Exciting news, folks. Obama and team say they're recalibrating, retooling and rebranding his presidency! And they've come up with a dandy new slogan to promote it. Ready? "Win the future."
Really takes your breath away, doesn't it?
For those who remember Gerald Ford's hapless presidency, Obama's new slogan might have a familiar ring to it. In 1974, with rampant inflation gobbling up the paychecks of workaday families, Ford blamed the American people, asserting that they were simply spending too much. So he ordered thousands of red-and-white buttons that said, "WIN!" It was an acronym for Whip Inflation Now, which Ford thought would happen if only the public wore the buttons to remind each other to buy less.
WIN was, in a word, stupid — and it helped make Gerry a one-term president.
Obama, however, hopes his "win" idea catches on. It refers to what he sees as a sort of global Super Bowl in which the USA is competing to "out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world." This is "our generation's Sputnik moment," he says, adding that "My No. 1 focus is going to be making sure we are competitive."
Hooray, let's go! Washington should harness the idealism, creativity, energy, and can-do spirit of grassroots people into a bold national program to revitalize America's economy, educational system, infrastructure and the middle class.
But, wait — Obama's not proposing a true Sputnik response, like Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson produced. Instead, he's trusting Corporate America to "win the future" for us, offering deregulation and more tax breaks to entice them.
Hello, "America's" corporations are abandoning our workers, communities, egalitarian values, and America itself as fast as they can. Trusting them to serve any interest but their own is a fool's errand.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.