Dear President Obama: You've Pretty Much Blown It

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CommonDreams.org

Dear President Obama: You've Pretty Much Blown It

by
Robert Barkley Jr

Dear President Obama:

I have written you several open letters. Each one seems to be more critical of your efforts thus far. Consequently, at least to me, the evidence of your continued poor performance is more magnified with each passing decision and action on your part.

Where do I start?

You've had a chance to stand up to the terrorist Israeli state, but despite hints at doing so you have apparently resigned yourself to continued support for their immoral and illegal actions. Thus far you've pretty much blown it here sir.

You had a chance to address the ills of Wall Street and the financial industry in general and Congressional complicity with them, but you shied away from the tough action that was necessary and even hired as advisors some of whom were at fault in the first place. Yes, the free-fall economy seems to have stabilized momentarily for those in the upper echelons of wealth, but not for the regular guys on Main Street. Thus far you've pretty much blown it here sir.

You have had more than one chance to tell the Pentagon and its Congressional friends, along with the military warmongers we've created, that the people are going to take over again, as the Constitution directs. Thus far you've pretty much blown it here sir - and in a big way.

You made lots of noise (some too kindly call it rhetoric) about the need to overhaul the nation's health care and insurance debacle. But when it has come right down to it, you decidedly were absent - the term "missing in action" seems most fitting here. Thus far you've pretty much blown it here sir.

You managed to get awarded a Nobel Prize for reasons I do not fully understand. Apparently is was for you gift of articulation, but certainly not for your gift of "walking the talk." I had hoped it was providential in some way, but so far it seems like the opportunity it provided to inspire actions consistent with the award's aura, have evaded you. A Peace Prize for escalating a war? Thus far you've pretty much blown it here sir.

You apparently understood the malignant hold of large corporations on our nation's and the globe's economic system, but the campaign contributions you accepted and your behavior thus far indicates that you buy into this charade of "free market" thinking. It's about time you grabbed these folks by the lapels instead of coddling them and even collaborating with them. Thus far you've pretty much blown it here sir.

Your seem to lean toward acceptance of the overwhelming evidence of global warming, and you occasionally utter something about the need to address it, but then your actions, as of yet, indicate only a passing interest. Will you not try to save the planet? Will you not push our nation to sanity and responsibility? Thus far you've pretty much blown it here sir.

Your grasp of enlightened educational improvement ideas also seems to have revealed a serious lapse in judgment. Charter schools, merit pay, standards and testing? These are arcane and perilous ventures sir. Each is flawed both psychologically and philosophically, not to mention financially. Thus far you've pretty much blown it here sir.

In all of the above, and much much more, you've had a chance. There's still time to get your head on straight, to match your walk with your talk, to surround yourself with new thinking, and to discard the failed theories and practices you inherited. There are over 300,000,000 of us out here sir. Limiting yourself to the same handful of "insiders" reveals that the change you had in mind was nowhere near what many of us envisioned and is needed. Sadly though, thus far you've pretty much blown it sir.

You sought this job with all your energy and commitment. What you inherited is quite frankly beside the point. Now it's yours - and ours. We are ready to make sacrifices and change ways. Are you? Thus far you've pretty much blown it here sir. There's still time.

Robert Barkley, Jr. is a counselor in Systemic Education Reform and retired Executive Director of the Ohio Education Association. He is the author of Quality in Education: A Primer for Collaborative Visionary Educational Leaders and Leadership In Education: A Handbook for School Superintendents and Teacher Union Presidents. He resides in Worthington, Ohio where he studies and writes on education and politics.

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