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Obama video: 'Common ground' good 'for all people'

Advocated use of community organizing to bypass 'unsympathetic' courts

In a 1995 video interview, Barack Obama advocated using an economic agenda to achieve a “common ground” that would be “good for all people.”

While Obama does not define what he means by “common ground” during that one interview, in another video interview from the same year, first exposed by WND last week, Obama specifically defined “common ground” as a society built on collectivism, including unions and collective bargaining.

Now Obama is seen speaking in 1995 on “Connie Martinson Talks Books,” which airs on public television. The future politician was promoting his just published book, “Dreams From My Father.” At the time, Obama was a community organizer planning to launch a political career.

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During a discussion about race relations, Martinson had asked Obama whether economics can be used to advocate liberalism.

“Liberalism seems to fly out the window when people are nervous about their economy,” Martinson contended.

Obama replied, “Um hm. Well, I think that that is true. What I do think, though, is that there is the possibility of building common ground around an economic agenda that would be good for all people.”

Just before those comments, Obama also advocated for using community organizing to bypass the U.S. court system while nudging for social change.

Obama explained it was increasingly difficult to bring employment discrimination lawsuits in civil-rights cases, claiming public-interest groups were “outgunned” and that the U.S. judiciary was “not sympathetic to the cause of civil rights.”

“Progress is probably not gonna come through the courts these days. We are not going to see a Brown vs. the Board of Education type of decision anytime soon.”

He continued: “What we are gonna have to do is to sort of work at the grassroots level and the community level and also rediscover some sense of mutual responsibility between black and white America if we are gonna make progress into the 21st century.”

In the interview with Martinson, Obama did not spell out what he means by using economics to build a “common ground.”

However, the politician used the same term in another interview about his book, defining his version of “common ground.”

During that Aug. 11, 1995, video exchange, 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 added: “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” and “common ground” 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?”

“That’s the core of my faith,” Obama replied.

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