‘in 2012, the issue won’t just be the economy’

Joplin, Mo., May 29, 2011

Deepak Chopra (SFGate): President Barack Obama is already pulling a bit of a hat trick, managing to sustain higher popularity than either George Bush or Ronald Reagan when they were stuck in economic doldrums …. with the Republican House effectively blocking any potential stimulus, and the entire Republican Party bent on being the party of “No” …. many commentators have jumped on a new bandwagon … now we are told that the Republican party is energized, thinks it can beat Obama and only needs a stand-up candidate….

I doubt it.

The pundits have left leadership out of the equation …

… There are three needs that serve as the foundation of a healthy society, as they do for a healthy individual.

1. Security: The country needs to be free of anxiety, with a sense that normal life isn’t overshadowed by threats … The President has consistently refused to give in to anxiety, maintaining that …. we will emerge from this recession stronger than ever

… the Republicans’ tactic, continued from the Bush era, is to increase our nervousness. The sky is always falling down on the right wing …. Not a single Republican, with the possible exception of Mitt Romney, offers a reassuring tone….

2. Achievement: … Obama has been rooting for the American spirit, promising a better future, and offering economic stimulus and jobs programs. He constantly points to a new future of innovation, restored infrastructure, stronger research and development and renewable energy. He doesn’t attack globalism but faces the fact that global competition means that change must come to America.

….Republican response is reactionary. They trumpet jingoistic slogans while hunkering down for a grim tomorrow. They block any kind of stimulus, viable jobs programs, renewable energy and so on…..

3. Unity and community: …. the President has talked about bipartisanship and the end of crippling divisiveness in politics …. he stands as a potent symbol for overcoming ancient social prejudice…..

… what Republican candidate is even trying to make America feel united? … even the most optimistic Republican strategists realize that all their candidates, with the possible exception of Romney, are dividers. The irony is that Romney divides Republicans, because he won’t tilt toward Tea Party extremism.

…. the President realizes that the level of the problem (fear, insecurity, divisiveness, uncertainty, frustration, anger) isn’t the level of the solution. The level of the solution is to fulfill the three needs just outlined. Trapped in their ideology and hostility to progress, the Republicans aren’t even on the map in these areas. Next November the pivot point won’t be the economy, not alone at least. The pivot will be whether the electorate wants its needs fulfilled or its anger expressed. I know it’s a tossup, but I can’t blame the president for not doing what leaders need to do. He is.

Full article here

38 Responses to “‘in 2012, the issue won’t just be the economy’”

  1. 1 Bill
    August 29, 2011 at 9:16 am

    After returning from a two week vacation Joe on MJ today went on and on with no one disagreeing that President Obama’s foreign policy was a continuation of the Cheney/Bush policy but only more so. I wish the WH could somehow push back on the “liberal” network.

    • 2 hopefruit2
      August 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

      It’s not the WH’s primary job to push back on cable news – they are too busy governing the country. That’s the job of the people like you and me who actually watch the cable news, thereby contributing to their bottom line, to hold these journalists and networks accountable for the information that they put out there. People are paying sky-high cable bills and they have the power to turn off the news networks or demand better reporting.

      • August 29, 2011 at 9:50 am

        I tweeted Joe all during his show about how jealous he is that President Obama has turned in success after success on foreign policy, unlike is hero evil Cheney. Joe is just jealous of the President’s latest success getting the No. 2 Al_Qaida guy. It’s actually quite hilarious to watch him. But many of us have been trying to set the record straight when he lies.

        But we have to keep on.

      • 9 prettyfoot58
        August 29, 2011 at 10:25 am

        I agree…

      • 10 Sue in Minnesota
        August 29, 2011 at 10:56 am

        Un-plug em! Consumers should not continue to support such an inferior product. IMO, it is stunning when you think that we would pay for the propoganda and the snake oil being peddled to us 24/7 via cable. That’s like paying your representative for face time so you can be lied to. That’s just wrong!

        I am glad our household quit cable…honestly we feel healthier, and better informed than before.

