Friday, January 7, 2011

Leadership Of the People Needed

Dear President Obama

Now is the time for you to start to actually lead the people of the United States. I'm guessing you do a lot of talking with Congressmen. If you want to succeed, you have to engage with "we the people."

I’ve taken a pretty hard view about your presidency. In a some moments of political angst, I’ve even said you should step down now so that the democrats have a chance in the 2012 elections.

But I’m always willing, in fact, I would love to change my mind.

I think my biggest concern has been your inability to lead the country’s “dialog” on important issues. On the news, we mainly hear Republican talking points (and their attacks on you. Stand up for yourself man - or at least find some surrogates to do so. Amazingly, somehow you are perceived as "anti-business! How on earth can a devotee of the Chicago School of Economics let himself be painted that way?*)

Right now there is starting to be a lot of noise about the debt limit and whether Republicans will use the need for it to extract draconian political concessions.

Now is the time for you to take control, to be the nation’s leader. Are you going to let the fiscally suicidal capture this discussion as well? And leave the important response to Senator Graham? “Let me tell you what’s involved if we don’t lift the debt ceiling: financial collapse and calamity throughout the world."

You should be the one telling the nation that. And repeat it. And Repeat it. And repeat it. Hammer it home!

Maybe you don't understand - there are people who will oppose you regardless of what you do. It really is OK to stand up to them and tell them "you're wrong." You won't be losing them, you will never have them. And you will gain supporters by doing so.

You have to step up and lead the discussion.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Learn to use bullet points.
  • Then use them
Erudite discussion of the intricacies of public issues has its place, but you need first to

capture people’s attention!

Few people read law reviews or other highly thought our treatises. Don’t try to led with footnotes and complexity. People don’t even read headlines anymore. They listen to sound bites. You obviously love good thinking based on a firm grasp of the full range of information available News flash: most people don't!

I disagreed with much of what President Bush did, but he accomplished what he did because he led the dialog, the discussion, and he kept it simple.

You can lead the discussion AND advance the values and goals of the Democratic party: put forth your vision and negotiate from there. You might be surprised what becomes possible when you get into the public awareness game.

Talking with congressional leaders is fine. You have to learn how to effectively talk with the American people and capture us with your vision.

You captured us during the campaign. A two year vacation from effective communication is enough. Get back to work and start to lead the nation!


* You have seem to have bought the view that "if it's good for business, its good for the country." That is a pretty limited view, and it certainly isn't, or shouldn't be, a view of the leader of the Democratic Party. Corporations have done many fine things. But the driving corporate motive of profits for a select few is a non-starter when it comes to serving all of "We the people of the United States."

Compliment them for the good stuff they do, but show us that the American people come first, and maximizing profits is not at the top of the list of goals of America.

You've talk constitutional law. Please reread the mission statement for the US, the Presamble of the Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to
  • form a more perfect Union,
  • establish Justice,
  • insure domestic Tranquility,
  • provide for the common defence,
  • promote the general Welfare, and
  • secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

1 comment:

  1. From Sen. Obama’s Floor Speech, March 20, 2006:

    The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

    He voted "No" in 2006 and "Present" in 2007 and 2008. I applaud him for his honesty and leadership in 2006. 2007, 2008, and today are a different story.

    I'm not sure where you are going w/the business maximizing profit and Constitution preamble comments. I don't really get how the two mix or conflict in your posting.