President Obama Tuesday indicated he is on the “brink” of moving the United States in a new direction, a vow that recalled his 2008 pre-Election Day promise, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
Obama, who spoke at a fundraiser in New York City hosted by entertainers Beyoncé and Jay-Z, suggested he will implement a redistributionist vision that ensures results for those at the bottom of the income scale.
We’re on the brink of an election, but more importantly, we’re on the brink of moving America in a direction in which we’re going to be more just, more fair, the economy is going to grow in a way that includes everybody — an America that’s respected around the world because we are putting forward our best values and our best ideals.
Obama signalled that the change he is contemplating will be far more than tinkering at the margins, placing it in the context of great social movements that have occurred throughout history. Obama even invoked the Divine, indicating the direction he is mapping out is an attempt to be in accordance with “God’s plan.”
And the second thing is an awareness of history and an understanding that change in this country has never been easy. It’s never been easy. Women getting the right to vote took decades of work. The civil rights movement — we had a century of work. The union movement, people having an opportunity to get a minimum wage — people were beaten and died for that.
So I’m always reminded and humbled by the fact that what we do at any given moment is just part of this bigger pattern, part of God’s plan, part of a process. And our job is just to make sure that we are pushing in the right direction — pushing the wheel of history in the right direction.
The president has in the past expressed an ambition to be a transformative figure, even speaking kindly of his ideological antagonist, Ronald Reagan, because Reagan instituted major change.
Tuesday’s remarks indicate that, freed from the constraint of having to face the electorate again, Obama will devote himself to remaking the country in his progressive vision.