The president’s “A Blueprint for an America Built to Last” State of the Union speech, on January 24, 2012, was a brilliant send-off for 2012 voters. The president, well prepared, vision clear, broad and inclusive, offered for discussion to all voters a blueprint for continuing America as “built to last.”
The author of the book on corporations the president referenced, Built to Last, has since written on why “built to last” didn’t. This is why this blueprint is so important for America, so the oldest constitution in the world lasts.
In a word, the president was pitch perfect for the group that will determine the election: independents. Whoever wins in November, regardless of party, will use much of this blueprint. Readers of this column know we personally wish the future of African Americans was included in his blueprint, especially in Black enclaves in inner cities, suburbs, and rural areas.
Although we understand the president’s strategy, we haven’t forgotten the statistics and facts showing purposeful, unfair outcomes regarding education, jobs, housing, diversity compliance, etc., as reported for eight years in this column.
Key blueprint points for keeping “the American promise” alive:
• The thrilling assertions of the president that: “America is Back,” “the state of the union is getting strong,” America is “a Pacific power,” “America is not in decline,” “America is the one indispensable nation,” and that he is not going to “turn back.” He began and ended his address thanking the military, saying our “freedom is due to uniforms,” asking all to “join in common purpose.”
• He laid out the choice for voters using the best ideas of both Democrats and Republicans, inviting all to participate in creating a playbook all can use to achieve these goals: “strengthen the economy,” “fix tax inequalities,” “pay down the debt,” “invest in the future,” achieving a “fairer America.”
• With 14 million students in community colleges, his strong promotion of science and technology, which is where the real jobs will be, especially through corporate-college and community college partnerships that may well create more than “two million more jobs.”
• Energy and climate policy moderation: “The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change,” and so he asked Congress to “at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation,” and then, noting that the Department of Defense, “the world’s largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history.”
He then asked for more “oil drilling” and “extraction of natural gas out of shale rock,” especially “on federal lands” and “off shore,” to undergird the economy while more research for “wind, solar and battery” facilitates a faster transition to “renewable fuels.”
• “Restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What’s at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them,” and “It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: no bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody.”
“I am a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: that government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more. That’s why my education reform offers more competition, and more control for schools and States. That’s why we’re getting rid of regulations that don’t work. That’s why our healthcare law relies on a reformed private market, not a government program.”
The president outlined our political parties’ strengths to achieve successful change in education, jobs, job training, energy, housing, manufacturing renewal, immigration, health care, Social Security, Medicare, deficit reduction, entitlement programs for the rich and the poor, college costs, student loan relief, and tax fairness proposals.
Changes in technology and globalization will impact policy debates more and faster; they need to catch up, as the USA and the world seek a balance between investments and subsidies strategies.
The president said, “I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum.” But just in case Washington stays “broken,” he’s taking his blueprint to the voters in November. So, just as with the Constitutional Blueprint designed 236 years ago, the American voters will be the final judges in November regarding who will lead 2012’s “Blueprint for an America Built to Last.”
Ron Edwards hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm; hosts “Black Focus” on Blog Talk radio Sundays at 3 pm; and co-hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “ON POINT!” Saturdays at 4 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his solution papers for community planning and development and “web log” at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.