In a press conference in Paris during the climate talks President Obama as usual had a lot of interesting things to say. He spoke of the need for America to have a debate about how we define our leadership throughout the world. He said that in the past our leadership has been defined by whether or not we are sending troops somewhere. He went on to say that where we make the most impact is when we help to organize the world around a particular problem. We lead the way but we reach out to our allies in order to achieve goals and that this is the leadership we should aspire to.
What the President is talking about is that leadership is not a go it alone and impose your will on others way of doing things. The idea he is expressing is a more powerful form of leadership because it is inclusive rather than exclusive. It is a rejection of the manor in which this country has so often functioned and it is in direct opposition to the positioning of the GOP and those on the right.
Later in the press conference the President was asked if he thinks that what comes out of the climate talks would be carried out if a republican should win the presidency. President Obama responded that he anticipated that a democrat would be succeeding him because he is confident in the wisdom of the American people on that front. He went on to say that even if a republican should win a republican president would be in a difficult position because in the rest of the world the people on all sides of the political spectrum agree with climate scientists that global climate change exists and that it has a large man made component and that it is imperative to take action. There is a global consensus by 99% of the world leaders. He added that two thirds of the American people agree as well.
This leaves the people on the right isolated and they are not only isolated on this issue. They don't agree with the Peace Treaty with Iran that includes other countries and they seem to want to go it alone in fighting terrorism. They want to ignore the reality of climate change and they want to kill all the terrorists. Neither of these plans are solutions. Ignoring climate change doesn't make it not exist. Attempting to kill all terrorists doesn't stop the infection of terrorism. You can't make deals with other countries and then abandon them.
Those on the right are determined to remain stuck in an old style of leadership. They believe in military might. They believe they have the right to impose their will on others. They believe they alone have the right to the resources of the world at the expense of everyone else. They see themselves as separate from everyone else. They want to pretend that their actions have no consequences. They refuse to acknowledge that different countries and different cultures have equal value. They shun diversity.
We live in a global world. It's no longer possible to see ourselves as separate. What happens in one place in the world affects everyone else. It's not going to be possible to solve problems in a vacuum. If we want to provide leadership to the world we are going to have to create coalitions and partnerships. We are going to have to embrace diversity. We are going to have to help lift the quality of life for everyone through this process. Terrorism is the result of injustice. This injustice can only be addressed through a unifying force and not one that creates further division or the infection of terrorism will just pop up somewhere else.
The right has often claimed that President Obama wants to fundamentally change this country. President Obama has had as his mission to help to fulfill the promise of this country and in order to accomplish that how we utilize our leadership role throughout the world is crucial. President Obama is creating a new paradigm for global leadership as he articulates so well in this press conference and by doing so he is isolating the right and their ideology therefore insuring the death of an old worn out ineffective way of acting in the world. In building a new structure President Obama is effectively collapsing the old structure. Once again we are witnessing the genius of Barack Obama. Thank you President Obama.
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