Satyagraha

Cultural Psychology

Advice for President Obama: Let America Reach Out to Developing Countries

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Advice for President Obama:  Let America Reach Out to Developing Countries

Yesterday I saw a photo of Obama’s face.  His expression looked concerned.  It looked like a man who is truly idealistic and trying hard, but finding all his best efforts frustrated.

That’s probably the case.  Obama seems like a genuine idealist at heart.  Unfortunately, he’s also, in a de facto sense, a “company man.”  The fact is that he still fronts the status quo political system, and the economic-corporate structures that control that system.

Obama received much more in corporate campaign contributions than his Republican rival, John McCain (that’s a little ironic, given that the Democrats are always complaining about how it’s the Republicans that are controlled by big business.)

We also need to remember the debates, which are controlled by corporations along with the Democrat and Republic parties.  Third parties — and the new ideas that they might present — are excluded.

He can’t easily ignore corporate special interests now; he’s beholden to them.

But I don’t want to rant on that.  These facts are true, but it also seems true that Obama is an idealist.  In his mind, perhaps, he ‘used’ the system to get elected, hoping that once in power he could accomplish good.

So, assuming that’s the case, and that Obama truly wants to do what’s good for America, here’s a suggestion.

The first priority for Americans is a change of heart.  We need to understand (1) what great gifts we’ve been given, and (2) how great an opportunity, honor, and responsibility we have to share these with the rest of the world.

We were given a blessed land.  A land of plenty.  We were given security.  Most of all, we’ve been given a country founded from its beginning on principles.  We are indeed a shining city on the hill — if only we could see this.  The hopes of countless generations came to fruition when a true democracy, a “government of the people, by the people, for the people” was founded on our shores.  The rest of the world wants to learn from us, to follow our example.  If only we would give them good reason to!

What we must do now is to reach out our hand to help other countries, especially the poor and underdeveloped countries.  We have to stop being so selfish and self-centered.  “In losing your life you will find it.”  That is as true at the collective level as at the individual one.

There’s no need for me to pursue this topic at length here.  It’s only common sense.  But for some reason people seem to think common sense no longer applies.  That’s a mistaken assumption.   We can and must do what is right.  Some specific suggestions along these lines are found in previous blog entries, The American Library at Leuven and Forgotten Wisdom: Eisenhower’s Vision of America.

Rlated posts:

America’s Malaise:  What’s the Real Problem?

The Commission on Presidential Debates:  A National Scandal

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Written by John Uebersax

April 12, 2009 at 3:28 pm

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