Monday, July 6, 2009

Obama's Youthful Idealism Comes to Fruition


President Obama was ahead of his time (photo courtesy: NY Times)

Sunday's NY Times paper was chock full of really great articles. It is during this time that I physically miss having the newspaper in my hands with my morning glass of milk and OJ, under the warm sun. But I'm not complaining. 

(watching Ecotrip yesterday...the episode about what goes into making a paper napkin, I'm not going to cut down yet another tree to get my paper fix!)

Reading this article yesterday again confirmed for me that Obama started training for his critical leadership role as a kid. Obama was way ahead of his time in terms of his thinking (making him an idealist at that age...I wonder how lonely he was as a kid!). Coming of age in the greedy 80's, he formed ideas about nuclear issues that he had no business having even then.

“I personally came of age,” Mr. Obama wrote in “The Audacity of Hope,” his second memoir, “during the Reagan presidency.”

It was a time when President Ronald Reagan began a trillion-dollar arms buildup, called the Soviet Union “an evil empire” and ordered scores of atomic detonations under the Nevada desert. Some Reagan aides talked of fighting and winning a nuclear war.

The popular response was the nuclear freeze movement. Dozens of books warned that Mr. Reagan’s policies threatened to end civilization and most life on Earth. In June 1982, a million protesters gathered in Central Park, their placards reading “Bread Not Bombs” and “Freeze or Burn.” The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops issued a pastoral letter denouncing nuclear war.

Many Columbia students campaigned for the freeze movement, which sought a halt to additional nuclear arms deployments. Mr. Obama explored going further.


At that point the President, then a 21 y/o senior at Columbia University, wrote about disarming our nuclear stockpiles. Not only did he write about it in his report for his class (which got an "A"), but he also went on to pen a lengthy article on the same in the school newspaper. Twenty plus years later, just as he was being elected into the highest political office, the article surfaced again and blew people away. He was way ahead of his time. (see the Conservatives' take on this article

Recently the President said this, which forms the crux of his thesis:
“It’s na├»ve for us to think,” he said, “that we can grow our nuclear stockpiles, the Russians continue to grow their nuclear stockpiles, and our allies grow their nuclear stockpiles, and that in that environment we’re going to be able to pressure countries like Iran and North Korea not to pursue nuclear weapons themselves.”

Thank you Mr President!!

No comments: