NEW YORK – A 1995 video depicts Barack Obama calling for “democracy with a small ‘d,’” while pushing a society based on collectivism and “common good.”
In the video unearthed by KleinOnline, Obama hails unions and collective bargaining as encapsulating the societal “common good” of which he speaks.
Obama urges society to collectively move “forward” – a word that would later serve as his 2012 campaign slogan.
Obama was speaking in an Aug. 11, 1995 interview pushing his just published book, “Dreams From My Father.” At the time, Obama was a community organizer planning to launch a political career.
Obama tells the interviewer the “best part” of the dream of his “African father and white American mother,” was the “notion that we collectively can decide on our fate.”
He continued: “That things like technological change, things like mass media, things like the market are all subject to our control. That we can make decisions for better or for worse and continue to move forward and progress.”
Obama was asked whether the collective meant “us” or “those of us who own the major media and other corporate entities.”
He replied, “You know, I think in the end it does have to be a broad us. It has to be democracy with a small ‘d.’”
Obama explained what he meant by democracy, laying out a “common good” that includes unions.
“I think that recapturing the spirit that existed not just in the civil-rights movement but in the union organizing movement, in the populous movement. I think there is a running thread; one of the better angels of our nature in this country which has been the notion that, you know, we can sit around the table and find common ground and make democracy work in the way that it should be working.”
He continued, “It’s not popular right now to say that, and to believe in sort of a common good, but I think that notions of a common good are the glue that hold our society together and make democracy possible.”
The interviewer then asked Obama whether he is “willing to stake your political career on your common ground?”