Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Barack Obama's "Sputnik Moment"

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In an interesting test of what might be the essence of his State of the Union speech after the first of the year, and, for that matter, a theme in his run-for-a-second-term, President Obama told a small group of kids at Winston-Salem's Forsyth Tech, "We need a commitment to innovation we haven't seen since President Kennedy challenged us to go to the moon."

He said, "We need a new 'Sputnik Moment.'" Referring to the October 4, 1957, launch of the Soviet satellite.

He told the kids, "I believe right now there are bigger issues at stake for our country than politics. These issues," he said, "call for us to respond not as partisans, but as Americans."

Wow! This is a Sputnik moment.

He said, "We must win the future."

Sputnik was indeed a wake-up call for the free world. It had been developed in secrecy. It shocked the world when it was launched with its funny beeps from space. There was a sense of vulnerability---a sense of losing control to evil as the little steel ball circled the globe every 90 minutes.

Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson demanded a Congressional investigation on the impact of Sputnik.

But I'm wondering who needs the "Sputnik Moment"---we the people, or the President?

President Obama was elected on the promise of "change," yet his first two years in office have shown his policies to be old and tired; those of the previously failed presidencies of Johnson and Carter and Wilson.

And Barack Obama is no John Kennedy.

His call for a "Sputnik Moment" may in fact be a call to salvage his own political future, rather than the future of the country.

He told the kids, "We must win the future." Whose future?

It is difficult to hear a man who has insisted that America is not exceptional and has toured the world---particularly the Muslim world, apologizing for America's past, now calling for a "Sputnik Moment" which he defines as a moment to put aside partisanship and to respond to the economic threats from China and Russia and to once again strive to become a leading nation.

Barack Obama is on track to have the most spectacularly failed presidency since Carter, or even Woodrow Wilson.

It is difficult to hear a President who refused to hear from the minority in Congress as he rammed through a healthcare bill that essentially sets the stage for America to become another European-type socialistic country, now calling for non-partisanship.

And defining this past election as a call from "the people" to work together, or in Obama-speak, work with him, is laughable.

More than a year ago,
Dorothy Rabinowitz, writing for The Wall Street Journal said, "The President has a problem. For, despite a great election victory, Mr. Obama, it becomes ever clear, knows little about Americans. He knows the crowds---he is at home with those. He is a stranger to the country's heart and character."

A stranger in a strange land.

It is true, his profile is fuzzy. His past even more so. He seems to be devoid of content. He doesn't seem to command our respect, including that of many who supported him just months ago. He seems unable to appeal to our common sense. He seems to be a little of everything and a lot of nothing. Core values?

Mrs. Obama's comment, revealing she had never been proud of her country until her husband became a candidate for the Presidency, lingers in minds.

For 20 years he and his family partook of the "ministry" of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, without taking issue. Only when this association threatened his own political ambitions did he remove himself from this extreme anti-American environment.

He told the kids at Forsyth, "The hard truth is this: In the race for the future, America is in danger of falling behind."


It could be that America had a "Sputnik Moment" sometime ago, realizing that we made a terrible mistake in 2008. The anger expressed in Town Hall meetings last summer was rooted in the awareness that a majority in America had voted for change, hope and a better future, but had received tired, out-of-touch policies and an isolated leader---one who is "a stranger to the country's heart and character."

The "Sputnik Moment" has likely already happened for the American people. This may be nothing more than one man's awakening to what has already happened.

It is indeed a hard truth. Without proper leadership, America will fall behind.

However the good news is this: Our Founding Fathers understood "Sputnik Moments" and gave us another chance to get it right.

In our case it's called "Election 2012."

May God bless and help us all.

Gary Randall
Faith and Freedom

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  1. Who is waiting in the wings for election 2012 to get it right? One of the anti- American government conservative right who may plunge us into class wars with a call for more tax increases for the poor (let em get a real job or starve or live homeless), a cut to SS, and increased costs of goods in favor of tax cuts for elitist wealthy Republican money manipulators. And in store another disaster like the recession and personal bankruptcies caused by 'Trickle Down' Reaganomics? Why is it that the GOP candidate I've supported or wanted to support turns out to be a liar, con, cheater, spendthrift, immoral, unable to balance a budget, religious cultist, too much an anti-government anarchist, or too liberal with their private agenda. Too 'Moral Majority' or just plain incompetent mismanager.
    Ok. C., WA John Birch liberal

  2. Gary, this is an excellent post. Thank you. I am forwarding it to my personal list. God bless you.

  3. We do get another chance in 2012. I hope we get it right.

  4. It's interesting that you would write about these comments from Obama. I don't think he knows how to create something, only how to react, as we did to the Sputnik in the 1950s. He will have a tough time recreating that kind of moment. Thank you. Excellent.

  5. By most all accounts, the Obama administration has been tentative in responding to the WikiLeaks fiasco, probably because he wasn't sure what to do. Eric Holder's response was scary. He says the White House is doing "some things" to address the situation.

  6. I am ashamed of you! Too many of your statements are an attempt to destroy people such as your statements today. People are God's highest form of creation. As Christians we are to spread love, not hate. Your kind of Christanity is not healthy for our country. Because you're dealing with politics does not give you the right to destroy human beings.

    Camas, WA

  7. 1:07 I'm ashamed of you. What kind of Christianity would you like Gary and others to have? If someone tells the truth, calls things as they are and disagrees with the far left agenda of the President, does that mean they don't have the right kind of Christianity or they don't have love? Prophets often create waves, just like people who are not controlled by political correctness.
    Carry on, Gary. We're listening.

  8. 1:07, you are well intentioned, but misguided in your criticism
    We as Christians are called to love the sinner, not the sin. Is
    it hate to speak the truth in love? Hate doesn't allow us to
    seek to edify others, only wash our hands of them. Christ hated
    the things people do, not the people, or why would he have died
    for us? I understand your frustration, as some commentators are over the top with their rhetoric. I see no evidence of that
    here, if I did I would call it out. Thnx Gary for your discernment.

    Craig in Lacey


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