ideas politics

The quiet force of progress

Obama personal responsibility

Pres­i­dent-elect Obama:

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.…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. 

Read the whole dang thing. It's just as impres­sive in text as it was in voice.