot lose light of the purpose articulated in a campaign.
An elected official is selected to represent us all. This should not be a promise, but a pledge. As a President, a man or woman is designated to officiate only for a term or two. This person is not donned with a crown. Nay is he or she bequeathed supremacy over others who inhabit this nation. The individual, who we the people place in the Oval Office, be it Barack Obama or whomever is selected in the future, must think of him or herself as a fellow civilian first and foremost. Yet, often, as Americans witness today, this is not what occurs.
Doctor Cornel West of Princeton University aptly observes; big finance and big business are in bed with the government. Our current President and his Cabinet make love to manufacturers. Producers of petroleum are closely connected to today’s policymakers just as others were in the past. Persons in White House, from their actions, seem to pay deference to companies that take advantage of the common folk. A concerned citizen could easily construe profiteers are in power.
Authority resides in affable relations with an Administration. After all, as we saw months earlier, before the BP well explosion, energy plans benefited an industry that wished to grow earnings. The Treasury too was given over insiders, intent on furthering financial strength for his fellow investors.
Philosophically and in principle, it is not the place of an elected Chief Executive, to act as a corporate Chief Executive. To be truly effective, an American President must embody the people. He or she must remember the reasons supporters cast a ballot. The electorate does not merely vote for an individual; constituents also vote for the institution we call democracy.
Mister President, as we honor you, please honor as the people originally requested. Exasperated and exhausted, the electorate expresses our birthday wish in the form of a plea. A President needs to perform as though he/she is, as she/he actually is, one of us! Mister Obama we await your awareness and acknowledgement. Please recognize that your role is to speak to truth, not solely converse with tycoons on act on their behalf.
Barack Obama, please remember as you had stated; the power of a President is profound only when the President works with and for the people. Please do not forget what the electorate cannot; your words on the campaign trail. “This campaign is not about me, it’s about the issues in your daily lives. It’s about how am I going to make this country a little better. If you help me, we’ll change the country. We’ll change the world!” Mister Obama you once knew; in a democracy, the President is but a partner, a citizen amongst the populous. On your birthday, may we begin anew. Together, let us keep hope alive.
References; Democracy Deferred or Realized . . .
- To Help Democrats in the Fall, Obama May Stay Away, By Jeff Zeleny. The New York Times. July 31, 2010
- How Can Obama Rebound?. Op-Ed Contributors. The New York Times. July 10, 2010
- First lady seeks ‘signatures’ for Obama’s birthday card, By Eric Zimmerman. The Hill. July 27, 2010
- About. Dr. Cornel West.
- Cornel West Calls Out Barack Obama. TruthDig. January 25, 2010
- Doctor Cornel West. Princeton University.
- Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time, By John Broader. The New York Times. March 30, 2010
- President Elect’s Advisors and Friends. Office of Advanced Academic Affairs. John Hopkins university. 2010
- Declaration Of Independence. Archives. Government.
- United States Constitution. Archives. Government.
- Obama; I need you. By Lee Morrison. Times Reporter. September 3, 2008