Advice from President Obama

*Posted by Joe Wooddell

On October 17, 2013, President Obama advised the following: “And now that the government is reopened, and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do, and that’s grow this economy; create good jobs; strengthen the middle class; educate our kids; lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul.  That’s why we’re here.  That should be our focus.” (His entire remarks can be found here.

So, the President encouraged listeners to “stop focusing on the lobbyists,” “bloggers,” “talking heads on radio,” and “professional activists who profit from conflict.” True, we should not focus merely on these things, but we should pay attention to them all. To lobbyists in order to see who’s influencing our leaders, what they are influencing them to do, and whether it’s legal; to “professional activists who profit from conflict” so as to analyze whether their arguments are valid and sound. (To learn the difference between a valid and sound argument, sign up for Critical Thinking at Criswell College next Spring, meeting on Thursdays from 1:30-4:00. Schedule and registration info is forthcoming at www.criswell.edu.)

We ought not to equate radio personalities and bloggers with lobbyists and activists indiscriminately. Since we typically have a negative opinion of the former two, Obama disparages the latter two groups by association with the former. When he mentions radio he probably doesn’t mean the wonderfully fair and unbiased segments and personalities of National Public Radio (read sarcasm here), but rather conservatives whose audiences together number in the tens of millions. And why doesn’t he advise against the “talking heads” on television? Is it because television is more objective, fair, and balanced, or because so many of the television “news” shows and personalities seldom challenge him the way radio personalities do?

What about bloggers? Does the President really think their views should not be considered? Surely the President sees the internet as a wonderful tool for the freedoms of speech and press guaranteed in the Constitution’s First Amendment. Shouldn’t he see blogs as ideal for ‘the little guy’ to have his voice heard in this world of news conglomerates and broadcasting empires? Rather than fearing or disparaging blogs, he ought to welcome and encourage open, honest, detailed debate in the public square. The internet is no exception.

Finally, when the President says voters sent their elected officials to Washington to “grow this economy; create good jobs; strengthen the middle class; educate our kids; lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul,” he should remember that at least half of America doesn’t want Washington doing any of these things. For example, I don’t expect Washington to grow the economy except by instituting policies that make it easier for entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed. Regarding the strength of the “middle class,” it’s more hurtful than helpful even to talk about society in terms of “classes.” It invites animosity rather than unity. Instead, we should talk about all Americans becoming more free, secure, and better off.

As to educating our kids, I’ll keep it simple and direct: Dear Mr. President, please don’t even try. Instead, you and other elected officials should attempt to create conditions whereby parents and local communities become more empowered as their children’s primary educators. Finally, regarding the foundation for broad-based prosperity, fiscal responsibility, and security: these are done not by spending more but less.

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4 Responses to Advice from President Obama

  1. So, does this mean he’s going to stop welcoming lobbyists to the White House?

    • jdwooddell says:

      Who knows what he’s going to do next? There are several things he wants to tackle: immigration, a farm bill, etc. Probably we can assume it will be big. He ran the first time on “fundamentally changing America,” and he ran the second time on “finishing the job.” Thanks for reading and commenting, Ernie.

  2. J. D. Wyner says:

    Do you have a radio show? I know you and my buddy (Barry) often are together. I am proud to say that both of you fall into the category of “talking heads” that the president refers to. He should listen to the both of you and I believe he would hear what a God trusting Christian really believes, not some chatter from someone that distorts God’s word to fit a misguided political agenda. The sad part of all of this is I as a conservative will never vote for an abortion or homosexual marriage candidate for ANY party. This probably will insure more liberals as President being elected until God intervenes somehow to correct this course. He has two people I listen to on KCBI that certainly are doing all they can to lead us in the right direction. Thank you for your Christian wisdom and insight………….both of you. J D

    • jdwooddell says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting, JD, and for the kind words. No, I don’t have my own radio show, but I enjoy doing the radio with Dr. Creamer whenever I can. Regarding voting for a pro-abortion or pro-homosexual marriage candidate, let’s hope it never comes to that in BOTH of the major parties. That said, (and you might not like this, but I have to be honest based on what I think is true and right), I often tend to cast my vote for the “lesser of two evils,” but also only for a candidate that has a realistic chance of winning. That means if the lesser of two “evils” still holds some positions with which I fundamentally disagree, I am compelled to vote for him, if only to try and stop the greater evil of the other person getting elected. I think our Congressmen should do similarly. That is, they might end up voting for legislation that has things attached with which they disagree, but it also might be a step in the right direction overall, or it might prevent some worse legislation from occurring. I am open to being proven wrong on this point, but this is where I currently stand. It’s similar to situations like present-day Syria. Bashar Al-Asad is certainly no saint, but who’s to say the current “rebels” wouldn’t bring in an even worse regime? We should have acted in Syria two years ago when there was a chance at a legitimate, more pluralistic or “liberal” (in the classic sense of that word; i.e. “freedom loving”) government that would take over. Now that seems highly unlikely at best. God bless.

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