CHAROLETTE, NC – The date of May 25, 1961 represents a bold and powerful event in the history of America as one which ushered in this country’s race to the moon. It was on that day that President John F. Kennedy spoke before a joint session of Congress and issued a challenge to land a man safely on the moon and return him home before the end of the decade. Fifty-one years later, President Barack Obama plans to issue a similarly poignant challenge to the American people when he accepts his party’s nomination for re-election later this week.
Kennedy issued the challenge for America to go to the moon out of a sense of urgency spurred by events of the time. The USSR had realized success with Sputnik in 1957 and then with Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961. In addition, the Bay of Pigs invasion had served to blacken the country’s eye further. Kennedy felt it was important for America to win the space race in order to relieve the embarrassment the country had recently endured.
The rest is history.
On Thursday, September 6, 2012, President Obama will stand on the stage at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina in order to accept his party’s nomination for a return to the Presidency. As he takes the stage, his record will reflect that since he took office in 2009, the unemployment rate has gone up from 7.8% to 8.3%. Median income has gone down by nearly $4000 a year. A gallon of gasoline has gone up from $1.85 to $3.78, and the national debt has increased by $5.3 trillion dollars. The promise of his signature healthcare legislation has been characterized by the Supreme Court as a tax and deemed by the CBO to be considerably more expensive than originally estimated.
Much like President Kennedy in 1961, President Obama has his own pressures in 2012.
The question now becomes a matter of what goal is ambitious enough for Obama to issue to his country to lift it’s spirits from such troubled economic times.
The answer lies in the American flag.
This week, President Barack Obama will put forth the ambitious challenge to the American people to change the American flag.
Since his 2008 campaign to gain the Presidency, the mold of Barack Obama has been cast as a transitional one which would bring a whole new meaning to the country of America. The country had built a negative perception around the world by other countries. Obama would fix that and raise America’s standing in the international community.
He was post-racial, which subsequently provided the electorate with an avatar in which the country could use to dispatch with it’s racist sins of the past by merely voting the man into office.
The election of Barack Obama to the Presidency would serve as a mandate to the new world leader to take every step he could to fundamentally change the country from the way it was founded.
The problem is that the country was founded with racist machinations, at least in the eyes of the Obama administration. As such, the administration has supported and signed various pieces of legislation, issued Executive Orders, and pursued various legal stances during it’s tenure to insure that social justice is exacted on those who have gotten ahead in life by working hard to market a product or service, and earned a profit. This is most evident in the President’s continued push to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans among us coupled with the class warfare rhetoric reflected in his campaign speeches.
Under the guise that America achieved it’s greatness vis-a-vis ill-gotten gains which all started with the first thirteen colonies here in the New World, the President wants to remove the acknowledgement of those first colonies from the American flag. That doesn’t necessarily mean the star count will be reduced from fifty to thirty-seven though.
Instead, President Obama wants to alter the American flag by removing the additional tributes of the first thirteen colonies by removing the red and white stripes. The resulting flag would be the blue field with fifty stars, each representing a state in the union. By removing the stripes, all states would be placed on even ground without any show of favoritism.
The stripes which Obama wants to remove don’t only represent the colonies though. According to a Congressional resolution drafted in 1777, the white in the stripes represents purity and innocence, while the red represents hardiness and valor.
Whereas the founding of this nation is viewed as being on the backs of others, the purity and innocence of white hardly seems to be justified. The hardiness and valor represented by the color red is considered to be nothing but a myth in which our founding fathers displayed neither trait.
On the other hand, the color blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice. All of these traits fit into the political ideology of the President as evidenced by his continued endeavors to right the wrongs of the past.
Support for the President’s move to change the American flag will expectedly be polarized. His detractors will make a variety of charges for the suggestion ranging from anti-Americanism to the his goals of redistributing the nation’s wealth.
Obama’s supporters, on the other hand, will liken the President’s idea to another mechanism used to bring the 2008 promise of “Hope and Change” to a nation desperately in need of it. It will also be seen as a move “Forward” for America, which also serves as the motto for this year’s re-election campaign.
Various Congressional acts and Executive Orders have been passed or issued between 1777 and 1960 which have defined the design of the American flag. As such, the President could issue an Executive Order at the drop of a hat in order to make the change he desires. On paper, he wouldn’t have the accountability to Congress or the American people for doing so. The President has shown a fondness during his administration in circumventing the checks and balances of America government with Executive Orders so as to perpetuate his agenda.
By winning re-election in November, the option to make the change could be viewed as carrying out a mandate delivered by the electorate, much like the passage of Obama’s healthcare act. On the other side of the argument, a defeat at the polls could see the President undergoing a very active lame duck period where an increased number of Executive Orders, including one to change the flag, could be issued.
Whether the President will change the design of the flag without building a consensus among the American people remains to be seen. Regardless, the effort to change this nation’s flag will start with a speech in Charlotte later this week.