【観劇レビュー&旅行記】を中心にFC2上で、私も思いを気の向くままに書いてゆきます。 政治・時事評論は 【JUNSKY blog 2016】 に引続き運用します。リンクの一番上に記載しています。



Author:junsky07 私の旅行記や、オペラ・バレエ・ミュージカル・演劇等の観劇の感想などを気の向くままに書いてゆきます。


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にほんブログ村 クラシックブログ クラシック音楽鑑賞へ


にほんブログ村 演劇ブログ 演劇(観劇)へ


にほんブログ村 旅行ブログ ヨーロッパ旅行へ













-天気予報コム- -FC2-












【オバマ米大統領の施政方針演説】 英文
スタンディング で 迎えられた オバマ米大統領の施政方針演説
を 記録として、英文 で 御紹介します。

私が引用した元文は、【西日本新聞Web版】 配信分です。

  長 ~-- いです!  私もまだ読んでいません。

  西日本新聞が配信した 【注目表現】 ダイジェスト版は、ここをクリック


United States Capitol

THE PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress,
the First Lady of the United States -- (applause) -- she's around here
I have come here tonight not only to address the distinguished men and
women in this great chamber, but to speak frankly and directly to the men
and women who sent us here.
I know that for many Americans watching right now, the state of our
economy is a concern that rises above all others. And rightly so. If you
haven't been personally affected by this recession, you probably know
someone who has -- a friend; a neighbor; a member of your family. You don't
need to hear another list of statistics to know that our economy is in
crisis, because you live it every day. It's the worry you wake up with and
the source of sleepless nights. It's the job you thought you'd retire from
but now have lost; the business you built your dreams upon that's now
hanging by a thread; the college acceptance letter your child had to put
back in the envelope. The impact of this recession is real, and it is
But 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. (Applause.)
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 our 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. (Applause.)
Now, if we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that for too long, we
have not always met these responsibilities -- as a government or as a
people. I say this not to lay blame or to look backwards, but because it is
only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be able to
lift ourselves out of this predicament.
The fact is our economy did not fall into decline overnight. Nor did
all of our problems begin when the housing market collapsed or the stock
market sank. We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding
new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before. The
cost of health care eats up more and more of our savings each year, yet we
keep delaying reform. Our children will compete for jobs in a global
economy that too many of our schools do not prepare them for. And though
all these challenges went unsolved, we still managed to spend more money and
pile up more debt, both as individuals and through our government, than ever
In other words, 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. (Applause.) 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.
Now is the time to act boldly and wisely -- to not only revive this
economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity. Now is the
time to jumpstart job creation, re-start lending, and invest in areas like
energy, health care, and education that will grow our economy, even as we
make hard choices to bring our deficit down. That is what my economic
agenda is designed to do, and that is what I'd like to talk to you about
It's an agenda that begins with jobs. (Applause.)
As soon as I took office, I asked this Congress to send me a recovery
plan by President's Day that would put people back to work and put money in
their pockets. Not because I believe in bigger government -- I don't. Not
because I'm not mindful of the massive debt we've inherited -- I am. I
called for action because the failure to do so would have cost more jobs and
caused more hardship. In fact, a failure to act would have worsened our
long-term deficit by assuring weak economic growth for years. And that's
why I pushed for quick action. And tonight, I am grateful that this
Congress delivered, and pleased to say that the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act is now law. (Applause.)
Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million
jobs. More than 90 percent of these jobs will be in the private sector --
jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar
panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.
Because of this plan, there are teachers who can now keep their jobs
and educate our kids. Health care professionals can continue caring for our
sick. There are 57 police officers who are still on the streets of
Minneapolis tonight because this plan prevented the layoffs their department
was about to make. (Applause.)
Because of this plan, 95 percent of working households in America will
receive a tax cut -- a tax cut that you will see in your paychecks beginning
on April 1st. (Applause.)
Because of this plan, families who are struggling to pay tuition costs
will receive a $2,500 tax credit for all four years of college. And
Americans -- (applause) -- and Americans who have lost their jobs in this
recession will be able to receive extended unemployment benefits and
continued health care coverage to help them weather this storm. (Applause.)
Now, I know there are some in this chamber and watching at home who are
skeptical of whether this plan will work. And I understand that skepticism.
Here in Washington, we've all seen how quickly good intentions can turn into
broken promises and wasteful spending. And with a plan of this scale comes
enormous responsibility to get it right.
And that's why I've asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough,
unprecedented oversight effort -- because nobody messes with Joe.
(Applause.) I -- isn't that right? They don't mess with you. I have told
