Advice for President Obama on Keeping the Message Fresh
Max’s advice for February 3, 2009
Dear President Obama,
Max grew up as the son of a man who knew ‘ALL’ the answers to the problems of the world. Max’s father said so! Many times, his father let everyone know that anyone who didn’t know that he had the answers was a turkey or a knucklehead.
The famous Ma Bell, the second most powerful force in the world (next to God of course), thought so much of Max’s father’s opinions, that she made him ‘Supervisor of Troubles’. This is true!
The advice Max promised you, President Obama.
Keep the message fresh!
Max heard your message for two years. The whole world heard your message that it was time for a change.
Yet everyone heard a different message based on the change they thought you would bring.
The gay community saw in you a person who would recognize that it is wrong to deny people the same civil rights as everyone else because God made them different.
Those who see being born gay as sinful saw in your message a doom to the sanctity that they hold their ideal of marriage as their beliefs see it.
The Pro-Choice folks saw in your message a return to unfettered liberalism on the issue of abortion.
The Pro-Life folks saw in you a person who would return us to a time of unfettered liberalism on of all isssues of abortion.
The most liberal of Democrats saw in you a person that would end all wars and return America to a gleaming image of Democracy and fair play.
Those who see the world as America’s to shape saw in your message a call for retreat from international involvement and a return to isolationism.
The Unions saw in you a friend who would quickly provide a platform of new growth.
Business people were split on the message they saw depending largely whether they saw themselves as winners or losers in the redirection of business regulations and taxes.
The many conservatives in the crowd saw you as a potential enemy to Capitalism with a capital ‘C’. At least a few claimed to have heard you planning to redistribute all the wealth in the nation.
Whatever people saw in your message, time will take its toll on it. The inevitable delays in the legistlative process and the overwhelming volume of immediate issues all join together to make your message more distant and less clear.
Whether we understood your message correctly or only placed our own delusions on it, if you want the message to stay fresh you need to repeat the “‘Yes we can!” with all the clarity you can muster.
Buried in the recent unwelcome economic news, your new administration has already done some interesting things. But they are being buried by the economy and a few people you nominated have had some difficulty with doing the math correctly on their taxes (could be an ethics education opportunity).
Max realizes your answer to seven million uninsured children was “Yes we can!”
Now it is time to say “Yes we did!” You have made a good start on the problem of insuring more children.
What would help the nation know where you are leading us is more “Yes we can!” statements being repeated with clarity of what it is we can get done.
The questions that people are asking are many and varied. They want to know if we can educate our children, if we can put the nation back to work, if we can win the war with Al Quida and its allies, if we can manage climate change, if we can make the world safe from nuclear war, if we can give every person equal civil rights, and many more thoughts implied or interpreted from your campaign.
Your town hall approaches to getting in front of the people is a good first step. Perhaps every ninety days or so you might want to have a town hall to talk about what you have accomplished, with a period of time for people to talk to you about what they would like to see next. It is important that the things you do every week that change the nation be communicated.
Not everyone watches CSPAN and not every media outlet highlights government actions as a success. Yet to the people, all the people, you have a real opportunity to educate us on how the democratic process works. You are one of the first presidents to be in a position to demystify the process by which the nation is governed.
You are the only person who can tell us what it is we can do during your administration.
Max wishes you well in making the government truly a transparent instrument of the people’s will.
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Link one goes to Obama’s original “Yes We Can!” speech transcript.
Link two is a short article on clear messages.
Link three leads to a collection of songs based on the ‘yes we can’ theme.