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A “conversation” with President Obama

Right Angles column published in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on October 16, 2012  http://www.postindependent.com/article/20121016/VALLEYNEWS/121019917&parentprofile=search

Who is Barack Obama? What are his core beliefs? What is his agenda for America? Undecided voters may have tuned into the first Presidential debate with such questions in mind. Mr. Obama’s inept arguments, worn-out talking points, and empty glances around the room simply showed he isn’t an engaged leader.

So who “is” Barack Obama? To find out, I took a cue from Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention, and had my own “conversation” with President Obama.

Kellogg: Mr. President, small business in America is vital for job creation. How will you foster a better economic climate for small business success?

President: Businesses will hire if they can get loans to cover payroll.

Kellogg: So you believe entrepreneurs and businesses should spend lots of money they don’t have?

President: What do you think a stimulus is? It’s spending – that’s the whole point!

Kellogg: As it stands, we face high unemployment, lower wages, uncertain retirement benefits, and a massive national debt. How are Americans, especially our youth, supposed to secure their future?

President: With the changing economy, no one has lifetime employment. But community colleges provide lifetime employability.

Kellogg: People should just acquire new job skills and move on? What about entrepreneurs who took on risk to start businesses? Increased regulations and higher taxes could destroy all they’ve built.

President: If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help… Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

Kellogg: American free-enterprise is responsible for more innovation than government bureaucracy. Technology is a prime example.

President: The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

Kellogg: Government never envisioned commercial application of an information network. Private sector visionaries developed the internet into a cornerstone of our economy.

President: It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle-class security all bear the union label.

Kellogg: America was built on the principle of individual liberty, not unions. That means people are entitled to keep most of what they earn.

President: I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.

Kellogg: You’re promoting wealth distribution?

President: I believe in redistribution.

Kellogg: Let’s shift to energy. Increased domestic energy production will lower energy costs and foster economic growth.

President: Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.

Kellogg: A free-market approach without government subsidies would make energy more abundant and less costly.

President: We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times…

Kellogg: Maybe we should move to foreign policy. Violence and anti-American sentiment is prevalent throughout the Middle East.

President: A crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.

Kellogg: Actually, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in a planned terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9-11. That’s why over 70% of Americans believe we are  at war with Islam.

President: I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.

Kellogg: What do you say to conservatives and independents who don’t agree with you? They want a leader who will stand up for American heritage and values.

President: It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Kellogg: Thank you for this revealing “chat”, Mr. President.

Of course, I’ve provided no breaking news. These are the exact words the President uttered himself. That’s who Barack Obama is. Ready to vote now?

James D. Kellogg is a professional engineer, the author of the thriller novel E-Force, and an outdoor adventure enthusiast in western Colorado. Visit JamesDKellogg.com to learn more.

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