Sunday, August 28, 2011
Forty eight years ago today, on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his most famous speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Every child could recite at least a portion of it, and many adults still weep when they hear it, though they've heard it a hundred times already.
Interestingly enough, the speech was given during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, designed to impact, among other things, economic rights for Blacks. Now, here we are all these years later, and the unemployment rate for Blacks is 16%, well above the 9% national average, which is itself mind-boggling. Add to that the 39% unemployment rate for young adult Blacks, and clearly we have a problem--an enormous one.
President Obama can take all the job tours he wants--choosing to skip the Black community, as Maxine Waters pointed out; he can deliver another silver-tongued, teleprompter-addicted speech; and he can smile widely for the cameras on his way to Martha's Vineyard. However, at the end of the day, people want to know where the jobs are. They, therefore, must ask if they can afford--literally--to allow this President to keep his.
America must have a leader who understands how to help spark economic growth. At the very least, we need someone who can stop hindering it. Taking money from creators of jobs doesn't help needers of jobs. Imposing regulations that stifle business in our own country only helps job creation in somebody else's country. The First Family traveling to Martha's Vineyard--separately--on the taxpayers' dime while Americans struggle to make ends meet only ticks people off. Do we want another term of this?
There's something to be said for on-the-job-training. It has its place, but not the presidency. The President of the United States should, as a minimal requirement, have had experience running...something. This President came to the job with no real background sitting in the driver's seat, and we see the results. The results are no results.
I agree with Dr. King who said in that famous speech:
But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.
One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.
And now it's 48 years after that, and look at the unemployment rate of those for whom Dr. King was fighting.
Indeed, freedom as an American is inextricably linked to prosperity, but we have a President whose ideology hampers that freedom, and worse, we have a President who simply doesn't see the error of his ways. He just doesn't get it. Dr. King happened to be talking about Blacks, but the overall unemployment rate illustrates that the Obama administration isn't producing for many people. In fact, Monica Crowley tweeted today:
A storm of a different kind: Gallup has Obama at record low job
approval, 38%, and record high disapproval, 55%. #HurricaneBama"
People are hurting, and now that we have the thrill of the 2008 election over with, can we just get down to business--the business of electing people to lead based on actual leadership skills?
So I agree, too, with Governor Palin: 2012 can't come soon enough. It's time for another March on Washington--a march to take back the oval office. That's my dream. Governor Palin's experience has taught her that there are practical, common sense steps that can be taken to turn this ship around that President Obama has steered into very dangerous waters. As I wrote here:
Governor Palin, on the other hand, gets what President Obama does not. She has, after all, run a city, a state, and a business. She knows how to spark business growth and make payroll. Time and time again she has taken a stand for our small businesses, speaking out against tax hikes on these job creators. This is who she is. This is what she's been relentlessly advocating. Unlike President Obama, she didn't require hostage takers to poke and prod her into this common sense understanding, and she has not flip-flopped on the issue. Over and over she has sounded the alarm.
Today, we reflect on that speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial, and we contemplate where we are and where we need to go. Who can get us there? Who can bring us out of the nightmare that is the failed policies of someone who presented himself as a leader but who simply can't lead on the issues that are vital to the American people right now? Who can take us forward--closer to the realization of the American dream--one where the freedoms of individuals are recognized, honored, and preserved? Who can restore that greatness that is intertwined with all that is uniquely American?
I'll simply quote her once again: 2012 can't come soon enough.