Today – Reagan worshippers across America are freaking out after President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address, because he laid out a vision for America that puts an end to the Reagan Revolution and imagines a nation in which “we the people,” through small-"d" democratic government, take better control of our economy and better care of each other. While Reagan stressed the importance of individualism in his inaugural, President Obama talked about cooperation and collective action. As he said on Tuesday, “preserving individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.” It’s the difference between Reagan's “me” society and the traditional American “we” society the Founders envisioned. Reacting to the speech, Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer called the President’s words, “historically very important” and said that, “Obama basically is declaring the end of Reaganism in America.”
President Obama also defended social insurance programs like Medicare and Social Security – directly calling out people like Paul Ryan by saying that these programs don’t make us a nation of “takers.” And the President called for us to do something about climate change. But now that the speech is over, it’s time for action. With looming deficit reduction talks, entitlement reform, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and economic troubles on the horizon in Europe – the time for talking is over.
Over the next four years, President Obama must find his inner revolutionary and change the trajectory of America by putting an end to Reaganomics and once again – to quote the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – bend the arc of human history toward justice.