But all of the Liberals and his sheep will forgive him…again.
Obama has lied his way through 4 years of his Presidency and not one Democrat has held him accountable for this.
Obama is big on economic sanctions. Sanctions only work when the leadership of a nation cares about the welfare of their people. If the leadership of a nation cared about their people, sanctions would not be necessary in the first place.
Think about it.
When have sanctions truly worked. Didn’t work in Iraq. Didn’t work for Britain against the American Colonies. Didn’t work for the American colonists against Britain. Didn’t work for the South against Britain in the American Civil War. Didn’t work in the Balkans. Neither did they work with World War 1 or 2 Germany. Nor the Soviet Union during the Cold War. They aren’t working now with Syria or Iran.
Air wars do not work either. Even in the Balkans which was primarily an air war, we had to occupy with ground forces.
The initial Air War in Afghanistan was a failure which led to massive troop deployments.
Violence works. But usually it is only a short term fix. Every war has led to other wars. Most of the wars occurring now find their seeds of discontent in the outcomes of the Second World War.
War is a tool. The problem is that we never follow through. We tire of our wars. We run out of patience, will, resources. Therefore, we leave every war half finished.
That leads directly to wars of the future.
When the United States pulls back with Obama’s leadership, it will leave a power vacuum. Geo-political power vacuums are never filled peacefully.
Men decide the outcomes of most struggles violently.
This bothers me not in the least. Let them kill each other. The earth is overcrowded as it is. America, I think, grows weary of holding back the teeming masses of brutish thugs. Set them loose.
But keep our military strong enough to keep them at bay should they decide to try American resolve at our borders.
“Justice has been done,” President Obama
Osama is DEAD DEAD DEAD. If there is no hell, May he burn eternally somewhere else. Good Job Obama and everyone else involved in the OP.
I doubt that they’ll ever display it. Hell, they should hang it from the Washington Monument in the exact same method that the extremist and illiterate rabble of the Muslim World would do if they captured Bush or any American/
really. Give the bastards a taste of their own medicine. But we’re too “civilized” for all that. More is the pity.
Some folks will spin this politically and attempt to deny Obama credit for taking Osama out. How could you not give him credit, though? Bush had chances to get him and failed. Clinton had chances to get him and failed. It took balls to order the strike. Took balls to order the mission. Took discipline to keep it secret for 6 months. Some leaders would have failed this test. Some leaders would have not wanted to risk the wrath of al Qaeda and other Muslim Extremist groups by taking Osama out.
I’m not a huge Obama fan by any stretch of the imagination, but, in my book, Obama gets big props from me for having the balls to carry this through. Period. That’s just me.
THE OBAMA OSAMA DEATH ANNOUNCEMENT
I love it.
I’m a huge Obama fan for this week, at least.
So long Osama. May you rot eternally in the fires of Gehena!
”I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” – Mark Twain
On the Muslim World
Muslims see themselves as a community. They always have and always will. The only way to stop that is to kill all of them. Christians think of themselves as a community as well. Christendom is a concept only recently gone out of fashion. There are mentions of Christendom from the 19th Century, I know. Europe was still speaking of Christendom until only recently. I think Churchill mentions it a few times. That was the 20th Century. It is not a foreign concept to think in terms of a World Wide Religious or Cultural community. We think of the West. The West is Christian. No matter how greatly this is denied by atheists and secularists within the West. The West is merely a more secular term for Christendom. The West is as guilty of this kind of speak as is Islam. The difference is that we, in the West, agree with Western Culture. We don’t see it as problem and arrogantly believe that the rest of the World should be overjoyed to join us. Muslim lands. Christan lands. During World War I and at the end of World War I, “The West” celebrated the return of the “Holy Land” to it’s rightful Christian hands by virtue of it’s capture after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire encompassed most of what we now speak of as the Middle East. Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and a few others were all part of the now defunct Ottoman Empire. This was considered the Muslim World or the Lands of the Mohamadens (Saracens) and spoken and written about as such by Christian or “Western” writers and historians. That some in our era do not understand the concept of Muslim lands is fairly meaningless. The Great Tides of History are against their ignorance. It’s simply that they are ignorant of the history of the region. Not their fault. Our schools are more interested in Political Correct thought processes than learning. If one truly desires to rail against this concept and this ideology, though, one should at least be aware of this history. Me, I don’t care what history says about Muslim lands. Prior to the Muslims, these lands were all Western (Roman) and/or Christian. Not that Christians ruled them justly either.