    • August 29, 2011 at 9:47 am

      President Obama is much closer to a Scowcroft inspired Bush 41 foreign policy, which was nothing like the neocon war pigs of Bush 43. Scarborough claiming such is ridiculous as Scowcroft was a major critic of the Bush 43 FP decisions, and when there was a heavyweight battle near the end of the Bush Presidency to replace Rummy, Cheney wanted another warpig and another war – Scowcroft lead a behind the scenes battle to get Gates named.

    • 12 Ladyhawke
      August 29, 2011 at 10:16 am

      As always, the GOP will never take responsibility for their actions but they have no problem taking credit for the actions of others.

      1) 9/11 happened during the GWB administration but they blame it on President Bill Clinton.

      2) President Clinton left a surplus and the GWB administration turned into a mind-blowing debt and deficit crisis and they blame that on President Obama.

      3) President Obama spearheads an operation that captures OBL and the GWB administration makes skid marks to the cameras to claim it was THEIR POLICIES that facilitated the capture of OBL.

      Fareed Zakaria had a good article on difference in approaches as it relates to Libya…..

      A new era in U.S. foreign policy


    • 13 prettyfoot58
      August 29, 2011 at 10:29 am

      This is an example in which the Democrats could support the President….but they don’t…they let the President tak a hit….why don’t they stand up and talk about the differences

    • 14 Puddin"
      August 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      These persons have an agenda and they are sticking to it…they are going to do what they do! It is up to us to get the facts out/to tell the real news.

  2. 15 Debz
    August 29, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Good Morning! Good article, I agree that the election will be about more than just the economy. We went through 8 years of fear-mongering from the Bush administration and President Obama has been trying to bring sanity and true leadership back to our country. I can not believe that the majority of voters want to live on the anger and hatred being spewed by the repugs and the tea party. I’m sure everyone would prefer PBO’s leadership,and his positive vision for the future of the country. My only problem with this article is Chopra’s exceptions for Romney. Romney is incapable of showing any leadership or vision.

    • 16 Cos
      August 29, 2011 at 9:27 am

      I agree debz. Romney is flying with the tea party wind. Very positive article.

      • 17 theo67
        August 29, 2011 at 10:45 am

        I totally agree – Romney doesn’t deserve to be singled out positively, since he’s flip-flopped so many times, nobody knows which side he’s leaning on. Plus, his “corporations are people” nonsense tells us what he values. I would lump him in with the rest of the good-for-nothings. The only one to be singled out is President Obama – a real leader.

  3. 18 Pamela
    August 29, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Thank you very much, Dr. Chopra! Thank you, Chipsticks, for an uplifting start to the day and the week!

  4. August 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Here’s an ideal solution for voters. Vote for real leadership, an end to divisiveness and a positive vision in your choice of president; express you anger against Republican congresspeople. That way, we actually have a chance at making progress.

  5. 20 isonprize
    August 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

    “The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those in the shadows of life–the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.” — Hubert Humphrey

    I think we’re doing pretty good so far…

  6. 23 hopefruit2
    August 29, 2011 at 9:27 am

    This Joplin Grandpa is so happy to meet his President. I thought Joplin was an (R) district primarily? Yet I heard that the atmosphere there was electric with excitement when the President was visiting to make a speech at one of the memorials.

    • August 29, 2011 at 10:26 am

      I live an hour from Joplin and besides the few diehard fools, most people warmly welcomed Obama. Southwest Missouri is the most conservative area of the state, especially in and around Springfield where I come from. But a lot of people came together after this tornado.

  7. 25 Ladyhawke
    August 29, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Here is another entry for the @GOPsayWhat twitter account set up by the DNC to compile the most extreme, out-of-touch, did-they-really-say-that Republican quotes. This one is from Michele Bachmann who could fill up the twitter account entries all by herself.


    Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann campaigned in Florida yesterday, attending services at a Baptist megachurch near Tampa. Afterwards, the right-wing lawmaker offered a rather unique perspective on the weekend’s weather developments. (via Jay Bookman)

    She hailed the tea party as being common-sense Americans who understand government shouldn’t spend more than it takes in, know they’re taxed enough already and want government to abide by the Constitution.

    “I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”

    I realize there are conservatives in evangelical circles with whom this message will resonate, but under sensible political norms, this should probably be a career-killer for a national political figure.


    • 26 Ladyhawke
      August 29, 2011 at 9:38 am

      Chips, we are so on the same page. We must have been typing at the same time. This one is a real doozy.

