Obama on Patriotism
Tuesday, July 01, 2008 | Author: Mad Typist
Today's post is a link to Obama's recent speech about patriotism. As usual, it's outstanding stuff (say what you want, the man gives great speeches). It's a long one, but take a few minutes out of your day to read the whole text.

Note the subtle move he does here:

I believe those who attack America’s flaws without acknowledging the singular greatness of our ideals, and their proven capacity to inspire a better world, do not truly understand America.

Of course, precisely because America isn’t perfect, precisely because our ideals constantly demand more from us, patriotism can never be defined as loyalty to any particular leader or government or policy. As Mark Twain, that greatest of American satirists and proud son of Missouri, once wrote, “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” We may hope that our leaders and our government stand up for our ideals, and there are many times in our history when that’s occurred. But when our laws, our leaders or our government are out of alignment with our ideals, then the dissent of ordinary Americans may prove to be one of the truest expression of patriotism.

And this is great too:

And it is up to us to teach our children a lesson that those of us in politics too often forget: that patriotism involves not only defending this country against external threat, but also working constantly to make America a better place for future generations.

When we pile up mountains of debt for the next generation to absorb, or put off changes to our energy policies, knowing full well the potential consequences of inaction, we are placing our short-term interests ahead of the nation’s long-term well-being. When we fail to educate effectively millions of our children so that they might compete in a global economy, or we fail to invest in the basic scientific research that has driven innovation in this country, we risk leaving behind an America that has fallen in the ranks of the world. Just as patriotism involves each of us making a commitment to this nation that extends beyond our own immediate self-interest, so must that commitment extends beyond our own time here on earth.

I'm always really impressed with the level of thought he brings to his speeches. It's not just rhetoric about why he should be the president, it's also a social call to all Americans to do their part, instead of just relying on their leaders to act.

Also, not to be totally serious all the time, here a link to a story about the dog with no front legs:

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2 comments:

On 1:03 PM , Jeremy said...

Link the Lion! its cuter!

 
On 9:33 AM , Mad Typist said...

I don't have the link to the Lion! You'll have to post it here, and then I can put it in a post where it belongs.