Words Versus Works

Obama sounds great, but what has he done?

To say that Mr. Obama is a magnificent orator is to say that the surface of the sun is a trifle warm.

This is a good thing in a President.  The day-to-day job of being President of the United States includes a lot of cheerleading.  When Mr. Reagan took office, for example, our economy was down, our prestige in the world was low, and Americans were generally unhappy with the idea of America.  When he left office, our economy was booming, we'd regained our confidence in our country, the Soviet Union had been defeated, foreigners respected us, and life was much better.

People remember major acts of cheerleading.  For many years, high school students memorized the words of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address; it's a timeless, world-class example of inspirational leadership.

Mr. Obama's words are as good as Mr. Lincoln's and Mr. Reagan's if not better.  His words make Americans feel like working together and solving the problems not only of the United States but also of the entire world.

Cheerleading Isn't Enough

Cheerleading is a lot of fun for a talented leader, but unfortunately, words alone are not enough.  A leader's words can inspire people to help the leader get his work done, but words alone don't do anything.

A large part of the Reagan magic was that he was a master cheerleader.  His words made Americans feel good about themselves and about being Americans.  He even got most Americans to feel good about working together to make things better, but his words wouldn't have meant anything without the work he did to make his words come true.

His works validated his words - the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Cold War make his words concerning "the evil empire" ring louder today than they did at the time, and his phrase of "morning in America" would be an empty laughingstock if Reagan had not ended the "stagflation" of Jimmy Carter.

Mr. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address praised the idea of a united America as Mr. Obama's words praise the idea of a united America, but Mr. Lincoln's presidency wasn't just words.  Mr. Lincoln's words would've meant nothing without his works.  Mr. Lincoln not only talked about keeping America together, he worked long and hard to keep America together.

We remember his words because of his works.  If his works had been ineffective, if he'd lost the Civil War, we'd forget his words as quickly as possible.  His successful works validated his magnificent words; we remember his words because of his works, not the other way 'round.  Words without works are worthless.

Oratory and Accomplishment

I've listened to orators going back to John F. Kennedy.  JFK was an inspiring speaker.  His words, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask rather what you can do for your country" inspired a generation of Peace Corps workers to work to spread American ideas and American technology.

Although foreign aid has a miserable track record, the hard work of good-hearted Americans all over the world made the world a better place.  The Peace Corps didn't cost much; it worked because of personal involvement.  JFK's works with the Peace Corps validated his words about serving others.  Unfortunately, JFK's works were not always as wonderful as his words.  He got America into the Vietnam War and authorized the Bay of Pigs invasion which didn't do our relations with Cuba any good.

Mr. Reagan backed his words with effective works.  He had strong beliefs about the grandeur of America, but he put legs under his words by what he did.  He worked to cut taxes because he believed that individual Americans could make better use of their money than government ever could.  He was right - the economy boomed.

He knew that Communism made it very hard to invent new technology and that any Communist economy would be very weak.  His "Star Wars" program worked by challenging the Soviets on their two weak spots - investment and innovation.

He said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."  The wall came down, validating Mr. Reagan's words, but huffing and puffing alone wouldn't have affected the wall.  The Berlin wall came down because of the works Mr. Reagan had put in motion long before he said the words.

Issues With Oratory

I've heard enough wonderful words to know that a really good orator can convince me of most anything if I don't look beyond the words.  I've been bamboozled often enough by the words of really good salesmen that I've learned that when I hear world-class words, I don't have the insight to tell whether the words are true or not just from the words.

In other words, a good orator can fool me with his words, I have to look at his works before accepting his words.  The better the words, the harder I have to examine the works or I'll be sorry.

I've lived under enough Presidents to know that although a President's words have a profound effect on the mood of the country, his works count far more than his words.  When I buy a product, I make my decision based on the company's words in their advertisements and marketing literature, but I won't buy again unless the product works for me.

Words or Works

Mr. Obama "rides words bareback" as  my grandpa used to say.  He's a world-class wordsmith; I can't evaluate Mr. Obama's words just by listening to his words.  I know from bitter experience that regardless of the magnificence of his words - and they are magnificent - his works are much more important.  I'm far more interested in Mr. Obama's works than in his words.

Mr. Obama clearly enjoys his words; that's part of what makes them effective.  But unless Mr. Obama is challenged so that people are no longer satisfied with words, he won't tell us about the works he plans to undertake as our President.

If he's President, his words won't change our lives; his works will affect our lives profoundly.  His works are much more important than his words.  He isn't telling us what works he's got in mind, so all we can do is look at his past work to see how he'd work as President.


Mr. Obama speaks of bringing America together, but he has belonged to a Blacks-only organization for 20 years.  He has given us words about being shocked by some of the words of his pastor, but he hasn't given us any works to address the issue, only words.  Does he plan to resign from his church?  What is he going to do about it?

In a major speech this week, he once again gives words - great words, powerful words, absolutely right words - about how essential it is that we be unified, and stop blaming each other for problems that were caused by people long dead.

