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Obama perspective on how change happens

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    President Obama made one of his more memorable speeches today (May 7, 2016) addressing the students at the Howard University graduation ceremony. I can't find the transcript yet, so you'll just have to click and enjoy.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Extract from speech on voting...

    “You don’t have to risk your life to cast a ballot. Someone already did that for you. What’s your excuse?” -- President Obama

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Extract from speech on voting...

    “You don’t have to risk your life to cast a ballot. Someone already did that for you. What’s your excuse?” -- President Obama

    Plenty of excuses; I could find a million. ( Do you really think your vote counts? ask the delegates and Schultz Wasserman etc.) By the way that picture of Obama; what happened, did he join the KKK or became a Bishop preacher assistance of Cruz. About the worst picture of him ever.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    If you would have watched the video, you would have known President Obama was the commencement speaker at the Howard University graduation ceremony. At the same ceremony, Obama was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from the university...hence the gown. It is custom for people receiving honorary degrees at American universities to wear gowns, the same as the graduates wearing gowns to receive their degrees.

    That "picture" is the first frame of the video you didn't watch.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: Plenty of excuses; I could find a million. ( Do you really think your vote counts? ask the delegates and Schultz Wasserman etc.) By the way that picture of Obama; what happened, did he join the KKK or became a Bishop preacher assistance of Cruz. About the worst picture of him ever.

    What is wrong with you? Seriously...what the hell is wrong with you?

    He was given an honorary degree from a historically black college and tried to remind those graduates of the fight their forefathers waged to make sure they earned the right to vote and participate in this democracy.

    You are no Democrat and you are no liberal. You are just an angry old man who has convinced yourself that whatever you think and say is the truth.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    If you would have watched the video, you would have known President Obama was the commencement speaker at the Howard University graduation ceremony. At the same ceremony, Obama was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from the university...hence the gown. It is custom for people receiving honorary degrees at American universities to wear gowns, the same as the graduates wearing gowns to receive their degrees.

    That "picture" is the first frame of the video you didn't watch.

    Sure I knew that; but again the typical culture here to do it that way; costumes don't make you any more wiser or have more brains; that is why in Europe they don't follow such. Again the biggest mistake here is to follow British customs; so I think SCOTUS all should wear powdered 17th Century wigs. Anyway it is a terrible picture.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: Plenty of excuses; I could find a million. ( Do you really think your vote counts? ask the delegates and Schultz Wasserman etc.) By the way that picture of Obama; what happened, did he join the KKK or became a Bishop preacher assistance of Cruz. About the worst picture of him ever.

    What is wrong with you? Seriously...what the hell is wrong with you?

    He was given an honorary degree from a historically black college and tried to remind those graduates of the fight their forefathers waged to make sure they earned the right to vote and participate in this democracy.

    You are no Democrat and you are no liberal. You are just an angry old man who has convinced yourself that whatever you think and say is the truth.

    I guess you have not any sense of humor and take everything serious in life; enjoy whatever. What is wrong with you? I guess you don't sleep very well, dreaming about getting also an robe like Obama. Your big problem is that you are way too serious about life in general. Relax!!! Otherwise take some weed.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    If you would have watched the video, you would have known President Obama was the commencement speaker at the Howard University graduation ceremony. At the same ceremony, Obama was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from the university...hence the gown. It is custom for people receiving honorary degrees at American universities to wear gowns, the same as the graduates wearing gowns to receive their degrees.

    That "picture" is the first frame of the video you didn't watch.

    Yes Schmidt, I know that; however the picture is horrible; like he's on "drugs" My view as I mentioned many times in the past that "uniforms or "robes" don't make you any more "educated" in life. Just look at our "999 generals the more stripes and glitter does not mean they know more. I think this country has a huge "inferiority" complex and therefore kicks on uniforms to elevate itself ; I doubt if they do the same in China. The British empire lost because they were more interested in their "island" culture, the same as we are doing now. I don't think Einstein wore any robes, but just used his brains without all the hoepla.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    History, Cap and Gown – a European Tradition

    Regarding the picture, when you capture a single frame from a video, it is not the same as a posed shot from a still camera. It's a video. Play it.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    The White House: Remarks by the President at Howard University Commencement Ceremony

    President Obama's speech can be read at the above link. He touched on several subjects, and I was hoping that the subject matter would create an intellectual dialogue. Instead this post, like so many others, is about petty things...the gown Obama wore for one. I was going to say something cynical, but I'll withhold it. Instead I will extract a few paragraphs to perhaps stimulate interest... on America making progress towards "a better place", on voting, on compromising, on the unfairness of life, and of course, on change. Extracts follow:

    "Given the current state of our political rhetoric and debate, let me say something that may be controversial, and that is this: America is a better place today than it was when I graduated from college. (Applause.) Let me repeat: America is by almost every measure better than it was when I graduated from college.

    "Since that year -- since the year I graduated -- the poverty rate is down. Americans with college degrees, that rate is up. Crime rates are down. America’s cities have undergone a renaissance. There are more women in the workforce. They’re earning more money. We’ve cut teen pregnancy in half. We've slashed the African American dropout rate by almost 60 percent, and all of you have a computer in your pocket that gives you the world at the touch of a button.