  8. 27 Esmerelda
    August 29, 2011 at 9:46 am

    The election will also be about sanity and decency. At least, I very much hope so.

  9. 28 Betsy
    August 29, 2011 at 10:14 am

    You can’t underestimate the polarization between those “tea” party folks and the rest of the Americans, however, I think the fact that their popularity is going down (anyone else catch that at Christine O’Donnell’s book signing only 2 people showed up???), the debacle that was the debt ceiling hurt Republicans far more than they even realize, and the effects of Republican governors’ anti union, anti teacher and anti middle class antics, not to mention violating voting rights for many, many legal Americans will ultimately make 2012’s election about way more than the economy.

    My prediction is that President Obama will win re-election.

  10. 29 Anonymous
    August 29, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I love Mr. Deepak Chopra, mainly because he was a great friend to Michael. Happy Birthday, Michael Joseph Jackson; the baddest man that ever picked up a microphone; on what would have been his 53rd birthday. You are missed.

    August 29, 2011 at 10:33 am


  12. 31 Tally
    August 29, 2011 at 11:03 am

    THREE Supreme Court Nominations MINIMUM between NOW and Jan 2017.



    To me that is the most important thing this election is about.

  13. 33 Sue in Minnesota
    August 29, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I always appreciate any article that reflects positively on the President. This article is flawed because it brushed over Romney so lightly, IMO.
    My larger question is why is Deepak Chopra someone we would turn to for political commentary…..there is a disconnect here for me. I subscribe to some of his philosophies of life energy and mental/emotional well being…but his political gravitas ?

    • 34 Puddin"
      August 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      Well, I think he has just as much to say as the rest of the persons who think they know this ot that about politics. Yeah, I think is perception of Romney is wrong (as far as I am concerned) but he does make some valid points. I have learned to take helps me and to throw the other stuff where it belongs–the trash. I guess what I am trying to say, no one is right about everything all the time.

  14. August 29, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Sue in M, happy Monday! Not being one who follows the media or celebrities I don’t really know who Deepak is other than a singer (I think), and I’m not curious enough to investigate. However, two answers came to mind when I read your comments above.

    2. ‘..why is Deepak Chopra someone we would turn to for political commentary.. – How about, his political commentary is ‘important’ only in so far as he is sharing his views of a healthy society and the President’s successes and obstacles in healing the mess we are in? His views seem to align with ours, so he’s ‘smart’, and not all Americans are currently showing that kind of smarts. 😉

    1. Here’s how I interpreted the fact that he brushed over Romney. SOMEONE will have to be the figurehead opposition, and while Romney may not be a ‘divider’ he is certainly no uniter. The man is just cardboard flat, and his indecisiveness is out there for all to see. So I’m speculating that Deepak chose him because there is an opposition slot to the President, Romney is not as loud as the others, and he doesn’t seem to be a great threat. Of course, Deepak may not know as we do that our President does NOT FEAR ANY of the contenders!

    • August 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm

      I was distracted on this end and forgot to add the point that he is also an American (I assume), and has a vital stake in this political debate the country is having. [This was meant to be added before the last sentence of my number 2 point.]

      • 37 Sue in Minnesota
        August 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm

        I’ve been unfair. Thanks for your perspectives Puddin and vcprezofan2. I’ll be in my corner for a few minutes adjusting my attitude cap.
        vcprezfan2 so you know, Deepok Chopra is an Indian medical doctor, speaks and writes on spirituality and mind/body medicine, I have several of his books, including one I haven’t read and should probably crack open, “The Shadow Effect” which was co-authored with Debbie Ford. I just picked it up from off my desk, looking over it, the second chapter, “Making Peace with Ourselves, Others and the World,” is probably what I need to read. Sometimes, I believe the universe is just handing me my homework, and saying get busy sister, you have some more work to do! There is a reason Deepok’s shown up in my world today.

  15. 38 utaustinliberal
    August 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Good article from Mr. Chopra but I’d have to disagree with his assessment of Romney. Romney does not engender reassurrance or calm. He has been divisive in his tone from day one of his campiagn. He also has no leadership credibility because he has no original ideas of his own. He flip flops everyday and he bends whichever way the GOP winds blow.

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