Saints alive!

28 01 2010

No, this isn’t about the upcoming Super Bowl, although that’s probably a more interesting topic. Instead, it’s my main impression of President Barack Obama’s first-ever State of Union address. If you missed it, you can read the full text of the speech by clicking HERE.
There wasn’t really anything surprising from Obama’s speech, mainly a repeat of the same talking points we’ve heard several times.
What struck me as mildly disturbing, however, is how the president points to government, particularly the federal government, as being the solution to everyone’s problems. What struck me as majorly disturbing was Nancy Pelosi clapping like a seal everytime the president cleared his throat.
Basically, what I heard was this:
Need a job? The government can get one for you.
Can’t afford college? The government can pay for it.
Can’t afford health care? The government can provide it for you.
Trouble paying the mortgage? The government will pay it for you.
Whatever happened to personal responsibility? If Obama’s plans come to fruition, what will happen to personal ambition to succeed?
I don’t think THIS is what the founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the U.S. Constitution.
In fact, government, at any level, tends to screw things up when it gets involved anyway. But the president is looking for government to be the savior of the United States. Not a good thing.
* I’ve also heard a lot of people talking about how good of an orator President Obama is, and how he delievers a good speech. Can’t argue there. During the 2008 presidential campaign, I was at an event at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., and stood 15 feet away from Obama when he was a senator in a tough primary contest. He’s an excellent public speaker.
But being able to deliver a good speech doesn’t make one an effective leader.
Know who else were considered to be fantastic public speakers? Adolf Hitler. Benito Moussolini. Josef Stalin. Mao Tse-Tung. How’d they work out for the countries they led?
It’s important to listen to the words. It’s more important to watch what they do. I’m not saying Obama is looking to be a dictator or anything like that, but there are times when the words don’t match the actions.
* Getting away from bashing Obama completely, I will say I liked his emphasis on improving local community colleges. I know a lot of people look at their community colleges as glorified high schools, and if you’re one of those people, I’d encourage you to look again.
Many of these institutions have top-notch programs and are offering courses comparable to what you’d find in a four-year school.
Community college has also become an option for many students who can’t afford to head straight to a four-year school after high school. I think the president was on the money when he highlighted the need to strengthen these institutions.
* I noticed at least seven instances where Obama used the word “Washington” not in a geographic sense, but in the pejorative. He’s right when he says the American people are fed up with what’s happening in our nation’s capital. However, the president should realize he’s also a part of the establishment there.