erik lundegaard

Wednesday November 07, 2012

Quote of the Day

“I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym or — or saw folks working late at a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, youíll discover something else.

”Youíll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse whoís working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home. Youíll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer whoís working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. Youíll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer whoís going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift.

“Thatís why we do this. Thatís what politics can be. Thatís why elections matter. Itís not small, itís big. Itís important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That wonít change after tonight. And it shouldnít. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty, and we can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter — the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.”

-- Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States (and still heavyweight champion of the world), in his victory speech last night in Chicago.

This was my favorite part of a very good speech. It encourages us not to give in to cynicism, which is the easiest thing to do. So why do it? Why not try to do the hard thing? He seems like the adult in the room. Again.

There was also this moment at the end, when he redefined the word by which he is most known, and which, to many, has become a cynical punchline since 2009:

“I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. Iím not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the road blocks that stand in our path. Iím not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.”

Four more years. Thank God.

Obama's victory speech, 2012

“Thatís why elections matter. Itís not small, itís big. Itís important.”

Posted at 10:28 AM on Wednesday November 07, 2012 in category Quote of the Day  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard