Barack Obama: "Don't Get Cynical, Get Hopey"

Tyler Durden's picture

Today, Obama did more of what he has been born to do: preach from a teleprompter, this time at the Paramount Theater in Austin. Here are the choice excerpts from the speech transcript. They hardly need commentary:

* * *

Sometimes people say thank you for something I've done or a position I've taken, and some people say, "You're an idiot." (Laughter.) And that's how I know that I'm getting a good representative sampling because -- (laughter) -- half the letters are less than impressed with me.

* * *

The crisis in 2008 hurt us all badly -- worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But you think about the progress we've made. Today, our businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs over the past 52 months. (Applause.) Our housing is rebounding. Our auto industry is booming. Manufacturing is adding more jobs than any time since the 1990s. The unemployment rate is the lowest point it's been since September of 2008. (Applause.) ... some of it had to do with decisions we made to build our economy on a new foundation. And those decisions are paying off. We're more energy independent. For the first time in nearly 20 years, we produce more oil here at home than we buy from abroad. (Applause.) The world's largest oil and gas producer isn't Russia; it's not Saudi Arabia -- it's the United States of America. (Applause.)

In education, our high school graduation rate is at a record high; the Latino dropout rate has been cut in half since 2000. (Applause.) More young people are graduating from college than ever before.

OBAMA: Si se puede. (Laughter.)

* * *

So when folks say they're frustrated with Congress, let's be clear about what the problem is. (Applause.) I'm just telling the truth now. I don't have to run for office again, so I can just let her rip. (Applause.) And I want to assure you, I'm really not that partisan of a guy. My favorite President is the first Republican President, a guy named Abraham Lincoln. You look at our history, and we had great Republican Presidents who -- like Teddy Roosevelt started the National Park System, and Dwight Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System, and Richard Nixon started the EPA.

The statement I'm making is not a partisan statement, it is a statement of fact. (Applause.) So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to strengthen the middle class. They have said no --


OBAMA: Don't boo now, because what I want you to do is vote. (Applause.)

They've said no to raising the minimum wage. They've said no to fair pay. They said no to unemployment insurance for hardworking folks like Kinsey's parents who have paid taxes all their lives and never depended on anything and just needed a little help to get over a hump. They said no to fixing our broken immigration system that we know would strengthen our borders and our businesses and help families. (Applause.)

* * *

And what it does, is it just feeds people's cynicism about Washington. It just makes people think, well, nothing can happen, and people start feeling hopeless. And we have to understand, in the face of all evidence to the contrary in Washington, we can do better than we're doing right now. (Applause.) We can do better than what we're doing right now.

We know from our history, our economy does not grow from the top down, it grows from the middle up. It grows from a rising, thriving middle class. It grows when we got ladders of opportunity for everybody, and every young person in America is feeling hopeful and has a chance to do what they can with the God-given talents that they have. That's what we're fighting for. That is what you should be fighting for. (Applause.)

And that's the reason -- that's the reason why my administration has taken more than 40 different actions just this year to help working Americans -- because Congress won't.

* * *

As long as Congress will not increase wages for workers, I will go and talk to every business in America if I have to. (Applause.) There's no denying a simple truth: America deserves a raise, and if you work full-time in this country, you shouldn't live in poverty. That's something that we all believe. (Applause.)

* * * 

Now, here's where it gets interesting. There are a number of Republicans, including a number in the Texas delegation, who are mad at me for taking these actions. They actually plan to sue me. (Laughter.) Now, I don't know which things they find most offensive -- me helping to create jobs, or me raising wages, or me easing the student loan burdens, or me making sure women can find out whether they're getting paid the same as men for doing the same job. I don't know which of these actions really bug them. (Laughter.)

The truth is, even with all the actions I've taken this year, I'm issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years. So it's not clear how it is that Republicans didn't seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did. (Applause.) Maybe it's just me they don't like. I don't know. Maybe there's some principle out there that I haven't discerned, that I haven't figure out. (Laughter.) You hear some of them -- "sue him," "impeach him." Really? (Laughter.) Really? For what? (Applause.) You're going to sue me for doing my job? Okay. (Applause.)

I mean, think about that. You're going to use taxpayer money to sue me for doing my job -- (laughter) -- while you don't do your job. (Applause.)

* * *

So rather than wage another political stunt that wastes time, wastes taxpayers' money, I've got a better idea: Do something. (Applause.) If you're mad at me for helping people on my own, let's team up. Let's pass some bills. Let's help America together. (Applause.)