History also shows us that the most violent and war like culture wins out in the end. The winners determine the future and control history. Except in our current era, where idiotic pacifists, socialist, multi-culturalists and self defeatists in the West want to write history based strictly upon their feelings of guilt and ignorance of history. They remind me of mini-Pol Pot or Mao Tse Tung pretenders. The greatest threat to the West (Christendom) is not the Muslims or even Communist China. It is the 5th Column of corrupt leftists and extreme liberals within our own borders. In order to finally defeat the Islamic threat, we will need to defeat this 5th Column by making them irrelevant.
This quote was translated into English of an article appearing in the Czech Republic as published in the Prager Zeitung of 28 April 2010 .
“The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama Presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their President.” “The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. ” The Republic can survive a Barack Obama who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their President.”
I know not if this was actually extracted from a Czech newspaper. I do know that whoever wrote it has my complete agreement. The more of the ilk of Obama and his crowd of Liberals that we, citizens of America, vote into office, the dimmer the future of our Great Nation.
All who have ever written on government are unanimous, that among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist. ~ Edmund Burke
Below is an open letter written by former Proctor & Gamble VP Lou Pritchett to President Obama. This letter was sent to the New York Times. The NYT received it but never printed it.
Dear President Obama:
You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me. You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you. You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support. You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American. You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll. You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don’t understand it at its core. You scare me because you lack humility and ‘class’, always blaming others. You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail. You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the “blame America” crowd and deliver this message abroad. You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector. You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one. You scare me because you prefer ‘wind mills’ to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves. You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world. You scare me because you have begun to use ‘extortion’ tactics against certain banks and corporations. You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals. You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people. You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient. You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do. You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaugh’s, Hannitys, O’Reillys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view. You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.
This letter was sent to the NY Times but never acknowledged. Never printed. Why? You can guess. It’s been vetted by Snopes, if you’d like to check. Supposedly, this letter has received over half a million hits since it hit the net.
I don’t necessarily agree with the whole of it. That said, it hits home on some key points. Obama’s ongoing World Apology Tour sickens me. Obama strikes me as supremely arrogant as well. He’s not fully disclosed his life story either. From what I can gather, he’s more a pawn of Arab Muslim interests than even the Bush Family. I thought that would be a diffuclt level to reach for a non-Bush scion. I believe that I was wrong.
The obvious has occurred here in that every Obama supporter and their lackeys have come out of the woodwork to tell the world that Pritchett is full of hate, a bigot and a racist. Any time the sacred Obama is criticized, these folks come out. One can not make a single commet about Obama that is not full of flattery for fear of his minions and White Guilters coming out of the closet in droves to shout one down by calling all and sundry racists, bigots, etc. How does that aid racial relations?
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. Observations on a Late Publication on the Present State of the Nation (1769)
People crushed by law, have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous.Letter to Charles James Fox (1777-10-08)
Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods. Preface to Brissot’s Address (1794)
Kentucky is getting all the great press lately.
Unanimous #1 College Basketball Team in the Nation.
Cousins, Patterson and Wall ~ One of them is either Player or Frosh of the Week almost every week of this season.
Wall and Patterson are front runners for National Player of the Year.
Wall is frontrunner for SEC Player of the Year.
Cal puts together “Hoops for Haiti” on a moments notice. He and the Cats raise over 1,000,000 USD in less than a week.
