Here's Barack Obama, before he launched his presidential bid, seeking to Take Back America.  (Yeah, the self-styled progressives get their knickers in a twist when a tycoon issues such a call, but that may be because spelling out contrasting visions takes more time.)  Anyway, nine years on, let's put the accomplishments up against the rhetoric.
No longer can we assume that a high-school education is enough to compete for a job that could easily go to a college-educated student in Bangalore or Beijing. No more can we count on employers to provide health care and pensions and job training when their bottom-lines know no borders. Never again can we expect the oceans that surround America to keep us safe from attacks on our own soil.

The world has changed. And as a result, we've seen families work harder for less and our jobs go overseas. We've seen the cost of health care and child care and gasoline skyrocket. We've seen our children leave for Iraq and terrorists threaten to finish the job they started on 9/11.
Gasoline, cheaper, no thanks to the development of wind or solar substitutes. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is two lies for the price of one, and spinning the greater out of pocket expenses for insurance as buying superior coverage doesn't convince. Iraq was stabilized, after a fashion, and whatever discontent the Egyptian or Libyan or Syrian had with their regimes was either absent or simmering out of sight.
But while the world has changed around us, too often our government has stood still. Our faith has been shaken, but the people running Washington aren't willing to make us believe again.
Summarize in two sentences why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are playing so well with voters.
That if you give a speech where you rattle off statistics about the stock market being up and orders for durable goods being on the rise, no one will notice the single mom whose two jobs won't pay the bills or the student who can't afford his college dreams.
Never mind that any politician in office is going to rattle off such statistics, at least until the next correction, and never mind that the palace guard media will do everything it can to circulate them.
I've had enough of the closed-door deals that give billions to the HMOs when we're told that we can't do a thing for the 45 million uninsured or the millions more who can't pay their medical bills.
Better to make a closed-door deal exempting Nebraska from contributing to the plan, and passing the so-called Affordable Care Act in reconciliation.
Let it be said that we are the party of affordable, accessible health care for all Americans. The party that won't make Americans choose between a health care plan that bankrupts the government and one that bankrupts families. The party that won't just throw a few tax breaks at families who can't afford their insurance, but modernizes our health care system and gives every family a chance to buy insurance at a price they can afford.
No, now both the government and households get to go bankrupt. But tax preparers will not lack for work.
Let it be said that we are the party of an energy independent America. The party that's not bought and paid for by the oil companies. The party that will harness homegrown, alternative fuels and spur the production of fuel-efficient, hybrid cars to break our dependence on the world's most dangerous regimes.
Dependence broken. Frack you. And the Solyndra you rode in on.
Let it be said that we will conduct a smart foreign policy that battles the forces of terrorism and fundamentalism wherever they may exist by matching the might of our military with the power of our diplomacy and the strength of our alliances. And when we do go to war, let us always be honest with the American people about why we are there and how we will win.
We came, we bombed, Qaddafi died. What difference, at this point, does it make?
And let it be said that we are the party of open, honest government that doesn't peddle the agenda of whichever lobbyist or special interest can write the biggest check. The party who believes that in this democracy, influence and access should begin and end with the power of the ballot.
Let us draw the curtain of charity.  (Oh, go here if you want more.)

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