each of my Cabinet, as well as mayors and governors across the country, that
they will be held accountable by me and the American people for every dollar
they spend. I've appointed a proven and aggressive Inspector General to
ferret out any and all cases of waste and fraud. And we have created a new
website called recovery.gov so that every American can find out how and
where their money is being spent.
So the recovery plan we passed is the first step in getting our economy
back on track. But it is just the first step. Because even if we manage
this plan flawlessly, there will be no real recovery unless we clean up the
credit crisis that has severely weakened our financial system.
I want to speak plainly and candidly about this issue tonight, because
every American should know that it directly affects you and your family's
well-being. You should also know that the money you've deposited in banks
across the country is safe; your insurance is secure; you can rely on the
continued operation of our financial system. That's not the source of
The concern is that if we do not restart lending in this country, our
recovery will be choked off before it even begins.
You see -- (applause) -- you see, the flow of credit is the lifeblood
of our economy. The ability to get a loan is how you finance the purchase
of everything from a home to a car to a college education, how stores stock
their shelves, farms buy equipment, and businesses make payroll.
But credit has stopped flowing the way it should. Too many bad loans
from the housing crisis have made their way onto the books of too many
banks. And with so much debt and so little confidence, these banks are now
fearful of lending out any more money to households, to businesses, or even
to each other. And when there is no lending, families can't afford to buy
homes or cars. So businesses are forced to make layoffs. Our economy
suffers even more, and credit dries up even further.
That is why this administration is moving swiftly and aggressively to
break this destructive cycle, to restore confidence, and restart lending.
And we will do so in several ways. First, we are creating a new
lending fund that represents the largest effort ever to help provide auto
loans, college loans, and small business loans to the consumers and
entrepreneurs who keep this economy running. (Applause.)
Second -- second, we have launched a housing plan that will help
responsible families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly
payments and refinance their mortgages. It's a plan that won't help
speculators or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could
never hope to afford, but it will help millions of Americans who are
struggling with declining home values -- Americans who will now be able to
take advantage of the lower interest rates that this plan has already helped
to bring about. In fact, the average family who refinances today can save
nearly $2,000 per year on their mortgage. (Applause.)
Third, we will act with the full force of the federal government to
ensure that the major banks that Americans depend on have enough confidence
and enough money to lend even in more difficult times. And when we learn
that a major bank has serious problems, we will hold accountable those
responsible, force the necessary adjustments, provide the support to clean
up their balance sheets, and assure the continuity of a strong, viable
institution that can serve our people and our economy.
I understand that on any given day, Wall Street may be more comforted
by an approach that gives bank bailouts with no strings attached, and that
holds nobody accountable for their reckless decisions. But such an approach
won't solve the problem. And our goal is to quicken the day when we restart
lending to the American people and American business, and end this crisis
once and for all.
And I intend to hold these banks fully accountable for the assistance
they receive, and this time, they will have to clearly demonstrate how
taxpayer dollars result in more lending for the American taxpayer.
(Applause.) This time -- this time, CEOs won't be able to use taxpayer
money to pad their paychecks, or buy fancy drapes, or disappear on a private
jet. Those days are over. (Applause.)
Still, this plan will require significant resources from the federal
government -- and, yes, probably more than we've already set aside. But
while the cost of action will be great, I can assure you that the cost of
inaction will be far greater, for it could result in an economy that
sputters along for not months or years, but perhaps a decade. That would be
worse for our deficit, worse for business, worse for you, and worse for the
next generation. And I refuse to let that happen. (Applause.)
Now, I understand that when the last administration asked this Congress
to provide assistance for struggling banks, Democrats and Republicans alike
were infuriated by the mismanagement and the results that followed. So were
the American taxpayers. So was I. So I know how unpopular it is to be seen
as helping banks right now, especially when everyone is suffering in part
from their bad decisions. I promise you -- I get it.
But I also know that in a time of crisis, we cannot afford to govern
out of anger, or yield to the politics of the moment. (Applause.) My
job -- our job -- is to solve the problem. Our job is to govern with a
sense of responsibility. I will not send -- I will not spend a single penny
for the purpose of rewarding a single Wall Street executive, but I will do
whatever it takes to help the small business that can't pay its workers, or
the family that has saved and still can't get a mortgage. (Applause.)
That's what this is about. It's not about helping banks -- it's about
helping people. (Applause.) It's not about helping banks; it's about