It is lonely, me just doing stuff. I'd love if the Republicans did stuff, too. (Laughter.) On immigration issues, we've got -- and to their credit, there are some Republicans in the Senate who actually worked with Democrats, passed a bill, would strengthen the borders, would help make the system more fair and more just. But the House Republicans, they haven't even called the bill. They won't even take a vote on the bill. They don't have enough energy or organization or I don't know what to just even vote no on the bill. (Laughter.) And then they're made at me for trying to do some things to make the immigration system work better. So it doesn't make sense.

OBAMA: I'm sorry, what are you yelling about now? Sit down, guys. I'm almost done. Come on, sit down. I'll talk to you afterwards, I promise. I'll bring you back. I'm wrapping things up here.
OBAMA: I understand. See, everybody is going to start -- I'm on your side, man. Sit down, guys, we'll talk about it later, I promise.

So, look, here's what we could do. We could do so much more -- you don't have to escort them out. They'll sit down. I promise, I'll talk to you afterwards.

* * *

Let's rally around a patriotism that says we're stronger as a nation when we cultivate the ingenuity and talent of every American, and give every 4-year-old in America access to high-quality education -- good-quality preschool. (Applause.) Let's redesign our high schools to make them more relevant to the 21st century economy. Let's make college more affordable. Let's make sure every worker, if you lose your job, you can get a good job training that gives you an even better job. (Applause.)

Let's embrace the patriotism that says it's a good thing when our fellow citizens have health care. It's not a bad thing. (Applause.) That's not a bad thing. It's a good thing when women earn what men do for the same work. That's an all-American principle. (Applause.) Everybody has got a mom out there or a wife out there or a daughter out there. They don't want them to not get treated fairly. Why would you be against that?

* * *

There are plenty of people who count on you getting cynical and count on you not getting involved so that you don't vote, so you give up. And you can't give into that. America is making progress, despite what the cynics say. (Applause.) Despite unyielding opposition and a Congress that can't seem to do anything, there are workers with jobs who didn't have them before; there are families with health insurance who didn't have them before; there are students in college who couldn't afford it before; there are troops who served tour after tour who are home with their families today. (Applause.)

Cynicism is popular. Cynicism is popular these days. It's what passes off as wisdom. But cynics didn't put a man on the moon. Cynics never won a war. Cynics didn't cure a disease, or start a business, or feed a young mind. Cynicism didn't bring about the right for women to vote, or the right for African Americans to be full citizens. Cynicism is a choice.
Hope is a better choice. Hope is what gave young soldiers the courage to storm a beach. Hope is what gave young people the strength to march for women's rights and civil rights and voting rights and gay rights and immigrant rights. (Applause.)
Hope is what compelled Kinsey to sit down and pick up a pen, and ask "what can I do," and actually think maybe the President might read that story and it might make a difference. (Applause.) And her voice rang out here in the Paramount Theatre. And it's her voice and your voice that's going to change this country. That's how we're going to make sure that we remain the greatest nation on Earth -- not by asking what we can do for ourselves, but what we can do for each other and what we can do for our country.

And so, as President, I'm going to keep a promise that I made when I first ran: Every day, I will keep asking the same question, and that is, how can I help you? And I'll keep treating your cares and your concerns as my own. And I will keep fighting to restore the American Dream for everybody who's willing to work for it.

And I am going to need you to be right there with me. (Applause.) Do not get cynical. Hope is the better choice.

Thank you, Texas. Thank you, Austin. God bless you. (Applause.) 


* * *

Or, all the above, summarized in one sentence: it's the Republicans fault, and ban cynicism. (with a gratuitous JFK paraphrase thrown in for good measure)

Full transcript word cloud:

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fonzannoon's picture

This hit the spot. I fear the last several years I have started to become slightly cynical.

max2205's picture

He must think we are a bunch of idiots.....oh wait

PAPA ROACH's picture

You can either be cynical (against him), or full retard (with him). Of course the only ones that will offended by my word choice are those that are NOT cynical....

BlackChicken's picture

"Every day, I will keep asking the same question, and that is, how can I help you?" (said while laughing, screw that, what's my tee-time?) if he wanted to help he would resign.

"And I'll keep treating your cares and your concerns as my own." (right. He has no cares because we pay for him to live like a rock-star between golf outings).

hedgeless_horseman's picture



"And if you vote for me as class president, then free choom for everyone and no more homework!" (Applause.)

"It is lonely, me just doing this stuff. I'd love if the Republicans did stuff, too. (Laughter.)

Liberal's picture

Why can't you just support the president and our party?

