By Raynard Jackson
Last week I thought Stevie Wonder gave a great State of the Union Speech. Oops, did I say Stevie Wonder, I meant to say President Obama. But like Stevie Wonder, I couldn’t see the America the president was describing in his speech.
Listening to Obama, you would have thought that America, especially Blacks, had full employment. But according to the Labor Department, the national unemployment rate is 5.6 percent and 10.4 percent for Blacks – nothing to brag about in either case.
The Hispanic unemployment rate is 6.5 percent. Well, this stands to reason since Obama has bent over backward to address issues uniquely impacting Latinos, but has done nothing to address the myriad of pathologies negatively affecting the Black community.
Am I really the only one who has noticed that the Black unemployment rate is almost twice that of the Hispanic community? If not, why does no one seems to be angry? How ironic it is that the first Black president has done more to help every other community more than his own – Hispanics, illegals, homosexuals, etc.
When Obama began talking about the obstructionist Republicans, I thought he was talking to an all-Black audience. He was condescending, arrogant, dismissive, and professorial in his lecture to Republicans. Listening to Obama, you would have thought the Democrats had just won a resounding victory in the November elections.
While Obama has failed Democrats and Blacks, Republican leaders in Congress have proven that they are equally blind to the needs of their followers. They have done absolutely nothing to inspire confidence within the rank-and-file of the party. They have caved on bedrock issues, including homosexuality, amnesty for illegals, and foreign labor at the expense of American workers just to name a few.
If Republicans are going to be “Democrats light,” why settle for a knockoff when we can have the real brand? It is becoming more difficult to distinguish the Republican leadership from the Democrats because Republicans are too busy trying to be liked instead of standing up for the party’s beliefs based on a core set of principles.
For example, Obama wants to mandate paid leave for those who have a baby or adopt. While this sounds good and all touchy feely, can someone explain to me what is the rationale or legitimate role for government intervention on this issue? I thought Republicans believed in keeping the government out of our lives.
Republicans are so obsessed with trying to garner the female vote that they lose sight of their principles. All they need to do is to explain that based on a Republican view of the world, the government has no legitimate role to mandate that an employer provide certain benefits. It is up to the employer to do what he or she deems is in the best interest of the company and its workers. If the employer is on the wrong side of a given issue, the marketplace will make it known through good employees leaving for a better company that will give them all the perks they feel they deserve.
This is a real-world example of a practical “conservative” principle in action. Having a child is strictly a personal, private issue and there is absolutely no role for the government in this area of one’s life. Having a child is a responsibility, not a right. If you can’t afford a child, you should delay child birth until you can afford it.
Obama wants to increase minimum wage. He said, “If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $ 15,000 a year, go try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.”
Well, maybe these “hardest-working” people should have worked harder to reach for some birth control to avoid having kids. Minimum wage was never meant for adults; it was created to give high schoolers their first job to prepare them for adulthood.
On the surface, offering a free community college education sounds like a great idea. But how is it going to be paid for? Will Congress allot new money or merely re-direct what’s already in the pot, meaning other programs will suffer.
It’s quite obvious that Obama doesn’t care that this program will further destroy Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Obama has done more to harm HBCUs than any president in modern history. On the other hand, Republicans have been among the staunchest supporters of HBCUs. Why haven’t they stepped up on this important issue? Is this how they “reach out” to African Americans?
And what about Obama’s point about equal pay for women? He said, “That’s why this Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work. Really. It’s 2015. It’s time.”
Obama should clean up his own home before pointing to dirt in others. The Washington Post reported last July that males get paid 13 percent ($10,200) more than women in the Obama White House.
Even when it comes to politics, both Obama and Republicans are short-sighted.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @raynard1223.