Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Obama's Farewell Speech

In his last address to the nation, Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans of the threat posed by what he called the "military-industrial complex." Last night, Barack Obama told his fellow citizens that they would have to work hard to protect their democracy from the threat of global Right Wing Populism. There have been several reasons for the rise of the Right Wing:

A shrinking world, growing inequality; demographic change and the spectre of terrorism – these forces haven’t just tested our security and prosperity, but our democracy as well. And how we meet these challenges to our democracy will determine our ability to educate our kids, and create good jobs, and protect our homeland.

He warned that, if Americans do nothing about their dysfunctional economy, they will court disaster:

Our economy doesn’t work as well or grow as fast when a few prosper at the expense of a growing middle class. But stark inequality is also corrosive to our democratic principles. While the top one per cent has amassed a bigger share of wealth and income, too many families, in inner cities and rural counties, have been left behind – the laid-off factory worker; the waitress and health care worker who struggle to pay the bills – convinced that the game is fixed against them, that their government only serves the interests of the powerful – a recipe for more cynicism and polarization in our politics.

And he offered his prescription for their economic ills:

So we must forge a new social compact – to guarantee all our kids the education they need; to give workers the power to unionize for better wages; to update the social safety net to reflect the way we live now and make more reforms to the tax code so corporations and individuals who reap the most from the new economy don’t avoid their obligations to the country that’s made their success possible. We can argue about how to best achieve these goals. But we can’t be complacent about the goals themselves. For if we don’t create opportunity for all people, the disaffection and division that has stalled our progress will only sharpen in years to come.

Opportunity for all. Easy to say. Hard to accomplish. Time will tell if his words ring -- like Eisenhower's -- through the decades.

Image: WITN


Anonymous said...

Never did understand Eisenhower's words. He was a willing tool of the military-industrial complex during his presidency and had those just so lily-white pure Dulles boys on the job screwing up foreign governments. They were 100% hated in Blighty when I was growing up. I always assumed Ike found God at the last moment, when he pulled off his faewell world tour so lovingly described in National Geographic, and met the Dalai Lama. Even went off his golf game.

Obama I have zero time for, no matter how well he pulls off the "tugging at heart strings routine" in speeches. Lists for drone attacks, invasion of Syria by proxy, unleashing that neocon terror Hillary on Libya and elsewhere, more money for Israel, etc ad infinitum. Two-faced bald liar like all US Presidents, following the neocon CIA line and American exceptionalism.

Yes I do some serious reading, and all this Canadian blog blathering about believing US intelligence agencies is barfsome. The agencies have been renegades from virtually Day One of their inceptions. Democracy? Don't make me laugh. Have a banana - the Dulles boys insist you do.

Now that 'murica voted in a total social turd like Trumpas prez, the establishment agencies were aghast that he didn't want war with Russia. Well, hey it's mutiny time in the bureaucratic ranks, the soldiers of fortune ranks, the aerospace ranks and the pretend soldier boys running NATO.

So they came up with a middle school level plot to discredit the president-elect. Oh, he's friends with Russia and they're our sworn enemy. Oh the Russians hacked our elections (in actuality they hacked the DNC, maybe, which is a party not the government. the US itself just invades and kills brown people). Oh Trump had wild parties with prostitutes. Geez, I made up stories like that when I was eight and had just read Prester John. Is this the best the spies can come up with? No sources, warnings that the info is unconfirmed, blah, blah, blah.

This is the flailing around of the establishment trying to shame Trump out before he's inaugurated Jan 20. This is the REAL attempt at hacking the election. By desperate people who want the gravy train to continue instead of, you know, spending taxes on their own citizens. You don't have to support Trump to see the schoolboy level gerrymandering going on to shock an unread and ill-educated population to reject him.

To think any other way just shows me that much reading needs to be done. Start by googling T P Wilkinson and remove the blinders. We've all been really had ever since WW2, and for centuries before that while being fed horseshit patriotism stories to cover up how countries pander to the super rich who run things. The Brits started it and the Yankees perfected it. Chiquita banana anyone? The US has run out of foreign countries to run into the ground and now it's eating itself.


Steve said...

another big reason for right wing populism, the disapperance of left wing populism, especialy by the so called left dem parties.

Owen Gray said...

I get the impression that you've watched Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States, BM.

Owen Gray said...

A point well taken, Steve.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

BM is spot on about Obama. He has 0 credibility. From his perpetual wars, proxy or otherwise to his bailing out of wall street with taxpayers money to his outright lying to the American people regarding supposed Russian aggression and cyber interference of the US election.

He has been a perfect mouth piece for the neocon deepstate who are the ones really in charge.
He has left the American people a nightmare where provoking a nuclear power like Russia is all in a days work. Obama is leaving, but it's the state of the country he is leaving behind that is disturbing. His neoliberal, Imperial agenda has literally left the American people economically and militarily vulnerable.

Owen Gray said...

The man who will succeed him is certainly no improvement, Pam.