helping people. Because when credit is available again, that young family
can finally buy a new home. And then some company will hire workers to
build it. And then those workers will have money to spend. And if they can
get a loan, too, maybe they'll finally buy that car, or open their own
business. Investors will return to the market, and American families will
see their retirement secured once more. Slowly, but surely, confidence will
return, and our economy will recover. (Applause.)
So I ask this Congress to join me in doing whatever proves necessary.
Because we cannot consign our nation to an open-ended recession. And to
ensure that a crisis of this magnitude never happens again, I ask Congress
to move quickly on legislation that will finally reform our outdated
regulatory system. (Applause.) It is time -- it is time to put in place
tough, new common-sense rules of the road so that our financial market
rewards drive and innovation, and punishes short-cuts and abuse.
The recovery plan and the financial stability plan are the immediate
steps we're taking to revive our economy in the short term. But the only
way to fully restore America's economic strength is to make the long-term
investments that will lead to new jobs, new industries, and a renewed
ability to compete with the rest of the world. The only way this century
will be another American century is if we confront at last the price of our
dependence on oil and the high cost of health care; the schools that aren't
preparing our children and the mountain of debt they stand to inherit. That
is our responsibility.
In the next few days, I will submit a budget to Congress. So often,
we've come to view these documents as simply numbers on a page or a laundry
list of programs. I see this document differently. I see it as a vision
for America -- as a blueprint for our future.
My budget does not attempt to solve every problem or address every
issue. It reflects the stark reality of what we've inherited -- a
trillion-dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession.
Given these realities, everyone in this chamber -- Democrats and
Republicans -- will have to sacrifice some worthy priorities for which there
are no dollars. And that includes me.
But that does not mean we can afford to ignore our long-term
challenges. I reject the view that says our problems will simply take care
of themselves; that says government has no role in laying the foundation for
our common prosperity.
For history tells a different story. History reminds us that at every
moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded
with bold action and big ideas. In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad
tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry. From
the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a system of public high
schools that prepared our citizens for a new age. In the wake of war and
depression, the GI Bill sent a generation to college and created the largest
middle class in history. (Applause.) And a twilight struggle for freedom
led to a nation of highways, an American on the moon, and an explosion of
technology that still shapes our world.
In each case, government didn't supplant private enterprise; it
catalyzed private enterprise. It created the conditions for thousands of
entrepreneurs and new businesses to adapt and to thrive.
We are a nation that has seen promise amid peril, and claimed
opportunity from ordeal. Now we must be that nation again. That is why,
even as it cuts back on programs we don't need, the budget I submit will
invest in the three areas that are absolutely critical to our economic
future: energy, health care, and education. (Applause.)
It begins with energy.
We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy
will lead the 21st century. And yet, it is China that has launched the
largest effort in history to make their economy energy-efficient. We
invented solar technology, but we've fallen behind countries like Germany
and Japan in producing it. New plug-in hybrids roll off our assembly lines,
but they will run on batteries made in Korea.
Well, I do not accept a future where the jobs and industries of
tomorrow take root beyond our borders -- and I know you don't, either. It
is time for America to lead again. (Applause.)
Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation's supply of
renewable energy in the next three years. We've also made the largest
investment in basic research funding in American history -- an investment
that will spur not only new discoveries in energy, but breakthroughs in
medicine and science and technology.
We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry
new energy to cities and towns across this country. And we will put
Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient so that we
can save billions of dollars on our energy bills.
But to truly transform our economy, to protect our security, and save
our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make
clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask this
Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon
pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America.
That's what we need. (Applause.) And to support -- to support that
innovation, we will invest $15 billion a year to develop technologies like
wind power and solar power, advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more
efficient cars and trucks built right here in America. (Applause.)
Speaking of our auto industry, everyone recognizes that years of bad
decision-making and a global recession have pushed our automakers to the
brink. We should not, and will not, protect them from their own bad
practices. But we are committed to the goal of a retooled, reimagined auto