We just want free food, free home, free education, free health care and free ride through life.  Is that too much to ask you ZH people?  All you have to do is work hard and pay.  Not hard.  Unless you're racist.

overexposed's picture

Harry Wanger 2.0.  You're still crackin' me up, Lib!

NotApplicable's picture


Somebody please tell Obummer that's some stale-ass Hopium. We deserve better.

Dollarmedes's picture

Do not get cynical. Hope is the better choice.

I agree. I'm hoping for impeachment.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Well played!  Preezy's workin' the hope-a-dope strategy.

MeMadMax's picture

The open borders BS is already affecting us here in lost angeles...


Hospitals are officially flooded. 


Went to go get a 2yo checkup for my daughter and it was backed up for over 2 months due to "abnormally high workloads"...

johngaltfla's picture

Ze are to get hopey or vee vill send you to a camp to make you feel hopey!!!!

GetZeeGold's picture



More Koolaid for cynical lil bitchez.


I was hoping the President wasn't a progressive communist.....but it looks like I'd better hope for something else.

nmewn's picture

Obama speaks of cynicism as if he is not the main cause of it, he's just a casual observer.

"No ones reading your emails"...he said. "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor"...he said. "I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue."...he said.

Apparently just a casual observer who uses children and old people as human shields ;-)

CoastalCowboy's picture


I have a friend who lives in Vegas who dislocated his hip in a bicycle accident a few weeks ago. He sat in the emergency room for 8 hours with no response. He somehow worked his hip back into joint while waiting and hobbled out of there.

Another friend, who has a history of cardio issues went to the emergency room here where I live. Again, he waited 10 hours with no response for a potential friggin' heart attack. Luckily, the doc-in-a-box place determined he was OK as did his regular physician. Of course, his ACA compliant insurance policy left him responsible for the whole bill.

I knocked my pinky toe out of joint as in hanging at a right angle. I reset it myself w/o going to a medical professional, and it's doing great all for free.

My niece did the same thing and paid $800 for the privilege of having a doctor do the same thing. Again, she was stuck with the whole bill due to her ACA compliant policy.

DIY medicine is the wave of the future. We're regressing back to the 18th century. Thanks O-bots!!!!

dizzyfingers's picture

CoastalCowboy  Congrats! Stay well! People have been curing their own type 2 diabetes via low carb eating for quite a while, and there are other intelligent responses to bad "medicine". To those who fulminate about opting out of non-helping "health care", all life ends in death eventually.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Type 2 is completely curable is it is not too late. God, it blows my mind why so many don't! Eat real unprocessed food and exercise like our ancestors have done for thousands of years. It's really that simple. So it is worth, blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, increased lethal infections and increased difficulty to maintain weight for stuffing yourself with junk?

Yes, it is more expensive eating healthfully but look at the big picture. I guess people have just given up and based their life on TV as their sole reason to exist. Just tragic. I'd be out of work is it weren't for diabetics and, frankly, that would be a good think for society.


ebworthen's picture

It's the hopey-changy, changy-hopey bandwagon!

If you aren't on board, you're a terrorist!

Oh regional Indian's picture

I never met a slogan I liked.

A slogan is a SLOW GUN!

Eat that nail, snail!

I detest sloganeers even more than I detest slogans.

De-test? Ugh, dead language.....

Talleyrand's picture

Don't forget the circuses!

XenoFrog's picture

"I'm not running for office"


"I want you to vote"


does not compute.

Tall Tom's picture

"I want you to vote"...[out all of those Republican "do nothings" as the blame for the dismal failure of the Nation is on them for THEIR cynicism]


He was in Blue Team Austin.


Red Team...Blue Team...Rah...rah...rah...BULLSHIT.


It is the Mid Term Elections and he is stumping for the Democraps.


(He likes Dick Nixon??? OMG. That is fuckin' bent.)

Duffy Duck's picture

introduce 'let obama be a puppet' to the cogitation.  it computes alright.

PoliticalRefugeefromCalif.'s picture

..Mighty white for you to ask...

usually you just demand.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Does anyone else wave those tiny little American flags in each hand while listening to this poor misunderstood Negro speak? No? Just me then?

Faith is naught but belief without any evidence.  

I have Faith 0bam0 went to Harvard.

I have Faith he got excellent grades.

I have faith he is an American citizen.

I have faith he isn't hopped up on goof balls.

I have faith he isn't a creature of the CIA.

See, when you have no evidence or documents about anything, all you have is faith.

Duffy Duck's picture

CIA runs the country.

The question is merely who runs CIA.

And if the agency has any patriots left at all.

