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It was an extraordinary admission of failure: President Obama didn’t realize exactly what he was acknowledging the other day when he said, “You can’t change Washington from the inside.”
You are right, Mr. President, if your agenda is not the people’s agenda, and that’s where you went wrong. What you have done is not what the majority of the people have wanted. It’s been all about what you want, and your belief that you can make better decisions for people than they can make for themselves.
There is not a better example than Obamacare. For someone who claims he wants the people to demand change, Obama certainly showed disdain for the will of the people in shoving Obamacare down the nation’s throat. The latest polls still show that most people do not like Obamacare just as they didn’t before it was passed in 2010. It is going to put a lot of businesses out of business, and cause a lot of people to lose what health insurance they do have.
But your administration is not listening. You were also not listening back in 2009, when the voters of Massachusetts (of all states!) sent Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate in a special election that took away your filibuster-proof Senate Democrat majority.
In 2010, the voters reacted again by giving the Democrats a shellacking in the 2010 midterm election. But to this day you remain unapologetic toward the nation’s majority, although we don’t hear you bragging much on the campaign trail about having passed Obamacare. People are not going to forget about all of that, and they are not going to forget that none of the promises made about Obamacare are happening, nor will they happen in the future if we just give it more time.
But you have changed Washington in some ways: You made it bigger, more in debt, more bureaucratic, more inefficient, more gridlocked, more partisan, more divided and more out of touch with the people. You have done this from your belief that you know better than everyone else what the country needs.
Now, I understand the point the president was trying to make. It’s one I’ve often made as well, which is that the political class in Washington is not going to start doing what they should do unless and until the people demand it. That’s why I titled my most recent book “9-9-9: An Army of Davids.” The “army of Davids” refers to the American people, who will need to stand up to the Washington establishment and demand real solutions to problems. If they don’t do their jobs, we vote them out and vote some others in until the people get the results they want.
If the same politicians, who run up $1 trillion deficits every year, keep getting re-elected, they will keep doing it. If the voters reward politicians for kicking the can down the road on entitlement restructuring, they will keep right on kicking it.
There are plenty of other examples. The people didn’t tell Obama to run up $5 trillion in new debt, nor did they tell him to flush $862 billion down the toilet in the form of a “stimulus” bill to pay for non-existent “shovel ready” jobs.
And the people are certainly not telling Obama now to run from the truth when it comes to economic growth, unemployment, energy and national security. Leaders do not run from the truth, distort the truth or ignore the truth.
True leadership requires you to honestly explain the right priorities to the nation and secure the consent of the governed. Obama has done exactly the opposite of that.
Changing Washington will require the people to demand real solutions, and to hold elected officials accountable for achieving them. Since Obama has not just failed but flat-out refused to do any of this, the first step in demanding this accountability is to vote Obama out of office.
Then, and only then, we can change Washington from the inside and the outside.