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Fernando

Obama is a revolution which we want especially at the tough times like this. With his revolutionary economic policies he looks optimistic than before. What economic policie speech would you give if you were Obama? This is an inspiring adaptation from David Korten's speech, taken from his new book.

Eric

I'd argue that "citizens" and "Americans" are equivalent in this context. It's clear to me that he's addressing citizens of the United States, not citizens of the world. References to others in the speech were explicit.

If anything, you could argue that "Americans" is a broader term than "citizens."

Robb

Kia ora Joe,
While Obama represents change and enlightenment to the world, we must also remember he is also part of the system which rules America, has come from within it, and at times I fear our expectations of what he will do, and what he REALLY represents will make for a very difficult time. In terms of a truly idealistic and humanistic world view president we had one in Jimmy Carter, and he was virtually laughed at all the way back to Georgia - a great shame in my view, but also indicative of how difficult it is, and will be, for any president, man or woman, black, white, Hispanic, or Asian, straight, gay, bi or transgender, to escape the basically narrow minded shackles of those whom hold real power, and allow it to be held. I still hold hope for Obama, but then my expectations of him are not as Christ like as so many seem to hold. Witness the bombing of suspected "terrorist" bases in Pakistan already, or these issues you discuss in your post. The times may be a changin', but that song was written a long time ago now, and if they are changin" they are changin" slowly.
Rangimarie,
Robb

Joe McCarthy

Fernando: Thanks for the note and link. I initially thought that your reference to economic policies was only marginally related to the topics in my original post, but after following your link to "A Declaration of Independence from Wall Street", adapted from David Korten's book Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, I see that it presents "a program of hope for our economic, social and environmental future", which is more clearly related. Synchronistically, this morning I was listening to an interview with David Korten on Democracy Now, and had [mentally] added his book to my "to-read" list (the paperback version is due out February 3).

Eric: Thanks for helping me further consider the relative breadth of "Americans" and "citizens", in this context and more generally. I suppose that there are a number of people in the U.S. who are not citizens, but I'm not sure how many of them consider themselves Americans ... or how many of them Obama considers Americans (I'm not sure what his policy on immigration is or will be). I'm also not sure whether Obama intended to suggest he was addressing "citizens" of the world in his opening, but that expansive sense of citizenship is how I interpreted his salutation. Perhaps it was a lingering priming effect from Milk's speech on "us's".

Robb: Thanks, as always, for your international perspective on our political system. I hope that we will see real change, vs. small change, but I will try to temper that audacious hope with more realistic expectations. In the interview this morning, David Korten claimed that Obama's choice of Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, current head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, does not represent real change, and I've had similar reservations about the progressiveness of some of his other nominees. I suppose it's easier to push for change when you're on the outside than when you're inside, so now that he's on the inside, we'll see what kind - and pace - of change is enacted by him ... and us's.

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