Obama must realize that we can handle the truth

by Ogi Overman

You hear it everyfour years without For the truth is that there are no fail. In fact,I’m quick fixes. The problems may not be not sure you caninsurmountable, but we’re looking have a presidential at planting seedsthat may not bear election without both fruit for a couple ofgenerations. I still candidates droning maintain that the moment hetakes on in clichéd fashion office an immediate mood elevation, a abouthow “this is the most important election of ourlifetime.” The Big “O” Blah blah de ding dong blah. Funny thing happened on the way to the polls, though — this really is themost important election of our lifetime, because the victor will bereplacing the most incompetent, corrupt, misguided and morally bereftadministration in the history of the nation. There is so much wreckageto clean up after that to wait another four (or eight) years to beginthe process of reversing course and restoring sanity might well provecatastrophic. Without seeming overly dramatic, it may be too late.Indeed, blues brothers and sisters, we are standing at the crossroads;hellhounds on our trail. President Obama — or as we on theleft like to call him, “Backpedaling Barack” — is going to inherit suchan overwhelming array of problems that just sorting them out andprioritizing them will be a daunting task. Dismayed though we are overhis capitulation on FISA, gun control, abortion, etc. and his advocacyof faith-based programs, beefing up the military and other issuesdesigned to placate the right, we have no choice but to support him.And he and his handlers know it. But once in office, those of us whosesupport has turned from red hot to lukewarm must put the heat on him tomake bold, sweeping changes, not Band-Aid lifting of the pall that’sbeen hovering over us like a funeral shroud for eight godawful yearswill take place. But before the psychic change that’s neededcan occur, he is going to have to grease the skids with some toughlove. The hope that is the hallmark of his campaign can only manifestitself as a result of some brutal honesty about the nature of thechallenges that lie ahead. Rather than tell us to go shoppingand let Uncle Sam take care of everything like Whatsizbush did, we needto be shown the harsh reality that the things we’ve taken for grantedare no longer possible, that the lifestyle to which we’ve becomeaccustomed is nearing an end, that the American dream

meanssomething different in this century than it did in the last. PresidentObama must tell the American public that life, liberty and the pursuitof happiness are no longer defined by two or three gas guzzlers in thegarages of homes in the sprawling suburbs. Gimmicks such as a gas-taxholiday and drilling off the North Carolinashore or in the Alaskan wilderness miss the point completely, and notonly won’t solve anything but will actually make matters worse bygiving the gullible false hopes where there are none. The Oil Age isnearing an end, and the sooner we begin making adjustments the better.New technology is beginning to emerge, and with President Obama’sblessing and a few tax credits it will usher in the Age ofSustainability rather quickly. 

Thatshould be an easy sell. As the global warming debunkers such as GlennBeck, Rush Limbaugh and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) continue to beexposed for the buffoons that they are, the nation will rally aroundthe concepts of alternative energy, mass transit, conservation andenvironmental protection. The Green Movement is under way; it justneeds a president who doesn’t have his head up his ass to kick it intohigh gear. Once Obama makes the connection that many of our economicwoes and militaristic misadventures are tied to the pursuit of, anddependence on, oil, then most folks will understand that it’s in ourown best interest to adjust. Of course, you’ll always have troglodyteslike Cheney, O’Reilly and Hannity slithering around, but if an oilbillionaire like T. Boone Pickens — who helped mount the Swift Boatassault on John Kerry — can become an outspoken advocate for wind andsolar power, then anything’s possible. Next the task will beconvincing the rest of the world that greenhouse emissions, energy-usehabits and oil and coal consumption must be cut back drastically. But,here again, with a president who grasps the problem and proposes asolution — rather than one who pulled us out of the Kyoto Protocol andhas continually pushed for drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife NationalWildlife Refuge (which would not, by the way, lower gas prices) — thereis at least hope. Which is more than we have now. Or with McBush.

Ogi may be reached at and seen on “Triad Today,” hosted by Jim Longworth on ABC 45 at 6:30 a.m. and on WMYV 48 at 10 p.m. Sundays.