The President's acceptance speech tonight can be summed up very simply: "I have faith in America; if Americans put their faith in me, things will get better. Cross my heart."
Left unexplained is why, if Barack Obama is re-elected, the next four years should be any different from the past four years. Has the failure of his administration to put people back to work been because America had too little faith or insufficient hope? Or are there more concrete reasons, such as policies that have stifled entrepreneurship, policies that have put more faith and hope in big government instead of strengthening private enterprise?
The President's speech was a laundry list of things he hopes to accomplish. It was long on promises, plans, dreams and a grand vision of a robust and thriving economy, all things possible if he is re-elected. Having a vision is a vital first step to effective leadership. But after he has articulated a vision, an effective leader has to have the skills to accomplish it, to take that vision from gauzy dream to gritty reality.
Though the President implied in his speech that it was an uncooperative Congress that has frustrated his plans, one suspects the real problem is a failure at the top, a failure to translate dreams into actions.
Let's not forget that Barack Obama came into the presidency with no private sector experience, no experience creating jobs, little legislative experience, and with a philosophical bent for solving problems with big, ambitious government programs. In the first two years of his presidency, with an undivided Congress, Obama was able to pass nearly every legislative initiative he wanted. He ran up debt faster than any President in history.
The result? The economy is in the toilet, unemployment is stuck at unacceptably high levels, our children have been saddled with staggering levels of future debt, America's credit rating has fallen... and Obama's solution is to continue with the same policies that ran us into the ditch in the first place. He asks for more time, he asks for a little more faith, he asks us to close our eyes and cross our fingers and believe with all of our hearts.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If America hasn't gone insane, this November we will vote for a President who can bring competence, experience and economic common sense back to the White House. It's time to thank Barack Obama for his service and show him the door.
Photo credit: Damian Dovarganes/AP