Of course I have no idea. I am sure it will be a wonderful and moving speech. But alas many of us here want more (I know I do), some grand vision for energy independence. A massive plan to move us off of fossil fuels. To chart a new future. But alas, I have no faith we are going to get anything close to that.
To a large extent I think Obama and maybe many in his administration would like to layout such a plan. But they are smart folks and they know it would never fly, because I think they realize, even if they'd NEVER say it, for the most part Americans are fat (literally) and lazy. Therefore, to layout a plan that would require even a little bit of change, much less sacrifice on the part of the American public is political suicide.
But of course this wasn't always the case. Not even close. And that is what I want to talk about below the fold.
I often mention here it never ceases to amaze me how little I know about the history of the world I live in, until I start to do some digging. Now if I was asked, I could give a few examples of when our country faced adversity, like we do now on multiple fronts, and we rose to the occasion. Lets talk about a few of those.
While Congress and the nation was debating Obama's Stimulus Plan my brother gave me a bootleg of a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Now of course as a huge music fan I knew of Red Rocks. Maybe the most stunning place to see a concert anyplace in the world.
For some reason I headed over to Wikipedia to learn a little more and was kind of stunned to read this.
In 1927, George Cranmer, Manager of Denver Parks, convinced the City of Denver to purchase the area of Red Rocks from Walker for the price of $54,133. Cranmer convinced the Mayor of Denver, Ben Stapleton, to build on the foundation laid by Walker. By enlisting the help of the federally sponsored Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), and the Work Projects Administration (WPA), labor and materials were provided for the venture.
I was like WTF, Red Rocks was a project of the WPA? Of course I knew there were a ton of projects undertaken during the Great Depression/New Deal, but when I clicked through and started to read about WPA, RFC, and CCC, keeping in mind I am reading this while the debate was raging on the Stimulus Plan, I was left speechless.
They build interstate highways, rail, hospitals, and airports. Entire divisions that worked on nothing but soil erosion, flood control, dams, and irrigation to increase our farming capacity. Countless National and State Parks built and improved. There were entire divisions within the CCC that did nothing but restock rivers, streams, and lakes with fish and build fire lookout towers in Federal and State parks.
Oh, and of course the Tennessee Vally Authority (TVA), which still to this very day powers a large part of our nation.
I was stunned. Stunned first they did so much. But also stunned that so much of what was done 75+ years ago we're still benefiting from today. Let me say that again, still benefiting from today. I mean how many countless benefits have we gotten for each dollar spent on these projects?
When talking about Americans rising to adversity, you also have to think about WWII. I recall a few press conferences with Donald Rumsfeld where when asked about getting our troops improved body armor or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles that it would take time, years and years actually. You know, "you go to war with the Army you have."
So I started to look into what we did during WWII in a little more detail. How could it take America years to produce 100,000 units of body armor or say 10,000 MRAPs (what we ordered)?
During WWII almost overnight we retooled our factories to produce military equipment. Just a few numbers that you might have to read more then once to wrap your mind around.
- 22 aircraft carriers, 203 subs, and 8 battleships.
- 99,950 fighters, 21,116 bombers, and 17,332 transports.
- 71,067 tanks and 2,382,311 trucks (not cars or jeeps, trucks).
Maybe the most amazing stat, at the height of production we were producing 363 B-17s bombers a month, averaging between 14 and 16 Flying Fortress a day. A single retooled car factory was producing at least one a day.
We needed to do something and we did it!
Heck, when we decided to go to the moon, we did it in under a decade. But maybe something I find most interesting, it only took us 410 days to build the Empire State Building in 1930.
I use all these examples to highlight we have a history of getting shit done. Why can't we do that now? Why can't we again rise to a conflict or problem and solve it? It would be one thing if we didn't have a history of being able to achieve what we strive for, but we do.
Now excuse my language here but I am fucking sick and tried of hearing "oh it takes time." "It is hard." Or the "but, but, but" excuses. Bull shit. Don't tell me we couldn't be producing millions of hybrid cars, trucks, and buses a year while also upgrading our gas stations to handle them. Totally upgrading our electrical infrastructure. High speed rail being built everywhere. Thousands of massive wind and solar farms. I just don't buy we couldn't totally fucking remake our nation inside of a decade or so.
Obama was supposed to be a once in a generation politician. Somebody that could help us be better. To strive for greatness. To confront wrongs and make them right. To motivate young and old. White and black. Well IMHO the time for him to motivate is now. Not half measure and pretty words.
Lay out a "grand" plan. Explain why it matters. Highlight we have to sacrifice and it wouldn't be easy. But we'd be moving forward to a better future, for us, our children, and future generations. A more prosperous future. We can either help or not, but he is moving forward. At this point if he does this tonight, even if it makes him a one term President. I really don't care.
The time for leadership, action, and change is now! Or put another way, when he is done tonight I want a large part of our nation saying what this student said after hearing Obama speak at the University of Iowa, long before anybody thought he could be POTUS.
I feel like this is a step to the brighter future I've been hoping for, for such a long time. That I've been reading about. That ordinary people can do extraordinary things. It is not just him up there, we have to be behind him. We have to be engaged citizens.
Amen sister. We've done it before, we can do it again .......