industry that can compete and win. Millions of jobs depend on it. Scores
of communities depend on it. And I believe the nation that invented the
automobile cannot walk away from it. (Applause.)
None of this will come without cost, nor will it be easy. But this is
America. We don't do what's easy. We do what's necessary to move this
country forward.
And for that same reason, we must also address the crushing cost of
health care.
This is a cost that now causes a bankruptcy in America every 30
seconds. By the end of the year, it could cause 1.5 million Americans to
lose their homes. In the last eight years, premiums have grown four times
faster than wages. And in each of these years, 1 million more Americans
have lost their health insurance. It is one of the major reasons why small
businesses close their doors and corporations ship jobs overseas. And it's
one of the largest and fastest-growing parts of our budget.
Given these facts, we can no longer afford to put health care reform on
hold. We can't afford to do it. It's time. (Applause.)
Already, we've done more to advance the cause of health care reform in
the last 30 days than we've done in the last decade. When it was days old,
this Congress passed a law to provide and protect health insurance for 11
million American children whose parents work full-time. (Applause.) Our
recovery plan will invest in electronic health records and new technology
that will reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy, and save lives.
It will launch a new effort to conquer a disease that has touched the life
of nearly every American, including me, by seeking a cure for cancer in our
time. (Applause.) And -- and it makes the largest investment ever in
preventive care, because that's one of the best ways to keep our people
healthy and our costs under control.
This budget builds on these reforms. It includes a historic commitment
to comprehensive health care reform -- a down payment on the principle that
we must have quality, affordable health care for every American.
(Applause.) It's a commitment -- it's a commitment that's paid for in part
by efficiencies in our system that are long overdue. And it's a step we
must take if we hope to bring down our deficit in the years to come.
Now, there will be many different opinions and ideas about how to
achieve reform, and that's why I'm bringing together businesses and workers,
doctors and health care providers, Democrats and Republicans to begin work
on this issue next week.
I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. Once again,
it will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy
Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed
down our economy and our conscience long enough. So let there be no doubt:
Health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait
another year. (Applause.)
The third challenge we must address is the urgent need to expand the
promise of education in America.
In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your
knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity -- it
is a prerequisite.
Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require
more than a high school diploma. And yet, just over half of our citizens
have that level of education. We have one of the highest high school
dropout rates of any industrialized nation. And half of the students who
begin college never finish.
This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the
countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow. That is why
it will be the goal of this administration to ensure that every child has
access to a complete and competitive education -- from the day they are born
to the day they begin a career. (Applause.) That is a promise we have to
make to the children of America. (Applause.)
Already, we've made an historic investment in education through the
economic recovery plan. We've dramatically expanded early childhood
education and will continue to improve its quality, because we know that the
most formative learning comes in those first years of life. We've made
college affordable for nearly seven million more students -- seven million.
(Applause.) And we have provided the resources necessary to prevent painful
cuts and teacher layoffs that would set back our children's progress.
But we know that our schools don't just need more resources. They need
more reform. (Applause.) That is why this budget creates new teachers --
new incentives for teacher performance; pathways for advancement, and
rewards for success. We'll invest in innovative programs that are already
helping schools meet high standards and close achievement gaps. And we will
expand our commitment to charter schools. (Applause.)
It is our responsibility as lawmakers and as educators to make this
system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate
in it. So tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or
more of higher education or career training. This can be community college
or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But
whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a
high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an
option. It's not just quitting on yourself, it's quitting on your
country -- and this country needs and values the talents of every American.
(Applause.) That's why we will support -- we will provide the support
necessary for all young Americans to complete college and meet a new goal:
By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college
graduates in the world. That's is a goal we can meet. (Applause.) That's
a goal we can meet.
Now, I know that the price of tuition is higher than ever, which is why
if you are willing to volunteer in your neighborhood or give back to your
