| Articles en français | Posts in English | Abonnement | Liens |

17 juin 2007

Obama: Reinventing the American Dream

Barack Obama adressed a crowd in Flint, MI, yesterday, in an important speech about the heart of America’s problem : the economy, Social security, education, research and competitiveness. The Senator from Illinois was home in the Great Lake State of Michigan, at the heart of the Rust belt. His speech spanned all aspects of the social and economic challenge facing America, and did away with the hypocrisy heard on the campaign trail. « I believe in free trade » he said. Obama had criticized the North American free trade agreement, Nafta, jockeying for the blue-collar vote with a populist-sounding Hillary who forgot that Bill Clinton had supported and signed Nafta, converting the Democratic Party to free-trade…

Freed from the constraints of the primaries, Obama spoke his mind, telling the truth while being cautious not to overlook the disquiet amo the middle class : the goal is winning in November.
Obama talked about renewing U.S. competitiveness and put that challenge into a historical perspective, refering to the Founding Fathers who created the American market, Lincoln and the transcontinental railroad, FDR and the Tennessee Valley Authority, JFK and the New Frontier and the first man on the moon. Here was the speech about « reinvention » I have mentioned. America faces a challenge that seldom repeats in its history: reinventing a new social contract, a national cohesion around a new American project of adapting to globalization.
Obama acknowledges that technological innovation is the main drinving force behind changes affecting manufacturing America. The sometimes populist slogans of the campaign have been toned down. « Technology has changed the way we live and the way the world does business ».
He keeps the small government direction set by Bill Clinton : « … success will depend not on our government but on the dynamism, determination and innovation of the American people ».
Obama talks about education, tax breaks for the young and not corporations, investments in research and infrastructures. He refers to Teddy Roosevelt, the Republican President who invented progressivism and a John McCain heroe!

In short, the Michigan speech lays on the table America’s social and economic equation. Obama showed his progressist inspiration. I believe he can convince Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike. His speech is an illustration of Americans’ need to recover confidence in their country around a new, common future. I am certain that in 2008 the best candidate will be he who will be best at putting forward a just vision conciliating the legacy of both Theodore et Franklin Roosevelt.
Europeans essentially talk about foreign policy and Iraq. Surely these issues will be big in this election. They will likely play in favour of John McCain, who I think stands a pretty good chance of becoming the newt U.S. President. However Obama’s speech provides the key to America’s domestic challenge, the growing angst of the middle class.

Whether he wins or loses in November, Obama’s success will have rested on just that : having seized and embodied the need to renew the American Dream.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Déjà articles à ce jour sur ce blog.

Haut de la page