Four years removed from the audacity of “Change We Can Believe In,” the President’s campaign slogan for the 2012 election is “Forward.” Its selection as the mantra for the campaign tells us a bit about the past and the future of the Obama Presidency.
With respect to the past, the selection of “Forward” implies that the nation, and more importantly, the Obama administration, has not been moving in that direction the past four years. Surely this is the stance of the Romney campaign, as they argue on the campaign trail that the downgrading of the nation’s credit rating, the accumulation of $5 trillion in new debt, the imposition of new regulations on businesses and the passage of a thousand page health care bill that went unread by most, if not all, Members of Congress, does not represent progress forward. The Romney campaign has recently continued to ask voters whether they are truly better off today than they were four years ago. It is no wonder that the Obama campaign would rather have voters focus their eyes “Forward.” The last four years, for many, have not gone that well.
With respect to the future, one need look no further than this week’s debate at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina for a glimpse at the type of nation Obama envisions. The word “God” which was included in portions of the 2008 Democratic Party platform, was conveniently (or inconveniently, depending upon your political and religious inclination) removed from the 2012 Democratic Party platform. After recognizing the political fallout that would inevitable emerge from such an omission, the DNC Platform Chairman moved to re-insert the word “God” back into the platform, along with a reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. A verbal, 2/3rds majority vote was required to affirm the motion. The video clip of the vote, in which Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sought verbal confirmation from the delegates for approval of the motion, is too classic to miss, and can be seen here: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/clip/3872849. In the clip, taken from the floor of the Democratic Convention, it is crystal clear that 2/3rds of the voting delegates did not approve the motion. This was true even after Mayor Villaraigosa sought the verbal affirmation from the delegates on three separate occasions. Yet the motion was approved. The question remains, is a Godless society the vision of Obama’s direction “Forward”?
For a nation, under God, undeniably founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, the attempted removal of a mere reference to God sheds light on the DNC’s vision of the future. With a second term, President Obama has already mentioned to foreign leaders, most notably to Russian President Vladimir Putin, that he will have greater “flexibility” once the election is over and he is safely guarded by a second term. Perhaps this “flexibility” is Obama’s true direction Forward.
Voters should be cautious about exactly where “Forward” may take them.
(Ben Everard is an attorney and producer based in Los Angeles.)