community or serve your country, we will make sure that you can afford a
higher education. (Applause.) And to encourage a renewed spirit of
national service for this and future generations, I ask Congress to send me
the bipartisan legislation that bears the name of Senator Orrin Hatch, as
well as an American who has never stopped asking what he can do for his
country -- Senator Edward Kennedy. (Applause.)
These education policies will open the doors of opportunity for our
children. But it is up to us to ensure they walk through them. In the end,
there is no program or policy that can substitute for a parent -- for a
mother or father who will attend those parent/teacher conferences, or help
with homework, or turn off the TV, put away the video games, read to their
child. (Applause.) I speak to you not just as a President, but as a
father, when I say that responsibility for our children's education must
begin at home. That is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue.
That's an American issue. (Applause.)
There is, of course, another responsibility we have to our children.
And that's the responsibility to ensure that we do not pass on to them a
debt they cannot pay. (Applause.) That is critical. I agree, absolutely.
See, I know we can get some consensus in here. (Laughter.) With the
deficit we inherited, the cost -- (applause) -- the cost of the crisis we
face, and the long-term challenges we must meet, it has never been more
important to ensure that as our economy recovers, we do what it takes to
bring this deficit down. That is critical. (Applause.)
Now, I'm proud that we passed a recovery plan free of earmarks --
(applause) -- and I want to pass a budget next year that ensures that each
dollar we spend reflects only our most important national priorities.
And yesterday, I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the
deficit in half by the end of my first term in office. My administration
has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to
eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs. As you can imagine, this is a
process that will take some time. But we have already identified $2
trillion in savings over the next decade. (Applause.)
In this budget -- in this budget, we will end education programs that
don't work and end direct payments to large agribusiness that don't need
them. (Applause.) We'll eliminate -- we'll eliminate the no-bid contracts
that have wasted billions in Iraq -- (applause) -- and reform -- and -- and
reform our defense budget so that we're not paying for Cold War-era weapons
systems we don't use. (Applause.) We will -- we will root out -- we will
root out the waste and fraud and abuse in our Medicare program that doesn't
make our seniors any healthier. We will restore a sense of fairness and
balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations
that ship our jobs overseas. (Applause.)
In order to save our children from a future of debt, we will also end
the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. (Applause.) Now,
let me be clear -- let me be absolutely clear, because I know you'll end up
hearing some of the same claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a
massive tax increase on the American people: If your family earns less than
$250,000 a year -- a quarter million dollars a year -- you will not see your
taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: Not one single dime. (Applause.)
Not a dime. In fact, the recovery plan provides a tax cut -- that's right,
a tax cut -- for 95 percent of working families. And by the way, these
checks are on the way. (Applause.)
Now, to preserve our long-term fiscal health, we must also address the
growing costs in Medicare and Social Security. Comprehensive health care
reform is the best way to strengthen Medicare for years to come. And we
must also begin a conversation on how to do the same for Social Security,
while creating tax-free universal savings accounts for all Americans.
Finally, because we're also suffering from a deficit of trust, I am
committed to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability to our budget.
That is why this budget looks ahead 10 years and accounts for spending that
was left out under the old rules -- and for the first time, that includes
the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Applause.) For seven
years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price.
Along with our outstanding national security team, I'm now carefully
reviewing our policies in both wars, and I will soon announce a way forward
in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war.
And with our friends and allies, we will forge a new and comprehensive
strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat al Qaeda and combat
extremism. Because I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American
people from safe havens halfway around the world. We will not allow it.
As we meet here tonight, our men and women in uniform stand watch
abroad and more are readying to deploy. To each and every one of them, and
to the families who bear the quiet burden of their absence, Americans are
united in sending one message: We honor your service, we are inspired by
your sacrifice, and you have our unyielding support. (Applause.)
To relieve the strain on our forces, my budget increases the number of
our soldiers and Marines. And to keep our sacred trust with those who
serve, we will raise their pay, and give our veterans the expanded health
care and benefits that they have earned. (Applause.)
To overcome extremism, we must also be vigilant in upholding the values
our troops defend -- because there is no force in the world more powerful
