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More than ten years ago, Sen. Barack Obama released a video announcement that he was exploring a run for the presidency and in three minutes, listed some of the ideas he hoped to accomplish as well as the partisan barriers grinding Washington to a halt. In a nutshell, he presented himself as the fix to our broken system.

He said:

“America’s faced big problems before. But today our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, common-sense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence that we can’t tackle the big problems that demand solutions. That’s what we have to change first. We have to change our politics and come together around our common interests and concerns as Americans.”

Fast forward to today: Did Obama achieve those goals as president? Hardly.

When he finally left office, he emerged from eight of the most divided years our country has seen in quite some time. The culture is split in two; it’s Right versus Left, black versus white, straight versus gay, pro this and anti that. Republicans are unwilling to work with Democrats and vice versa. And all the while, President Obama, the same man in the video who said there’s too much bitterness and partisanship in politics to do any good, did little to bring all sides together. He was, after all, the great divider. His progressive agenda was strong, and he regularly vilified Republicans for blocking his plans.

Even though his eventual campaign built upon “hope and change,” Obama only delivered more of the same. But there’s a very simple reason why his plans failed: politicians can’t solve our issues.

Our democracy loses when candidates run as leaders and not servants. Yes, the president is the “leader” of the United States, but his attitude should always be to serve the will of the people. Too many politicians run on the false hope that they can “lead us out of a mess” when they should ask the citizenry, “How would you like us to proceed?”

That’s why Obama failed. He believed his own hype and thought his candidacy alone would change politics for good. The power belongs in our hands, and the Founding Fathers knew this. That’s why they left us a way to rein in our “leaders” —  through an Article V Convention of States. Through it, we can tell the federal government we aren’t looking to them to solve our problems but are telling THEM how we want those problems solved.

Click CONTINUE to see the flashback video:

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About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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