Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm so glad I had the organizational ability to get myself home from work in time to plop down and watch President Obama's State of The Union Like speech to Congress all the way through. What a speech! There were (according to PBS) 52 interruptions for applause in 50 minutes, and much applause came from the Republican side of the aisle, which pleased me. I know I like this President, voted for him, want him to be the leader we need as a nation to climb out of the scary economic hole we are in - and to act with greater conscience for the common good. I was predisposed to like this speech, so I tried hard to listen with some balance. Still, I really liked this speech. I liked the seriousness, the degree of detail, the resolve, the hope, the avoidance of talking down to us, the personhood and role both evident in the man. I liked the level of detail he shared in talking about jobs saved, the commitment to transparency - who is working on what when and where and why. I felt led and like I'm willing to be led (which is a stretch for me since I'm never much good at following). I sat on my couch and cried and also felt truly thankful that we elected this man at this time. That says something about us as a people, not just about the man - something I need to believe about our willingness to make sacrifices, make changes, care about and for one another. I feel strongly patriotic tonight.

Here are exerpts from the speech:

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While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.

"The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more.


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We have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election. A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.

Well that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here.

Barack Obama, February 24, 2009

2 comments:

Mary said...

I agree it was a good speech. I too appreciated the detail. I also was heartened a bit to hear Ben Bernanke say that the recession MAY end in the last 6 months of 2009 if the credit and financial markets begin to operate normally, which is one of the aims of the Stimulus as well. It is good to be hopeful.

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