than the example of America. And that is why I have ordered the closing of
the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, and will seek swift and certain
justice for captured terrorists. (Applause.) Because living our values
doesn't make us weaker, it makes us safer and it makes us stronger.
(Applause.) And that is why I can stand here tonight and say without
exception or equivocation that the United States of America does not
torture. We can make that commitment here tonight. (Applause.)
In words and deeds, we are showing the world that a new era of
engagement has begun. For we know that America cannot meet the threats of
this century alone, but the world cannot meet them without America. We
cannot shun the negotiating table, nor ignore the foes or forces that could
do us harm. We are instead called to move forward with the sense of
confidence and candor that serious times demand.
To seek progress towards a secure and lasting peace between Israel and
her neighbors, we have appointed an envoy to sustain our effort. To meet
the challenges of the 21st century -- from terrorism to nuclear
proliferation; from pandemic disease to cyber threats to crushing poverty --
we will strengthen old alliances, forge new ones, and use all elements of
our national power.
And to respond to an economic crisis that is global in scope, we are
working with the nations of the G20 to restore confidence in our financial
system, avoid the possibility of escalating protectionism, and spur demand
for American goods in markets across the globe. For the world depends on us
having a strong economy, just as our economy depends on the strength of the
As we stand at this crossroads of history, the eyes of all people in
all nations are once again upon us -- watching to see what we do with this
moment; waiting for us to lead.
Those of us gathered here tonight have been called to govern in
extraordinary times. It is a tremendous burden, but also a great
privilege -- one that has been entrusted to few generations of Americans.
For in our hands lies the ability to shape our world for good or for ill.
I know that it's easy to lose sight of this truth -- to become cynical
and doubtful; consumed with the petty and the trivial. But in my life, I
have also learned that hope is found in unlikely places; that inspiration
often comes not from those with the most power or celebrity, but from the
dreams and aspirations of Americans who are anything but ordinary.
I think of Leonard Abess, a bank president from Miami who reportedly
cashed out of his company, took a $60 million bonus, and gave it out to all
399 people who worked for him, plus another 72 who used to work for him. He
didn't tell anyone, but when the local newspaper found out, he simply said,
"I knew some of these people since I was seven years old. It didn't feel
right getting the money myself." (Applause.)
I think about -- I think about Greensburg -- Greensburg, Kansas, a town
that was completely destroyed by a tornado, but is being rebuilt by its
residents as a global example of how clean energy can power an entire
community -- how it can bring jobs and businesses to a place where piles of
bricks and rubble once lay. "The tragedy was terrible," said one of the men
who helped them rebuild. "But the folks here know that it also provided an
incredible opportunity."
I think about Ty'Sheoma Bethea, the young girl from that school I
visited in Dillon, South Carolina -- a place where the ceilings leak, the
paint peels off the walls, and they have to stop teaching six times a day
because the train barrels by their classroom. She had been told that her
school is hopeless, but the other day after class she went to the public
library and typed up a letter to the people sitting in this chamber. She
even asked her principal for the money to buy a stamp. The letter asks us
for help, and says, "We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors,
congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to
not just the state of South Carolina but also the world. We are not
quitters." That's what she said. We are not quitters. Applause.)
These words -- these words and these stories tell us something about
the spirit of the people who sent us here. They tell us that even in the
most trying times, amid the most difficult circumstances, there is a
generosity, a resilience, a decency, and a determination that perseveres; a
willingness to take responsibility for our future and for posterity.
Their resolve must be our inspiration. Their concerns must be our
cause. And we must show them and all our people that we are equal to the
task before us. (Applause.)
I know -- look, I know that we haven't agreed on every issue thus
far -- (laughter.) There are surely times in the future where we will part
ways. But I also know that every American who is sitting here tonight loves
this country and wants it to succeed. I know that. (Applause.) That must
be the starting point for every debate we have in the coming months, and
where we return after those debates are done. That is the foundation on
which the American people expect us to build common ground.
And if we do -- if we come together and lift this nation from the
depths of this crisis; if we put our people back to work and restart the
engine of our prosperity; if we confront without fear the challenges of our
time and summon that enduring spirit of an America that does not quit, then
someday years from now our children can tell their children that this was
the time when we performed, in the words that are carved into this very
chamber, "something worthy to be remembered."
Thank you. God bless you, and may God bless the United States of
America. Thank you. (Applause.)


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