Friday, May 30, 2008

Obama: The We Society

From January 10th, 2008


Yesterday I wrote about Barack Obama's message of empowerment and us not me. Today I'm going to try elaborate on that theme by talking about something my favorite talk show host, Thom Hartmann talks about.

The Me Society vs the We Society.

Conservatives believe in a me society. Everyone is on their own. Got a disability? Deal with it buddy. Fallen on hard times? Deal with it. Serve you're country but still homeless? Deal with it. You're on you're own.

That is the core of the conservative philosophy.

Liberals or progressives or whatever you want to call us. believe in a we society. We believe that we all have a responsibility for each others welfare, that we are all in it together. Barack Obama doesn't put it down in quite those terms. But he gets it. In the speech that catapulted him on a national stage he uttered these great words

A belief that we are connected as one people. If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief — I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper — that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. "E pluribus unum." Out of many, one.

I am my brothers keeper. I am my sisters keeper. That is the essence of who we are as progressives and who we are as America. It is the ideal that keeps so many fighting for justice. It is the ideal that I fight for.

Obama knows that's who we are. And when he talks about uniting America. That's what he's talking about.

But to make sure we are a We Society we need to build a New American Majority.

You can be the new majority who can lead this nation out of a long
political darkness - Democrats, Independents and Republicans who are
tired of the division and distraction that has clouded Washington; who
know that we can disagree without being disagreeable; who understand
that if we mobilize our voices to challenge the money and influence
that's stood in our way and challenge ourselves to reach for something
better, there's no problem we can't solve - no destiny we cannot

That We Society has been under attack for the last 27 years since Ronald Regan came into office. But we must build it back up again. And we will. We can.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been
anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible
odds; when we've been told that we're not ready, or that we shouldn't
try, or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a
simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.

Yes we can.

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the
destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail
toward freedom through the darkest of nights.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and
pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the
ballot; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and
prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this
world. Yes we can.

And so tomorrow, as we take this campaign South and West; as we learn
that the struggles of the textile worker in Spartanburg are not so
different than the plight of the dishwasher in Las Vegas; that the
hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are
the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we
will remember that there is something happening in America; that we
are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people;
we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter
in America's story with three words that will ring from coast to
coast; from sea to shining sea - Yes. We. Can.

Yes we can. Yes we can create a We Society.

If you're ready to create that We Society then we must fight. Yesterday I raised nearly $1,500 dollars in one night. That is the kind of power we have now. In this country me, a 14 year old can raise money from people around the country to fight for a better world. But it's going to take more then one night. It's going to take some fighting. I'm going to fight. Will you?

If you believe in the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. If you're ready to put a end to the me society and return to a we society then please donate. It would mean a lot to me. And it could just create a fundamentally better world.

Yes we can!

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