Thursday, January 13, 2011

President Obama speaks to the Tucson tragedy

President Obama spoke last night at the University of Arizona at a memorial for the victims of the tragedy that unfolded in Tucson on Saturday.

I was deeply moved by his words, as I feel any honest person must have been.  The President said not a single thing to which any good-hearted American could object.

Was it not so?

I'd just like to point out some particulars in his remarks that I found personally inspiring. a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized -- at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do -- it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.
These words struck a deep, dissonant chord in my being.  I felt admonished by them.  As anyone who reads my political posts on this blog knows, I've regularly and frequently resorted to hurling indignities and insults at people with whom I disagree.  That ends today.

I will no longer use the term "tea-bagger" to describe people who hold political views different than mine. 
I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here --they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.

That's what I believe, in part because that's what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. Imagine: here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation's future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.

I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us -- we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.
Mr. President, I acknowledge the wisdom of your words.  I look forward to finding a way to work with all Americans.  We do need to pull together.

I'm ready.


Dan Binmore said...


Of course, I've been suggesting this sort of stuff in the comments section of this blog for a couple of years now but I can completely see why someone would listen to the President over me.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Brother!

Abbie Kendall said...

Thanks, Dade. Although I do not participate in the political system in America, I appreciate that, whatever our opinions, we can share them in the course of lively and interest debate and in serious conversations without demonizing those with differing opinions.

Americans are the most passionate of all people, and our passion is what helps to make our country great. I hope that the collective passion of American citizens can be focused on improving life in the USA. This would stop the visble and quickening decline of America as a good and strong world leader; the country known worldwide as the place "where freedom rings!"

P.S. I wish all citizens would create their Meyers-Briggs profiles. By understanding their own and others' profiles, communications would be vastly improved, just as they were at OrCAD. ;-) XO and a belated Happy Anniversary! Abbie