Kicking the Real

The New York Times op-ed columnist, Thomas L. Friedman kicks a little bit of the real our way. In his Sunday, May 4th, 2008 column, “Who Will Tell The People?”, he describes his recent travels across the United States (and to some foreign lands) as he writes his latest book. Throughout this travel he has come to realize that U.S. Americans really do want change. He sums it up like this:

My own totally unscientific polling has left me feeling that if there is one overwhelming hunger in our country today it’s this: People want to do nation-building. They really do. But they want to do nation-building in America.

The article really struck a chord because I’ve been rethinking what Barack Obama said about small town America and how bitter people are. I’ve been rethinking, and I come to the same conclusion. Barack was right. Other candidates seem to want to skirt around things and tell you nonsense. How about tell me the real? People are bitter, and pissed off. And guess what, when people are angry about something they do “cling” to things that are very familiar to them. In times of joy, and definitely in times of anguish what is most familiar and comforting to us helps us. And guess what, people say and do racist things. People look at “difference” as “deficient.” That was what Barack was saying. He wasn’t talking down to anyone, or trying to be arrogant. He realizes that band-aide style fixes to major problems only prolongs problems. Relieving the gas tax for a Summer is going to fix things how? Why not take that money and put it into renewable energy research, or infrastructure repairs, or better mass transportation systems, or something that will solve our addiction to the black heroin pumping through our country – oil.

Anyway, check out the article, here’s another excerpt…

Much nonsense has been written about how Hillary Clinton is “toughening up” Barack Obama so he’ll be tough enough to withstand Republican attacks. Sorry, we don’t need a president who is tough enough to withstand the lies of his opponents. We need a president who is tough enough to tell the truth to the American people. Any one of the candidates can answer the Red Phone at 3 a.m. in the White House bedroom. I’m voting for the one who can talk straight to the American people on national TV — at 8 p.m. — from the White House East Room.

Who will tell the people? We are not who we think we are. We are living on borrowed time and borrowed dimes. We still have all the potential for greatness, but only if we get back to work on our country.

See the full article by clicking this title – “Who Will Tell The People?”


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