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When America Thought About Big, Bold Ideas

February 27, 2016

I have long argued that we need to have national leaders who will again set our sights on some huge goal that will instill interest and desire to attain knowledge in the sciences and math akin to what President Kennedy did with the moon landing.  We always play to the short game in this country due to what is termed ‘economic limitations’ and in so doing fail to dream big and bold.  Since Americans like to see the sunny side of politics–Reagan’s morning in America type of campaign–would it not be great if some presidential candidate would speak to this nation’s ability to dare again for greatness?

I am so tired of the bluster and bombast and small ideas and limited scope that seems to hold our candidates hostage.

I suspect many of my fellow citizens are waiting to be challenged with a goal that will move our nation forward in a daring and powerful way.  Question is do we have a presidential contender who can lift us up in the way Kennedy did?

This past week was the anniversary of one of those shining examples (below) that we have too few of these days.  This national memory should alert us all to the possibilities that can be ours to realize.  This event from 1962 should also help foster a passion for doing something great again.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 29, 2016 5:52 PM

    Tom,

    It is not only the old USSR that loves revisionist history. You do too. You know full well it was the GOP who starting from Day One working to delegitimize Obama. McConnell said the main cause was not working with him but making the president a one-termer. The obstructionism which was created by the GOP is without doubt. Racism is so much at the root of this with the birthers one off-shoot. And the GOP was in lockstep with all this for some partisan gain. And you know it.

  2. tom permalink
    February 29, 2016 4:43 PM

    Deke: It was your side that sowed the seeds for Trump, not mine. When every criticism of the president is about race and every critic branded a loon, there will be a certain portion of the electorate which rejects completely the status quo–including long standing American values. The difference is that I will never vote for Trump, but you will vote for the kleptomaniac liar.

  3. February 29, 2016 4:34 PM

    Tom, I did not mean to infer that you personally support Trump but it is true to say you are a Republican and he will be your party nominee unless there is a major and swift action from the GOP voter base. It is also true that your party sowed the seeds and nurtured them so that Trump had the ability to act as he now does–and get the reaction he wants. If you did not support those GOP actions which allowed for the voter base to be hell-bent on acting crazy then you can rightly claim this is not your problem. But if you did not stand up to the birthers and spitters and wack-jobs who strived to stop government from working or seeking compromise to meet that end then you are indeed needing to claim some ownership of the Trump problem.

  4. tom permalink
    February 29, 2016 11:19 AM

    Oh no, Trump is not my nominee. I’ve been absolutely consistent in my criticism and disdain for him. On the other hand–in the biggest example of white privilege that ever existed–H.C. is your choice. Please….

    Individuals and corporations (sometimes in cooperation with government, but more often in spite of it) are pursuing the big dreams of the country every day. You are so blinded by your big government perspective you can’t see this.

  5. February 29, 2016 9:46 AM

    Now that it is Monday and the warm spring weather has passed for a bit and I do not feel compelled to be outside let me add a couple thoughts.

    Solly knows I have long supported single payer and think the current Medicare program is a perfect template for how it could operate. I was also most aware of the way the GOP hijacked the process and used their wiley ways to undermine a stronger bill in 2009. I posed about this matter. But there is no way under the sun at this point in time single-payer is about to pass this congress or any congress that even closely resembles the one now stalling everything. There is also not the huge swell in the country for single payer, either. I do think in time that will change–but we are talking a long time.

    As for the current law it is far superior to the place we were prior to Obama taking office. I talk with folks who use Affordable Care and there is strong support for the law. Some of the older grad students I know have it and consider it affordable. This weekend in the sunshine I ran into the guy I helped navigate the computer system when everyone else was complaining about it–I suggested we try on a football Sunday afternoon and it worked!!–he has had a successful surgery that was long time needed and this week has another dental cleaning planned. It needs to be noted that Repubs held the Oval Office for years since 1980 and never cared about the millions uninsured. But they sure know how to complain when someone gets coverage.

    If you read the news stories this past spring about the fear among many GOPers at the annual meeting of the nation’s governors as to what they would need to do if the SC had ruled against the law you would know the millions of people now enrolled is making this a program that can not be just undone. It is needed, it works, and the GOP elected ones use this for lazy thinkers (voters) who need to be fed red-meat.

    Tom knows it goes without saying that we have Hillary but his nominee can not stand up and denounce the KKK! Folks like Tom should not be casting stones.

    Finally, no one has addressed the point of this post. Health care policy–though very important– is not the big, bold idea for lifting the hopes and dreams of Americans. I want to see an investment in science and math skills for students and a project that unites and prods this nation to think outside the box and explore and learn. We all should.

  6. tom permalink
    February 29, 2016 7:45 AM

    We were told that if we surrendered more choice and freedom to big government as
    obama asked, that these problems of tens of millions left without insurance would be solved. They weren’t. We were told that if we surrendered even more power to a lazy, unimaginative, and unaccountable federal bureaucracy that families would save money. They don’t. Solly believes we should repeat the same mistakes–no, compound the mistakes of the past with huge new blunders into Stateism by supporting Sanders–a dangerous and senile old socialist goat who is just as dangerous as Trump in many ways.

    Lol! I guess i’d rather the kleptomaniac who distributes states secrets via email yet believes she is above the law?

  7. Setting our sights on huge goals Solly permalink
    February 28, 2016 12:07 AM

    Gee Dekels, I’m confused.
    Two legs good, four legs better. Grand dreams are good, unless they are Bernie Sanders’ dreams of a single-payer system for health care. Better to have the ObamaCare small dreams approach, which was to “reach across the aisle” and have Chuckles Grassley and Olympia Snow pretend to be amenable if concessions were made to slash and burn the grand dream and then vote no with all Republican Senators on the reduced plan. Hillary’s approach is to embrace Obama and ObamaCare and say anyone not satisfied wants to repeal it, cynically putting Bernie in the same boat as Ted Cruz (who is hypocritically availing hisself of Obama Care after his wife took a leave from Goldman Sachs). Don’t dream big that we can cover the tens of millions left out with ObamaCare, still depending on emergency rooms for basic health care.
    And it’s unrealistic to support Sanders’s idea for free college, supported by a 25 cent tax per $100 speculating and churning on Wall Street.

    https://dekerivers.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/pragmatic-governance-should-guide-democratic-voters/
    “The passion and energy unleashed by Bernie Sanders is stunning and there is no way not to listen and be caught up in the mood. But the lower-key style and skilled approach to meeting the challenges of national and international issues in the manner that Hillary Clinton approaches them is also to be highly valued.
    It is great to dream bold as Sanders does, but in the real world of Washington one has to work not only with a diverse and mostly uncontrollable Congress but also bring along an increasingly partisan electorate that seems more inclined to head to the fringes than seek common cause in the middle. Any president must understand from the start the best way to succeed is knowing pragmatism and compromise must be constantly used in governing.”

    I guess the only time that Deke argues AGAINST “ I have long argued that we need to have national leaders who will again set our sights on some huge goal that will instill interest and desire to attain knowledge in the sciences and math akin to what President Kennedy did with the moon landing” is when he is arguing against higher education for all who want to learn and better themselves and the economy, and for health care as a human right in the only industrialized country in the world that doesn’t provide it.
    I guess Deke only supports dreaming big if the dreams and benefits are out of this world. Otherwise, the lower-key style “is highly valued.” Let them drink Tang while they drown in student debt and wait in the emergency room.

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