Tom Friedman worries that Obama is not connecting on the gut level the way he was in the spring. It’s time for some passion. Here are some possible words for Barack.
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My fellow Americans. Tonight I want to talk to you about a crisis that threatens to engulf our country. I speak not about an attack from an external enemy like Al Qaeda, but rather about an insidious internal corruption of our political system that has been going on for 30 years. The corruption of politicians by the big money interests have drained your treasury and put us collectively in unimaginable debt. As former Treasury Secretary Pete Peterson has shown, each one of you listening to me is carrying $175,000 of the $52 trillion debt as your share. This is the inheritance you are leaving to your children–a $350,000 debt for a couple. For eight of those 30 years, under Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party worked diligently to bring budgets back in balance and when we turned over the government to George Bush there was actually a budget surplus. But once The White House was returned to Republican control, the lobbyists and the special interests were allowed back into controlling government agencies and the pigs were at the trough. Yesterday it was reported that this year’s deficit soared to $407 Billion and that we will add another $2.3 trillion to that debt you will hand to your children in the next ten years.
Now my opponent has been in Congress for 25 of the 30 years of this disaster and during that time, he has had to appear before the ethics committee for using his influence for a convicted Savings and Loan swindler named Charles Keating. Senator McCain will tell you that he “got religion” during that process and learned his lessons. But I have to ask you, what has he done in the last eight years to stop running up the bills on your national credit card? He has supported George Bush’s tax cuts for millionaires, draining billions from the Treasury that could have been used to pay down your children’s debt. He has championed a War in Iraq that costs us $12 billion a month and for which you will be paying for years as we absorb the costs of caring for the tens of thousands of brave men and women who were maimed in that conflict and will live for years with prosthetic limbs and glass eyes. Think of where we might have spent that $2 trillion that might have improved the schools your children attend or the failing bridges in your towns. But John McCain has promised to continue George Bush’s War and George Bush’s tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. By that definition it would be insane to believe that McCain and Palin are going to change Washington.
I have said this is a national crisis. But I think you already know that. The respected pollster John Zogby recently reported that one quarter of you listening to me now are earning less than you once earned. Is this the American Dream–to go backwards? Is this the American dream to go from earning $19 an hour to earning $12 an hour? Joe Biden and I promise you that we are here to stop this 30 year Republican regime of decline. But not everyone has gone backward in the last eight years. The executives at Exxon Mobil who support John McCain have earned hundreds of millions. The stockholders of Halliburton like Dick Cheney have earned billions. McCain and Palin boast about how they are all for the free markets and against government regulation, but here’s what Professor Nouriel Roubini says about the pretend free market advocates like Bush and McCain.
But these laissez faire voodoo-economics zealots in charge of the USA have now caused the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression and the nastiest economic crisis in decades. So let them be shamed in public for their hypocrisy and zealotry that has caused so much financial and economic damage.
So I am going to ask you to join with Joe Biden and myself in a campaign to rebuild America. The Republicans have had their turn at the wheel and before they run the ship of state into the rocks, we ask you to give us control of the tiller. We know that some of the proposals we have made will be resisted by our own party as well. We cannot promise you that getting our country back on course will be easy. It will take real commitment from each of you and real sacrifice. For the last eight years the President has told you that your responsibility is to “go out and shop”. Well guess what? That fantasy is over if you elect us. For thirty years we have let our infrastructure crumble. Our bridges collapse, our schools are second rate, and even our broadband capacity is 16th in the world. We are going to embark on the most important national project since John Kennedy said we were going to the moon. We promise to make America the leader in Clean Tech, producing millions of new high paying jobs which will get our economy rolling again. And these new companies will attract capital and the best and brightest minds to our shores and at the same reduce our dependence on oil from the Arab and Russian state monopolies.
John McCain’s campaign manager says that this election is not about issues, but about personalities. I’m sure Ms. Palin has a great personality, but the crisis we face is to dangerous for this election to be like some high school personality contest.
If you believe, like Joe and I do, that these issues matter, I ask you to join with us and Rebuild America.