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Once again, President Barack Obama has demonstrated his mastery at coalition-building. While the rhetoric he delivers is not always supported by facts or logic, the striking differences between the language he uses when addressing audiences and that of his predecessor are significant and meaningful.

Most notable is the use of "we" language. When Barack says "we," "us," or "our," he is intentionally inclusive of others. Not everyone, but certainly those considered allies. Bush was consistently exclusionary and belligerent in his language regarding non-US entities and even US citizens when they weren't on the "right" side.

Read on if you're interested and please comment with your thoughts!

Without specifically bashing the previous administration or G.W. Bush, our 44th President, Barack Obama has just delivered a fence-mending address to the people of France, and by extension, Europe, that is an essential step in moving toward global economic, environmental, and political cooperation through the 21st Century.

While I am not a fan of the on-going economic "growth" focus, which Obama is stressing now in an answer to an American's question, having open lines of communication and building relationships across the Atlantic is key to establishing America's ability to lead change in the world.

Being in front of a French audience also provides a rationale for raising some of the progressive issues that are anathema to typical American audiences and commentators after the last 8-30 years of regressive social and environmental policy. Being among the audience in Strasbourg allows Obama to talk about ecological sustainability, health care, and war in more "liberal" terms.

To be very clear- I don't agree with the continuation of disastrous "globalization" policies which, in the name of "development" hold poor countries and their impoverished populations over a barrel and exploit their resources while doling out crumbs! I believe we, as citizens, must put pressure on our leaders, including President Obama, to reconsider our economic model because the design, itself, is flawed. (see link to Daniel Quinn's work to the right, for more on this...)

I am under no illusions that this administration is any less manipulative in terms of managing the message and controlling the framing of discourse, either. President Obama has shown that he can be dismissive, sarcastic, and evasive when points are raised that challenge the agenda. He's definitely not perfect!

The point of this post, however, is merely to point out that it is a refreshing change to watch and listen to our President and hear inclusive, respectful, compassionate language and promotion of progressive values instead of the "cowboy" rhetoric of W.

"WE must be the change WE wish to see in the world" - MK Gandhi

Originally posted to peacemom528 on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:15 AM PDT.


To what extent is Obama's language important for US Foreign Relations

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Comment Preferences

  •  I was listening to his town hall on the radio (5+ / 0-)

    on the way in to work (xm radio POTUS channel) excellent speech, and good questions from the first two audience members.

    Government for the people, by the people

    by axel000 on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:17:42 AM PDT

  •  i think you're a hater.... (7+ / 0-)

    While the rhetoric he delivers is not always supported by facts or logic,

    really?  give me some examples....  that comment is not accurate, this president is extremely careful in his speech, especially when compared to his unnamed predecessor....

    Barack Obama is my favorite 3D Chess Player. Don't hate the player, Hate the game.

    by MasterHurrikane on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:19:53 AM PDT

    •  Might be... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...but I am satisfied that even people with the diarist's point of view can appreciate what Obama is trying to do.  Baby steps.  :)

      Plus, we get away from all this "circular firing squad" nonsense.  These people should know that in 2012, given a choice between an imperfect Obama and Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney, that our squad will come together again (I hope, at least).

      "If these Republicans can't stand up to Rush, how can they stand up to the Iranians?" - Redmond Barry

      by xsonogall on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:27:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  facts or logic... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liberalis, mayrose

      Thanks for your comments. I certainly didn't mean to come off as a "hater" and have been a supporter of Obama's throughout his campaign and early Presidency. I'm referring mainly to the ongoing insistence by President Obama that global economic growth is THE ANSWER to our collective financial crisis. Unfortunately, facts about sustainable population, resource conservation, and global climate issues don't support the "growth paradigm" and growth will actually exacerbate the problems, just as it always has.

      We are rapidly decimating our global natural resources, to the detriment of the most vulnerable people in the world and, ultimately, we will all suffer dire consequences if there is not a rapid redefinition of progress and prosperity.

      Those of us who campaigned for Obama on a change platform are really committed to holding him accountable for delivering change. In order for that to happen, we must be critical of his leadership, when warranted, and highlight his strengths, when deserved. That's what this post was about.

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I hope this response helps explain my position.


      We will either learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by peacemom528 on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:32:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bush lost much of the world's support when he (10+ / 0-)

    said in a speech shortly after 9/11 "you are either with us or you are for the terrorists".

    I remember the reaction in many parts of Canada was an immediate "F You, we'll tell you who we are for".

    It was all down hill from there.

    All evils are equal when they are extreme. - Pierre Corneille

    by LiberalCanuck on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:20:01 AM PDT

  •  They say the German politicians are some of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    worst, and last night I heard the Irish Prime Minister in his Parliment, who I can tell is going to be a short-timer from his "me, me, my..." attitude.

    The Brits are pretty well fed up with their politicians due to that expense account revelations.

    So, he enjoys a lack of competition over there, it looks like.

    Small wheel turn by the fire and rod/Big wheel turn by the grace of God/Everytime that wheel turn round/bound to cover just a little more ground

    by bamabikeguy on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:24:14 AM PDT

  •  I love that he is speaking directly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to the common folks when he has a chance.
    I was amazed and delighted to see him doing a Town Hall in Europe! He is a true inspiration (Michelle is too!) He gives thoughtful answers and I am so proud that he is representing the US.

    I had to laugh though - I watched on CNN with my son, caught a bit on MSNBC, then wondered what Fox's spin would be - apparently, they didn't cover it at all, and what they were covering....a series of "Fox Polls" (of Fox viewers, of course) answering questions like "Do you feel fearful or angry about the economy?" Fear and Anger.  That's all the rw has left as it swirls in its own toilet bowl, talking to itself.

    Oh, and they had to plug those idiotic "tea parties" too.

    Fox is more pathetic than ever.

  •  I thought he delivered some unpopular news (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfgb, liberalis, blue armadillo

    about his expectations of European help with Afghanistan and Pakistan very gracefully. And the French would have let him know if they didn't like it!

    While he is a politician, he seems to go out of his way to speak clearly and directly most of the time.

    What a wonder!

    politics is like the circus: the worst job is cleaning up after the elephants - James Carville

    by grayday101 on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:46:54 AM PDT

  •  this is a strong position (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    While the rhetoric he delivers is not always supported by facts or logic

    Please cite examples.

    The revolution is just an ethical haircut away - Billy Bragg

    by Elvis meets Nixon on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:59:29 AM PDT

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