I wasn't going to listen to it. As a matter of fact, I just figured that if the recorded episode of Alcatraz, that we were going to watch, during our early supper, precluded it, there was no big deal to worry about. Our show, with the commercials eliminated, ended in time for the TV to switch over to The Speech. We had missed only a couple of sentences and so we reeled it back to listen to the whole thing. The Whole Thing.
BAM! Who was this guy? Oh, HE was the man that I heard speak at the Democratic Convention a number of years ago. HE was the orator who gave me goosebumps when he spoke about what is right and wrong with our country. HE was the one that I voted for (by absentee ballot) and watched win the election, the night that we were in Baltimore, a very African American town, much like Oakland, where Rod and I grew up. HE was the man who had disappeared under the tent flap, working behind the scenes, while the Clowns ran in and out of the little car. Well, last night, HE was back.
Last night, he spoke up for Me and You. It was one of those speeches that had me jumping and shouting like a Big Hat Lady in Church. Yessuh! That's Right! It was like the best Parent/Leader speech ever, beginning with the lines that were built to break the ice, giving the entire body of the house something to stand for. It was like the guys from American Pickers finding that first item that they could get the old guy in the barn to agree upon, so that they could grease the wheels of commerce. Troops out of Iraq...BAM. Bin Laden...BAM; greased wheels and butts out of seats.
The speech went on very quickly into the territory of what has been happening behind the tent flap and how the country CAN turn around, IF the people sitting in the congress will DO something about it. He didn't call them out, specifically, about being a Do Nothing Congress but gave them a patriotic challenge to pull together, as Americans and actually save this place that we all love. I loved all of the ideas that I heard, about giving business tax incentives for bringing manufacturing home because that is what *I* and every other partriotic small business person has probably been saying, over their morning paper, every day. I agree with the idea of taxing capital gains at the same rate as wages and don't care if our little nest-egg has that hit. Our nest-egg earns a little bit of money but the Nest Egg of someone like Mitt Romney earns SO much money that it is lucky and obscene, all at the same time. You and I pay our taxes on what we earn while the very very wealthy have lobbyists who influence congress to help them to keep their tax payments way below that of a working stiff. We have no lobbyists. No, I take that back; our lobbyists took to the streets this year and I believe that what they said and did was heard through the heavy tent canvas. He spoke to US last night.
I watched as the prime players in the Beltway Drama stood up or sat stone faced. I heard him go after both sides of the house with the call to ban interested parties from owning stock in companies that could be helped by their votes. That really spoke to me because I saw corruption and gain from the senators and congress men and women that I relied on to be "the good guys". I heard the President call upon every one in congress to do what is right for this country.
I heard him say what *I* say all of the time, how we are letting our youth go without the education that MY generation had and took for granted. I heard him say so many of the things that we all know to be true. We have to pull together, to get down the road. If we stand in the road, pulling in opposite directions, we will never get anywhere and the wheels will rot.
Pull back the tent flaps. There is a way for compromise and for there to be something for each one of us to put into our pocket for tomorrow. So many of our citizens have been listening to the addictive, negative and misleading rhetoric spewed out by For-Profit hate mongers that they have no notion that we have all been ROBBED. Shine a light on this stuff and shame your representative into doing what is Right for all of us. THIS is what I got from The Speech last night. I didn't hear some Washington Insider with a Boiler Plate Special, I heard MYSELF. I heard the President talk about universal high speed internet access so that the small business woman living in a rural setting could connect to the world and have a faster way of getting her product out to her customers around the world. Hey! That's ME. That's YOU. That's not elitist, that is like getting electricity to every farmhouse in America, during the Depression.
We CAN do this and The Speech was like a Call To Arms. Go to the streets because SOMEONE is listening. There was something in The Speech to touch everyone and if it left you scowling, you must be Mitch McConnell, the man whose only raison d'etre is to stand in the way of everything that could be done to save this country, if it is done under the watch of THAT guy. Screw that, as they say in the vernacular. Being a Bad Guy, a Greedy Guy is NOT COOL. We have become a nation of poor inner city kids who idolize the Pimp Daddy and Gang Leader because THEY have the big cars, diamond Grill and stacks of cash. Come on, people, the real heroes are the kids who did their homework and got Out. The real heroes are Gabby Giffords, Elizabeth Warren and Paul Krugman.
At the end of The Speech, Rod was sniffling and I was on my feet clapping. HE finally said it, out loud. We CAN fix this place up and if you don't want to help, we will tax you and you will help, by default. Amen.