Obama: “The Government Is Us”
President Obama gave a graduation speech yesterday in front of 80,000 people at the University of Michigan. Millions of Americans are in dire need of some basic civics lessons; unfortunately, those people probably weren’t in the audience.
“What troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad. When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us.”
He also urged both sides to tone down the rhetoric just a little:
“Throwing around phrases like 'socialists' and 'Soviet-style takeover,' 'fascists' and 'right-wing nut' — that may grab headlines. But it also closes the door to the possibility of compromise. It undermines democratic deliberation. At its worst, it can send signals to the most extreme elements of our society that perhaps violence is a justifiable response.”
He also urged everyone to open their minds by seeking out opposing viewpoints. Glenn Beck listeners should check out the Huffington Post; New York Times readers should check out the Wall Street Journal.
“It may make your blood boil. Your mind may not be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship.”
This is advice we could all use; myself included. Sarah Palin was also giving a speech nearby, around the same time as Obama's speech. But this time I'm not going to fall into my usual routine. Because of Obama's request that we all be more open-minded and less judgmental, I will NOT launch into one of my usual rants about that simple-minded phony Wasilla Hillbilly pandering to a bunch of toothless retarded inbred — OOPS.