I lean toward no.

Some patriots in mil intel tho'.

Some considerably more dangerous in the grand scheme, I'd wager.

HardAssets's picture

Unfortunately that sounds like a distant shirt tail relative of mine. A 60s generation femo-Commie.  She was praising o-care because it provides health insurance for her stoner/on disability relations. All poor white trash in their case.

Amerika . . . what a country !

SmackDaddy's picture

who the fuck has never smoked weed?

Duffy Duck's picture

Who, having tried, would give it up completely? 


People who never received a blow job whilst high, that's goddamned who, dammit.



Cocomaan's picture

Goddamn, ain't that the truth.

mt paul's picture

don't get cynical

get even....


starve the beast

stop consuming

produce something ....

Antifaschistische's picture

"And I will keep fighting to restore the American Dream for everybody who's willing to work for it."

wait just a moment!!  Isn't Obama the presidente who fights hard for people who don't work at all.  He's willing to redistribute income from those who work for it and give it to just about anyone who does no work at all.

viator's picture

At least the choom part is working out. Now we need to make free choom a right like free birth control.

Vagabond's picture

Government is working on it... this is supposedly going to apply to Massachusetts dispensaries as well when they finally get the go ahead.

xtop23's picture


How can you help me, Barry?

You can't.  You do what you're told. 

We, as Americans, can certainly help ourselves though. The most obvious method would be to quit looking to government for help.

Help yourself.

Diversify into real assets that are under your direct control and hopefully in a medium that is difficult, if not outright impossible, for the government to fuck with. 

Learn some useful skills ( farming / construction / self defense / firearm competency ).

Make friends with people that have useful skills that you lack.

Have a plan ( a relatively safe place to evacuate to / access to clean water / at least moderate shelter / and enough food to at least give you some breathing room ).


What this dolt calls cynicism,  I call being an adult.


agNau's picture

Ven a Estados Unidos. Comida gratis, casas. No hay necesidad de trabajar.
Debe ser capaz de aplaudir y reír en comando.

RafterManFMJ's picture

I had eggs, bacon and a shot of Jack for breakfast. Why do you ask?

HardAssets's picture

max2205:  "He must think we are a bunch of idiots . . . .oh wait"

I was feeling damned cynical today. I had several conversations with various fellow Americans (in person and online) and it hit me how f*cking ignorant and stupid many are. Completely clueless and dumbed down. And I was thinking 'we are totally screwed'.

But then I come here on ZH and see that there are some of us that 'get it'.

That helps a little, but I'm still feeling cynical.


DeadFred's picture

How about a "Barrrfff!"?

profchaos's picture

You know, I've been well off in this country, poor in this country, okay again. It's mostly a matter of circumstance, a few key decisions, and luck. I'm not a rich guy. I''ll probably never be. But I'm happy to do my part to help people who aren't as fortunate. There's not a lot of difference between me and them, and I'm grateful that we live in a country where having a tough run of luck isn't the end. You can bounce back here. Not because of radical libertarian ideology, but because people have money to spend. Even the poor aren't really that poor. The institutions we put in place during the Great Depression aren't perfect. I'd hate to see what this country would look like today without them. I'm not calling you guys selfish. I'm just saying maybe try to imagine yourselves in different circumstances.

goldsansstandard's picture

My grandfather was an Marxist Lennist Jew . He immigrated from Poland. and he went to New York every Mayday to march in the parade.

My Aunt took me to his grave a few years ago.

It was in the Workman's CircleCememtary.

The workmans circle was a mutual aid society of marxist Jewish craftsman.

My grandfather lived a libertarian dream.

They helped each other out, in just the right amount. The hospitals took the poor, or perhaps the circle would pitch in.

Don't tell me how wonderful the State's safety net is.

I live in a neighborhood full of people who have fallen through, and come from a city full of people working on being sick so they can get disability.

Many of those who really need it , can't get it together to qualify.
Oz never did give something that we didn't already have.

udaman's picture

profchaos: fuck you, wake up; dumbass

tempo's picture

90,000 diseased illegal males by Sept., Put them in Conservative districts in a drug safe house run by rut That's hope.

max2205's picture

Don't forget to put a voting booth right outside the front door

Lost Word's picture

Put the illegals in the White House Executive Mansion.

Oh wait, an illegal already lives there.

Put the illegals in the Capital Building and the Congressional Office Building.

Lost Word's picture

New Idea for stopping illegal immigration:

Mexican train carrying illegals derailed.

Send Sabotage Teams into Mexico to wreck the Mexican railroads.