It's refreshing to hear Mr. Obama say something so profoundly true, and with such strength!  Now let's see him attack, repudiate, and refuse to associate with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, for whom that kind of race-baiting is their only stock in trade.


Mr. Obama has given us words to the effect that he's a patriot, but the only patriotic work we see is that he's stopped wearing the American Flag.  His church states publicly that church members remain true to Africa, their native land.  How can we believe his words about being a patriot if his works show that his group claims loyalty to some other land?

As the great progressive Teddy Roosevelt said, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism."  Mr. Obama's talked about the need for us to be unified - and rightly so.  Let's see him work to attack this pervasive hyphenation.  We are not African-American, Chinese-American, Mexican-American, heck, not even Irish-American - we need to all be Americans, full stop, and stop pandering to those who say otherwise.

Making the World a Better Place

Mr. Obama's words, "Yes, we can" are inspiring.  Words can make people feel good, but words alone won't make anything better.  He hasn't said how he'd work to make the world a better place, but his Senate web site advocates a program to eliminate extreme global poverty and cut global poverty in half.  Simple calculations show that this would cost roughly half our federal budget each year, yet Mr. Obama advocates spending less than that over 15 years.  His words and his works don't add up.

Affirmative Action

Mr. Obama speaks of bringing Americans together.  Affirmative action leads to racial conflict because it forces government and businesses to treat people differently based on their race.  Mrs. Obama's senior thesis shows how she was harmed by affirmative action.  All over the world, affirmative action harms people it's supposed to help.

What works does Mr. Obama plan in this area?  Let's see him join in support of the various Civil Rights Initiatives which explicitly ban all racial preferences in education, contracting, and so on, placing us squarely on board with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's eternal dream "that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."


Liberals are perverting our language by claiming that our government is denying illegal immigrants their "civil rights."  Applying the concept of "civil rights" to people who don't have civil rights because they aren't citizens is a perversion of the words.  Liberals do that because they know they can't get what they want without changing the language to support their positions.

Mr. Obama taught constitutional law; he knows that the Constitution grants civil rights only to citizens.  What works does he plan with respect to immigration?  Even in this week's speech, he attacked Americans who wish to defend our borders from people coming into our country illegally - that is, Americans who want non-Americans to follow our laws if they want to come here.  How is this a worthy succession to those who fought, bled, and died to give us the rights we enjoy as Americans?


Mr. Obama has used words to criticize American policy in Afghanistan.  Mr. Obama's Senate committee has jurisdiction over what we do in Afghanistan, yet Mr. Obama hasn't had his oversight committee meet, not even once.  He hasn't done any works to match his words even through he has the power to work in this area.  How can he expect us to give him more power and authority if he won't use the power he already has?

Mr. Obama Knows Better

Mr. Obama has been a member of a church which calls itself "unashamedly Christian" for the past 20 years; he should know that works are far more important than words.  Christians follow the teachings of their founder, Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 21:28-31, Jesus told of a man who gave his two sons work assignments for the day.  One son said he'd do the work but didn't.  The other son said "no," but then thought better of it and did the work.  Jesus pointed out that the son who had bad words but good works did right; the son with the good words and bad works did wrong.

Your words are wonderful, Mr. Obama; where are the works?  After twenty years of his sitting in a pew, perhaps the Book of James in the Bible can say it best and most clearly:

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Well?  We're waiting.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for Scragged.com and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Politics.
Reader Comments
Mr. Will Offensicht speaks words far superior than Senator Obama! Why? Mr. Offensicht speaks words of truth.

Obama's "Global Poverty Act" sends $845 billion more than the USA sends already to the UN to feed, clothe, shelter, educate, medicate and arm Third World Muslim countries and others who hate America. Does Obama hate America? Be afraid of everything connected to the UN. The money goes to corrupt leaders. http://youtube.com/watch?v=6RyOPTtzTvI&feature=related

The videos of Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. are for sell from the church library. This egotistical man is not ashamed of his diatribes of pure Racism against America, whites and Jews. He has retired from TUCC, but on occasion, he will preach a sermon for some extra pocket change.

Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. said, "The government gives them drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants to sing 'God Bless America. No, no, no, not 'God Bless America' -- 'God Damn America." FULL STORY:

"I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus," Obama told ABC News, "but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude." FULL STORY:

Senator Obama will destroy our military and surrender to al Qaeda in Iraq and round the world. He wants to have tea with Iran's Ahmadinejad and Syria's Asad and make friends with Osama, Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah and all the Jihadists who want kill all infidels and swap some ideas on how to bring about ?peace with Israel.

He wants to tip a glass of rum and smoke a good Cuban cigar with Raul and Fidel of Cuba, Hugo of Venezuela and the other Latin American despots to discuss the merits of Socialism.

He wants to bring change to Washington, D.C. by raising taxes on everyone who earns a living, tax corporate America into bankruptcy, he wants to leave Social Security alone to finance his entitlements and Socialist ideas.
March 19, 2008 2:20 PM
Add Your Comment...
4000 characters remaining
Loading question...