Politicians should hop off soapboxes

Two years ago, democratic candidate Barack Obama commanded the stage. He was bold and theatrical and quite a talker.

“Don’t tell me words don’t matter. ‘I have a dream’—just words? ‘We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal’—just words? ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’—just words? Just speeches?” Obama asked.
Yup. Some of the most important words ever painstakingly organized.

At the time, this man’s words resonated while others fell flat. Words that could bring change.

But two years later, we mostly have just those words, and Obama has eight years worth of policy to turn around. He doesn’t have much time. This is where everyone is getting it wrong. All those iconic phrases were nothing more than grand building blocks for the structure of a nation that needs to be rebuilt piece by bureaucratic piece.

Dr. King didn’t change the world by saying, “I have a dream.” He just influenced it. His words embodied his actions. They were iconic phrases that would become building blocks for the structure of a nation that needed to be rebuilt piece by piece.

President Obama is adept at creating a moment with his vocabulary, but greatness does not come from creating a moment. It comes from implementing ideas. Maybe understanding a few more details will allow the public to stop baring its teeth.

You cannot move a mountain with words. You cannot feed the hungry with words (Would you like half of my sandwich?). You cannot care for the sick with words (You should go to the hospital). You cannot defend our borders with words (Keep out). They’re just words.

Some columnists are tired of hollow words. So they talk. They expect soldiers to accept a man who prefers men, without question, after years of uncomfortable persecution and denial; they expect two groups that are constantly and irrevocably at each other’s throats to play nice in D.C. overnight.

Their words have been eloquent, but they are also biased.

Communication is not much of a problem in this day and age. Fair, genuine conversation and the ability to work together is our problem. It is time for members of our government to realize they have been elected for a reason. As for us, we go on depending on nonexistent unbiased news. There is no one truth. Ever.

It’s time for politicians to stop hiding behind a couple of mammalian mascots and get off their individual, unoriginal, many, many, soapboxes. Snapping at one another won’t move us in the right direction. There are too many harmful words and too few helpful ones. So fix it. Maybe all those soapboxes would make a great unified stage. Anyway, you have two years. Impress me.

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