Open Forum: The promise of America
Posted: January 26, 2013
While not a fan of President Obama, I listened to his inauguration speech because I hoped and believed he would say something that could change the hearts of those who, like me, did not vote for him. I listened carefully, and then decided to read the transcripts of the speech even more carefully.
By reading the speech, I was able to more closely comprehend the meaning of his words. Therein lies the problem. When the president referred to the “promise of our democracy,” I realized I believe in an entirely different promise.
Of course, I believe that everyone has the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” but I wonder, now, if the president believes that. I wonder if the President believes we are even capable of providing this promise to all Americans.
In his own words he rejects the success of the wealthy and burdens the middle class with the promise of more taxation. In his soaring rhetoric, he talked about the needy and their willingness to work, but he didn’t talk about how many of them cannot, or will not, find work.
Individual causes have co-opted the notion of “One Nation Under God” for “my personal agenda matters most.” This agenda was clear in the president’s speech.
For example, if you don’t believe in the science of climate change, you are rejecting the overwhelming evidence of science. What about the overwhelming historical evidence that says the climate has changed throughout history: The Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the Great Flood?
Oh, I forgot, we aren’t allowed to invoke Biblical references anymore. And, if this president has his way, the Constitution will no longer be a guide for our country either. So, what standard will guide our nation?
If you believe that the Constitution is our nation’s guiding document, then the president’s speech will not bode well, for the president believes in the malleable nature of the Founding Fathers’ words.
If you are pro-life, you are surely out of luck, as this president believes a baby is a burden, not a gift from God. If you believe in the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, according to this president, this definition no longer exists.
Where does this lead? If you want to start your own business, this president believes your shoulders are broad and you will have to bear the burden of greater taxation (reference the speech if you don’t believe me). If you believe in technology as America’s answer to improving the status of our economy, then understand that the only technology you can endorse is the technology this president has paid for with your stimulus dollars. By the way, he has failed to produce with those same dollars.
If you believe that all people are created equal, but also believe that success comes through hard work and sacrifice, then you are part of the problem. By his own words, Mr. Obama believes that you did not do that alone — you are lucky, and you “didn’t build that.” In fact, according to the president, success can only be achieved through collectivism.
For some, the journey is hard — I get that. Not so long ago, my grandparents came to this country with nothing. And by, nothing, I mean absolutely nothing. They did not believe in an America that would give them a handout, they believed in an America that would give them a hand up. I still believe in that same America.
I also believe in an America that through our innate spirit of love and compassion would help anyone who is truly in need. We don’t need government to tell us that this is the right thing to do, nor do we need government to tell us who the rightful recipients of this same love and compassion should be.
Our children should grow up in a country that believes all things are possible. This president, by his own words, does not believe in this promise. His inauguration speech should have been an opportunity to talk about all that is right with America. Instead it was a divisive speech about all that is wrong with America.
According to Mr. Obama, we don’t help the poor, we don’t accept people who are different from us, we selfishly hang on to that which we have earned, we only believe in technology that pollutes our planet, we eliminate social programs, we think our military has wantonly gone into countries ahead of dialogue, and we wish to continue a history of discrimination. Not even close to the America I believe in.
At first listen, his speech was a reasonable one. Now, I encourage everyone to read the speech carefully. The agenda for the next four years and beyond is quite clear.
Jean Marie Vogler is a resident of Frederick County.