Now, the President of the United States of America wants to thank them for their efforts. Put aside politics for a moment and hear those words. THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS GOING TO THANK THE CATS! This is an honor of the highest order. It matters not whether you voted for the man or not. He’s the President. He is the human embodiment of the Nation. He wants to either meet with the Cats or in some manner convey his and the nations appreciation for their efforts.
Aside from the honor associated with receiving this magnanimous gesture, it’s publicity of the highest order. This is a publicity bonanza.
Coach Cal is a master. I’m not saying that he did this for the press that it’s garnered. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that the University of Kentucky is getting a public lift that is amazing in scale. It’s unbelievable what Coach Cal has done.
I have to admire the man.
UK has not seen this kind of public adulation since…well, not in my memory.
Congratulations Coach Cal and to the Cats are in order. This is incredible. I love it.
It’s awesome to be a Cat fan right now and to be associated with this incredible team and its Coach.
GO BIG BLUE!
Mazria has vetted his plan with bankers at Wells Fargo, Bankers Trust, and Bank of the West, all of whom are interested in providing loans; while in Washington, he also met with the Teamsters, who are eager to get in on the green economy. The city of Des Moines, whose mayor, Frank Cownie, helped Mazria develop and pitch his proposal to state and federal leaders, has been fully on board. Cincinnati has expressed interest, too. Ditto Atlanta, Dubuque, Santa Barbara, Albuquerque, Fort Wayne. North Little Rock, population 61,000, is “absolutely” planning to file a 14x application, according to Mayor Hays.
The Arkansas contingent, in fact, is already devising new twists on the concept. Green business pioneer Martha Jane Murray, an architect and shoe factory co-owner who set up free home energy audits and energy-efficiency loans for her employees, is now considering ways to incorporate mortgage-rate paydowns into her program. By offering cheaper home loans as an employee benefit—contingent on an energy retrofit—a company could effectively give workers a pay raise that encourages them to stay put. Mayor Hays suggests that cities might even use such incentives to, say, entice police officers to live in what he calls “challenged” areas of town. “It’s a simple idea,” he notes, “but it certainly seems to hold promise for some profound opportunities.”
DOE officials seemed “real excited” about 14x, Mazria says, and will likely look favorably upon local variations of his plan as the stimulus money begins to flow in earnest in late June. (“Yes, we’re excited,” confirms Claire Johnson, the department’s efficiency advisor for the stimulus package, “but we’re excited by a lot of things. The department is always interested in innovative ways to increase energy efficiency.”)
Phase 2 of the plan would elevate the concept to the federal level. Mazria envisions dipping into the $1.2 trillion pot the Federal Reserve has set aside to buy up debt and toxic securities and bolster Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A mere $60 billion of that money, Mazria says, would enable the federal government to tie mortgage-rate paydowns to energy efficiency on a grand scale, leading to $572 billion in construction spending, 9 million jobs, and $40 billion in state and local tax revenue.
Best of all, the whole thing will pay for itself: Within a year, Mazria calculates, that $60 billion will have brought in a whopping $120 billion in federal taxes. “To turn the country around,” says the architect, “you need to turn the building sector around. And you have an opportunity to transform it as you’re bringing it back.”
Michael Mechanic is a senior editor at Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.
Just think if the American Political Leadership did something right for once…
What a concept!
I’m tired of people whining when they think that I am calling them a racist or bigot. If you are the type of person who cuts the word “Hope” from this picture and replace it with the world “Nigger.” If you are the type of person who creates or forwards emails that purposely denigrate whole groups of folks based on false information or misinformation.
If you participate in these types of activities, I’m not calling you a racist or a bigot. Your actions and words are an admission of your guilt and your true feelings. Don’t whine to me when I dispute the lies and ignorance of these actions and words.
