Obama says we need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build our competitors to win the future. What does this mean? Obama and most of the people in his administration were at first antagonistic toward Big Business and free market principles, or, if not antagonistic, at least highly critical. Progressives in general blamed de-regulation, greedy Fat Cats and failed policies of the past (Bush Capitalism). Obama was always careful to give lip service to American enterprise enough so to avoid backlash, but he always followed with conditions that called for more government oversight and regulation -- nudging in the right direction.
After the midterm elections, it became clear to Obama that he has to create a new image, one of a man friendly toward business but cognizant of the necessity for government investment to bring American enterprise into the 21st century. The first Obama is the real Obama -- a man with a patronizing attitude toward private industry, who sees production and the provision of services as necessary, but those involved in operating businesses in the private sector as over-paid, myopic profiteers. Yes, business is necessary, but it must be put to use for a greater good, the general welfare. The direction of private industry must be guided and managed by an elite group of public over-seers who can envision the future and determine how best business can serve the American people and the world at large.
But, Obama realized he can't verbalize his vision in these terms, so now he must appeal to the base instincts, as he understands them, of the American people and American enterprise. Competiton is surely a key word, as is innovation, and being number one is a shared American goal, so, being better educated and out-building all other countries should do the trick and hit all the hot buttons of the producers and workers. Obama is telling the nation he's on board the Business Train and that government is going to provide the energy to get the engine started. "We're Number One" chants get the team pepped up and switches his metaphor to team effort. Perhaps the train is high-speed rail and it's carrying the team to their games, in which America has a winning season and plays China in the Super Bowl -- America wins, 42-14. Yes, this is what the goobers understand -- winning, winning, winning.
So, "innovation", what is this? Innovation in oil drilling? In nuclear energy? No, innovation in clean energy -- our team wears green (end of football metaphor). Since clean energy sources haven't been a big hit in the market, of course government will have to provide the funding for research and development. This is not a new idea or a new effort, but we'll pretend it is, because this is 21st century talk and the history of alternative energy sources is sooooo yesterday. Then, next, we have to out-educate the world. This is not a new idea or effort either, but we'll also pretend that government spending on education is a 21st century investment that's much different than the old spending on education which didn't do much to improve education. With investment, teachers and schools will be transformed into something that the old spending could never achieve. We are going to invest and do it smartly this time. Then, next, we must build roads and bridges and upgrade our infrastructure, because all the money used to do that in past wasn't spent smartly, and it wasn't in the spirit of competition. Now that we have a team effort going and we are competing for Number One, we will build roads that China can only dream about, bridges that not only provide passage for cars but bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats because this is a unified effort and there's no wee-wee in team. No one will be wee-weed up -- we'll all be jacked up, charging the hill of the global economy, capturing it and planting our flag (sorry, I forgot military metaphors are out).
Not only does the new Obama image hit the national hot spot of competition, it hits the sweet spot of national pride. How can we maintain self-esteem when China is building more stuff than we're building? How can we hold our heads high in parades when China's dam is bigger than our dam? We can never feel good as long as we have dam-envy and feel less-than -- and this is no longer a mamby-pamby world where everyone's a winner just for showing up -- no, this is a new tough reality where winners never quit and quitters never win - there's no second place, only first and everybody who's not first, where winning is not everything, it's the only thing.
Obama knows how to get a nation going. Now, quit yer crying -- there's no crying in World Economic Competition! America! America! America!