In another historic speech artfully composed and delivered President Obama articulated the choice that is before us as Americans and that is the choice between division or unity. He found in his experience in the state legislature the capacity to reach across the isle and to engage in mutual respect and to therefore find solutions to various issues. It formed his belief in government. He explained how this history and experience in the Illinois Senate inspired him to seek higher office. It convinced him that by applying the same approach progress could be made.
He shared that in his time in office it has reaffirmed his belief in the goodness of Americans. He stated the importance of citizenship and a sense that we were one.
He explained that our problems are not new and he went on to give examples from our history to prove his point. He expressed that there is the appearance of a rigged system and that history is there to show that this is not new and that in fact that much that has existed in the past is much less likely to exist today which is not to minimize that it still exists.
He expressed that we have been arguing over the same issues today as we have in the past and that our situation is not hopeless. He explained that we have always gone through periods where our democracy seemed stuck and that when that happens we need to find a new way to do business.
He stated that the difference today is the nature and extent of the division and that there is not a common basis of what's true and what's not. he strongly stated that compromise is not weakness and that without compromise we cannot govern.
He explained that if whoever is running for office promises unrealistic things that they can't deliver it will only serve to erode our political climate even more.
He called himself a progressive democrat and defined his beliefs as a progressive and stated that a lot of his beliefs were shared among both parties and that finding common ground doesn't make him a sellout to his party and that we can do things together that we cannot do alone.
He said that we must insist on civility and that we need to realize our children are watching and learning how to behave from what we do.
He spoke of his reverence for Lincoln and the struggles and realizations that inspired him to become president. He reminded us of a historic quote from Lincoln - "A house divided cannot stand".
He ended his speech saying that he still believed in the politics of hope.
In the middle of his speech he reiterated his greatest regret is that as president he was unable to bridge the divide. He didn't blame himself for this but he clearly expressed the great sorrow he feels that this is the case. President Obama did not divide us. What he did is expose the division that exists. What he has done is clarify that division and by doing that he has given us the opportunity to choose. In clarifying what the choice is we can see that we can either utilize our capacity to address the problems that we are facing in this country or stay paralyzed in what divides us and keeps us separate. It's an easy choice to make for any thinking observant person.
President Obama stated clearly the importance for us to experience that we are one. This is the reality. We are one. United we stand and divided we fall. Going forward as President Obama stated we are going to need to act from empathy and respect. We as a country need to follow the lead of this great President and act from a position of hope and inspiration and vision and find a way to work together to evolve as a group in order to solve the problems of today. We have a personal decision to make. We can either feed the division or work towards unity. As president Obama expressed, this is citizenship.