    "But let me say this: Even if we dismantled every barrier to voting, that alone would not change the fact that America has some of the lowest voting rates in the free world. In 2014, only 36 percent of Americans turned out to vote in the midterms -- the secondlowest participation rate on record. Youth turnout -- that would be you -- was less than 20 percent. Less than 20 percent. Four out of five did not vote. In 2012, nearly two in three African Americans turned out. And then, in 2014, only two in five turned out. You don’t think that made a difference in terms of the Congress I've got to deal with? And then people are wondering, well, how come Obama hasn’t gotten this done? How come he didn’t get that done? You don’t think that made a difference? What would have happened if you had turned out at 50, 60, 70 percent, all across this country? People try to make this political thing really complicated. Like, what kind of reforms do we need? And how do we need to do that? You know what, just vote. It's math. If you have more votes than the other guy, you get to do what you want. (Laughter.) It's not that complicated.

    "And democracy requires compromise, even when you are 100 percent right. This is hard to explain sometimes. You can be completely right, and you still are going to have to engage folks who disagree with you. If you think that the only way forward is to be as uncompromising as possible, you will feel good about yourself, you will enjoy a certain moral purity, but you’re not going to get what you want. And if you don’t get what you want long enough, you will eventually think the whole system is rigged. And that will lead to more cynicism, and less participation, and a downward spiral of more injustice and more anger and more despair. And that's never been the source of our progress. That's how we cheat ourselves of progress.

    "...one thing I can guarantee you -- you will have to deal with ignorance, hatred, racism, foolishness, trifling folks. (Laughter.) I promise you, you will have to deal with all that at every stage of your life. That may not seem fair, but life has never been completely fair. Nobody promised you a crystal stair. And if you want to make life fair, then you've got to start with the world as it is.

    "So that’s my advice. That’s how you change things. Change isn’t something that happens every four years or eight years; change is not placing your faith in any particular politician and then just putting your feet up and saying, okay, go. Change is the effort of committed citizens who hitch their wagons to something bigger than themselves and fight for it every single day."

    ---------------------------------------------

    There is so much more crammed into this speech. It is best to listen to it, but you can skim the transcript if you like. While he was primarily addressing the African American graduates at the school, his message is something we all can find something to think about.

    It is speeches like this that make me love our President and our government, and a desire to make it even better. Way to go Mr. President. I got your back.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Sorry, Schmidt. I learned that "speeches" alone are just words which evaporate in the air. I judge Obama for his "deeds" instead. Of course I think that he did do, what he could do, considering his limitations, as dictated by the Constitution, to make this a better society, because as Trump will find out, that he did not have any easy job, nor the power of a dictator. So I compliment Obama for his character and good intentions as well the things he achieved, regardless of all the opposition of the GOP as well others.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Yes, I will agree the ability to make inspirational speeches from teleprompters is a gift that President Obama possesses, but it is not only how he delivers the words, but the words themselves that have to resonate as truth...whether from a read speech or in answering questions at a press conference.

    It is one thing to make speeches with "feel good" promises, and quite another to have the political and intellectual skills to conceptualize how to make things happen. Some people like Harry Reid have great political and negotiating skills to reach a compromise. Others are wedded to their ideological positions and have difficulty compromising on anything.

    Our great political divide has as much to do with the way our brains are wired, partially our genes and partially our life's experiences. For those so indoctrinated it doesn't do any good to demonize their positions, but rather to try tap the part of their brains that drive critical thinking. It very difficult to do when competing with emotions. Lots of patience is needed and sometimes only incremental progress is all you will ever expect to achieve.

    My opinion...as always subject to an alternative view.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Yes, I will agree the ability to make inspirational speeches from teleprompters is a gift that President Obama possesses, but it is not only how he delivers the words, but the words themselves that have to resonate as truth...whether from a read speech or in answering questions at a press conference.

    It is one thing to make speeches with "feel good" promises, and quite another to have the political and intellectual skills to conceptualize how to make things happen. Some people like Harry Reid have great political and negotiating skills to reach a compromise. Others are wedded to their ideological positions and have difficulty compromising on anything.

    Our great political divide has as much to do with the way our brains are wired, partially our genes and partially our life's experiences. For those so indoctrinated it doesn't do any good to demonize their positions, but rather to try tap the part of their brains that drive critical thinking. It very difficult to do when competing with emotions. Lots of patience is needed and sometimes only incremental progress is all you will ever expect to achieve.

    My opinion...as always subject to an alternative view.

    Schmidt, I partially agree with you, but like I said, Trump makes great entertaining speeches as well and gets lots of votes because of it. However in "practice" I wonder if he's a total disaster. So I am of the opinion that "speeches" are just "icing" on the cake, but the cake itself may make you sick. Like I said "words" are just vibrations in the air; it are the "actions" as well "management" skills which counts. Hitler also had "motivational" speeches; the result was terrible. So the "gift" of Obama will be part of the history books, but did not move this country forward as it should have. That is why Trump's speeches work better, for the "dumb" masses here.