The bright young Democratic presidential hopeful, Barack Obama, delivered a thrilling call to arms today in Osawatomie, Kansas, where for almost an hour on stage he cut with fevered precision at the fiber of America’s Neofeudal insurgency.
The bullish upstart is cannonading forth — and up in the polls — on the strength of his searing rhetoric and a compelling record of work rebuilding downtrodden communities on Chicago’s meanest streets.
This afternoon, before a frothing crowd of young Trustbusters and “Occupy” warriors, the candidate made a thrilling call to arms — All Americans must pay their “fair share,” he blared, and no Americans, he declaimed, no matter how rich, could have achieved their fortune without the faith and favor of their fellow citizens blowing happily beneath their wings.
It will require American business leaders to understand that their obligations don’t just end with their shareholders. Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel put it best: “There’s another obligation I feel personally,” he said, “given that everything I’ve achieved in my career and a lot of what Intel has achieved…were made possible by a climate of democracy, an economic climate and investment climate provided by…the United States.”
This broader obligation can take different forms. At a time when the cost of hiring workers in China is rising rapidly, it should mean more CEOs deciding that it’s time to bring jobs back to the United States – not just because it’s good for business, but because it’s good for the country that made their business and their personal success possible.
Republicans will call it class warfare, surely, and the moneyed interested from Wall Street to K Street have already begun to bay their protest. But there seems to be little in the form of corrupting power or money that can cool this Obama’s Rooseveltian flames.
One purrs at the thought of an Obama presidency. His arrival at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., though still a far-off dream, a lived-in theory for so many of our trod-upon countrymen, could only mean a fundamental renovation of the halls of American political power.
Of course, one cannot marshal such a charge without smart and dedicated lieutenants at his flanks. In Elizabeth Warren, another newcomer to the national political scene, Obama has just that. Here is Warren, weeks ago but clearly speaking in the language of the party vanguard:
“You built a factory out there? Good for you… But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”
“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Yes, the revolution is now rising and breaking like angry waves on the polluted beach of our oppressors. Inspired by Obama, the Occupy movement — so often heard chanting his name — has laid down markers from Modesto to Madrid.
After decades of deception and almost four years of emergency-style rule, finally, a leader with two hands free to rally The People, The Youth… The Future of the nation. And when a hundred years from now the spell remains unbroken let our children’s children turn to their own brood and say, “Your forebears were there and they lifted up the great Obama, ‘taller far than a tall man,’ and Osawatomie, Kansas, shall be forever known as our Finland Station.”