This week, Senator Obama said, "It's true that speeches don't solve all problems, but what is also true -- if we cannot inspire the country to believe again, it doesn't matter how many policies and plans we have."
I beg to differ. This country is full of people who believe in its leaders, so much so that often people are inspired to vote against their own self interests. Our current president is a great example of a leader who inspired people to believe in him. Once they elected him, though, his policies and plans failed them. In 2000 and again in 2004, lower and middle class Americans who would suffer economically at the hands of Bush policy decisions voted for him anyway because they believed in his rhetoric.
Of course, President Bush is a lousy orator, but the catchy phrases are the things that grab the voters' attention. When Senator Obama talks about inspiring the country "to believe again," I want to ask him to be more specific. And when he says that, without that belief, "it doesn't matter how many policies and plans we have," he's just wrong. Government is about making policy and then creating and implementing the plans to carry out that policy.
Robert J. Samuelson of The Washington Post said today of Barack Obama, "The trouble, at least for me, is the huge deceptive gap between his captivating oratory and his actual views....If you examine [Obama's] agenda, it is completely ordinary, highly partisan, not candid, and mostly unresponsive to many pressing national problems."
America needs policies that work and the plans to implement them. Belief will follow. When the Iraq War draws down, unemployment shrinks, health insurance becomes available to all of us equally, wages increase, and the mortgage crisis abates, belief will follow. Can we have just one election where we cast our votes based on what is real?