The 1963 march was for "Jobs and Freedom". We have fallen short on both. President Obama's speech today was particularly good on the economic plight of the working class, and the politics of resentment that so many have practiced for the past fifty years (not just the white southern Republicans = look at Chris Christie). I'll leave the rhetorical analysis to Andrew Sprung at xpostfactoid the premier commentator on Obama's rhetoric. This is the President, excerpted by Sprung:
Since 1963, the economy has changed. The twin forces of technology and global competition have subtracted those jobs that once provided a foothold into the middle class -- reduced the bargaining power of American workers. And our politics has suffered. Entrenched interests, those who benefit from an unjust status quo, resisted any government efforts to give working families a fair deal -- marshaling an army of lobbyists and opinion makers to argue that minimum wage increases or stronger labor laws or taxes on the wealthy who could afford it just to fund crumbling schools, that all these things violated sound economic principles. We'd be told that growing inequality was a price for a growing economy, a measure of this free market; that greed was good and compassion ineffective, and those without jobs or health care had only themselves to blame.And then, there were those elected officials who found it useful to practice the old politics of division, doing their best to convince middle-class Americans of a great untruth -- that government was somehow itself to blame for their growing economic insecurity; that distant bureaucrats were taking their hard-earned dollars to benefit the welfare cheat or the illegal immigrant.