Here’s a bit of a wake up call for all of you. Not all Muslims are terrorists or want to push Sharia on the world. Not all Black people are unemployed and on welfare. There are Muslims serving in the military and who have served in the military honorably. I work with a Muslim right now who is a true American and one of the better human beings whom I have had the pleasure to know in my life. These folks love America and what she represents in the World. If you disagree with Obama over policy, that’s fine. I do as well. If you hate Obama because he’s black or you think he’s a Muslim, you’re an ignorant racist/bigot. Period.
If you are a racist or a bigot, please move to Waziristan. Many folks in that region are as ignorant, bigoted and racist as are you. I don’t want your ignorance in my America.
In Asian cultures, the bow is a greeting and the person of lower rank bows lowest.
According to the picture, Obama is the lower rank as he is bowing lower. He screwed up.
“IF I see another king, I think I shall bite him,” Teddy Roosevelt once growled.
A US President should bow to no monarch. Period. Obama is taking this a bit too far.
Probably made the Japanese people love him. Is that worth the votes that these moves will ultimately cost him at home.
Everyone knows who the real power in the room was.
As long as Obama knows it as well.
Too many more moves like this are going to start adding up and cost him in the next election. Is his staff full of imbeciles or is Obama this stupid? One has to wonder. This makes me seriously question his judgment. He seems seriously naive as to how this makes him look in the World.
What next? Will Obama start lowering the Colors to every passing Nations Flag as well.
This is the move of a leader of a subordinate Nation. Not an equal or superior, but, a subordinate nation.
Does Obama realize this? Is his staff full of retarded people?
Above, President Obama bows to the King of Oil.
Socialism refers to various theories of economic organization advocating public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals with an egalitarian method of compensation. In Marxist theory, socialism is a transitional phase between capitalism and communism characterized by unequal distribution of wealth and compensation according to work done.  Contrary to popular belief, socialism is not a political system; it is an economic system distinct from capitalism.
Forerunners of communist ideas existed in antiquity and particularly in the 18th and early 19th century France, with thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the more radical Gracchus Babeuf. Radical egalitarianism then emerged as a significant political power in the first half of 19th century in Western Europe. In the world shaped by the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, the newly established political left included many various political and intellectual movements, which are the direct ancestors of today’s communism and socialism – these two then newly minted words were almost interchangeable at the time – and of anarchism or anarcho-communism.
Capitalism typically refers to an economic and social system in which the means of production (also known as capital) are privately controlled; labor, goods and capital are traded in a market; profits are distributed to owners or invested in new technologies and industries; and wages are paid to labor.
Democracy is a system of government in which either the actual governing is carried out by the people governed (direct democracy), or the power to do so is granted by them (as in representative democracy). The term is derived from the Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratía (info)), “popular government”, which was coined from δῆμος (dêmos), “people” and κράτος (krátos), meaning “power” in the middle of the fifth-fourth century BC to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states, notably Athens following a popular uprising in 508 BC.
In political theory, democracy describes a small number of related forms of government and also a political philosophy. Even though there is no specific, universally accepted definition of ‘democracy’, there are two principles that any definition of democracy includes, equality and freedom. These principles are reflected by all citizens being equal before the law, and having equal access to power. Additionally, all citizens are able to enjoy legitimized freedoms and liberties, which are usually protected by a constitution.
Technically, Obama was/is engaging in a socialist act when he purchased majority shares of several organizations (banks, car manufacturing, etc). We shall see in due time whether that was a wise act or something less. It may have been the action that put the economy back on chart. It may have been wasted money. Time will reveal it’s truths.
Many in America are comparing a Political Theory with an Economic Theory. It’s apples and oranges. One can be both Socialist and Democratic. One can be both Capitalist and Democratic. One can not be a pure Socialist and engage in Capitalism or vice versa. Though China is proving that one can be both Communist and Capitalist right before our eyes or perhaps they are simply oligarchic capitalists.
When someone states that Obama is Socialist that does not preclude him from being Democratic in political system preference.
