Thursday, October 17, 2013

New Dawn


President Obama speaking on the reopening of
the government, from State Dining Room | 
10/17/2013 | According to C-SPAN Video Library, 
"Video coverage of the debates originating from the 
chambers of the U.S. House of Representatives and
 the U.S. Senate is in the public domain and as such,
 may be used without restriction or attribution."
America's long night is finally at its end.  What began as an attempt to thwart a law designed to help the least among us, saw 818,000 federal employees furloughed from work for over two weeks.  Families lost half a months wages, and our economy was thrown in doubt.  Fortunately, our legislators acted at the eleventh hour to prevent the expiration of the debt ceiling and put Americans back to work.

Stop... Hush... Listen, and you'll hear a collective sigh of relief.  Unfortunately, just beneath this expulsion of mass anxiety echoes of bitter grumblings resonate through our streets.  Democrats blame the Tea Party,  Tea Partiers blame President Obama, conservative pundits blame the "liberal media elite," and the liberal media elite blames Speaker Boehner.

This morning, the president addressed these grumblings.

"We all know that we have divided government right now.  There's a lot of noise out there, and the pressure from the extremes affect how a lot of members of Congress see the day-to-day work that’s supposed to be done here. And let's face it, the American people don’t see every issue the same way.  But that doesn’t mean we can't make progress.  And when we disagree, we don’t have to suggest that the other side doesn’t love this country or believe in free enterprise, or all the other rhetoric that seems to get worse every single year.  If we disagree on something, we can move on and focus on the things we agree on, and get some stuff done." ~ President Obama from the State Dining Room, 10/17/2013

He's right.  Now's not the time for recriminations.  It is time to put the recent darkness behind us, to look past the murky night and embrace the dawn we've been given.  If the latest chapter of American history has taught us anything, it is that we are stronger as a united people than as a hodge-podge of bickering factions.  We are at our best when we celebrate one another for our difference, rather than attack each other because of them.  If we can remember this lesson, there is hope.

"We hear all the time about how government is the problem.  Well, it turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways.  Not only does it keep us strong through our military and our law enforcement, it plays a vital role in caring for our seniors and our veterans, educating our kids, making sure our workers are trained for the jobs that are being created, arming our businesses with the best science and technology so they can compete with companies from other countries.  It plays a key role in keeping our food and our toys and our workplaces safe.  It helps folks rebuild after a storm.  It conserves our natural resources.  It finances startups.  It helps to sell our products overseas.  It provides security to our diplomats abroad.

So let's work together to make government work better, instead of treating it like an enemy or purposely making it work worse.." ~ President Obama from the State Dining Room, 10/17/2013

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