President Obama is more Socialist than say Forbes or Reagan (perhaps). He’s no more Socialist than Bush in my opinion. Bush approved/extended a few programs that many might consider Socialist and if he had been able to sit for a third term, I believe, he would have acted much as did Obama.
On the question of health care, The United States must care for it’s citizens in our post-Industrial age. The economy and capitalism is not going to do this nor are they designed in theory to do so. Companies are attempting to cut back on expenses to improve the bottom line. Canceling health care benefits. Canceling pensions. And so on and so forth. If the United States is going to be a Nation of values and humanity going forward, it must care for it’s citizens. Health Care is an important part of that plan. In my opinion. If America is truly a Nation of, by and for the people, then Health Care is and must be a priority.
It will likely mean heavier taxes. Personally, I think some of those taxes should come from the businesses that benefit from American Capitalism, the Federal Government and from our military protectionist adventures around the world. Some must come from the citizens themselves.
Additionally, I think in order for citizens to qualify for said health care, they should be willing to serve in some capacity the country that provides these benefits and “entitlements.” “To whom much is given, much is expected” after all. Some want much and expect to give nothing in return.
Welfare as we know it should be heavily reformed as a means to cut spending. To qualify for welfare, I believe, that one should show that one is working towards something such as higher education or some sort of self improvement. Welfare should be a graduated system rather than an all or nothing system. If recipients are not working towards some goal, they should be willing to work in some service category such as working for an NGO or volunteer work or community service of some sort. I’m completely against giving anyone’s tax dollars away for nothing for all or a great many years of one’s life. Disability and ill-health should be taken into consideration, of course. I know too many people back home in Kentucky who have never worked a day in their trailer park livin’, mayonnaise sandwich eatin’ lives. Yet, they sit and collect tax dollars in the form of food stamps and other forms of social services. Some of these folks sell drugs on the side or engage in other illicit activity. Many do not.
Corporate welfare and other handouts should face heavy scrutiny as well. Why are we giving corporations and other entities these moneys or tax breaks. Foreign aid and foreign military support should be scrutinized in the same manner. Why do we still have forces in Europe? Korea? Japan? It’s time to pull out of these places. Those forces could be better deployed elsewhere or home. Why are we funding despots when we should be pressuring them to reform. If they haven’t reformed by now, it’s not going to happen in most cases. We have carrots with no sticks following on.
Socialism and Democracy can co-exist and America has proven this to a more or less limited degree over the past 70 or so years. Sweden is rated the most democratic country in the world according to the links below. It also engages heavily in social welfare. I don’t know if larger countries can maintain that same model. But, perhaps, it is worth the chance.
Obama Issues Reassurances On Guantanamo Prisoners
[Kansas City Star, March 12, 2009]
Obama Issues Reassurances On Guantanamo Prisoners [Kansas City Star, March 12, 2009] Barack Obama said that he would never put communities like Leavenworth at risk in deciding where to relocate prisoners once Guantanamo is shut down. Fort Leavenworth is one of several military prisons being talked about as a replacement for the Guantanamo detention center.
If President Obama is not going to put the talibs and al Qaeda prisoners of war in Federal Prisons, where will he put them? Are they going to become a part of the stimulus package? Will he build a new maximum security prison in South Dakota somewhere? If he is still going to hold them and process them at his leisure, what is the difference between his policy and the Bush policy. The name and location of the facility in which they will be held?
This is mere eyewash. It’s a huge lie and cover up. Obama is turning out to be nothing more than Clinton II. I thought the Dems voted against a Clinton in their primaries.
Guess they’re like FPOTUS Bush in that they “can’t get fooled again.” Only they did. As did the other voters who ushered him into office on his campaign pledge of “Hope and Change.” Camelot II is turning out to sound a whole lot like Hope II. The man from Hope [Arkansas]. And Change. From Clinton to Clinton Lite.
It’s almost funny.
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.
For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”
America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
Victory Speech. November 4, 2008.
He is now or will be our President. His job will be extremely challenging. Pray that he gets it right.