President Obama did strike a "soaring theme" last night -- although not in the way many were expecting. President Obama boldly described "what it means to be an American" -- both its opportunities and its responsibilities; responsibilities to our fellow citizens, and to the generations to follow ...
This is the choice we now face. This is what the election comes down to. Over and over, we have been told by our opponents that bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations are the only way; that since government can’t do everything, it should do almost nothing. If you can’t afford health insurance, hope that you don’t get sick. If a company releases toxic pollution into the air your children breathe, well, that’s just the price of progress. If you can’t afford to start a business or go to college, take my opponent’s advice and “borrow money from your parents.”
You know what? That’s not who we are. That’s not what this country’s about. As Americans, we believe we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights -- rights that no man or government can take away. We insist on personal responsibility and we celebrate individual initiative. We’re not entitled to success. We have to earn it. We honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk-takers who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system -- the greatest engine of growth and prosperity the world has ever known.
But we also believe in something called citizenship -- a word at the very heart of our founding, at the very essence of our democracy; the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another, and to future generations.
We are indeed citizens of a great country. A country designed and built to last.
Our very unique country, in a long history of countries, even has its own "Users Manual" -- although very few users ever choose to read it anymore -- people! What are you gonna do? When all else fails -- Read the Instructions, people.
A true measure of our "Citizenship" is how seriously we take those simple instructions to heart ... in our day to day opportunities -- to be better Americans.
When the "vehicle of state" gets stuck in the mud again, as it inevitably will, well there's always ...
The "Users Manual" of America, to help get us Un-stuck again:
The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts [...]
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
And what our Founders chose to do with their hard-fought freedom, was to design and build, and 'ordain for their Posterity' -- the uniquely American Government that we now have. That we now enjoy.
A government that enshrines the value of individual opinions, and protects our right to express them. A government that is actually is empowered with the tools to solve our problems, given the expressed will to do so.
Ultimately we express those opinions, in the simple act of voting. Yea or Nay.
Our American Government enshrines that very basic American right too. It's in the Constitution -- and We the People have added after the fact, several key Amendments -- to strengthen that basic right of Citizenship -- Voting.
This Election does comes down to a Choice.
Do we want to continue to strengthen our basic rights and continue to pursue the clearly stated mission of America to "promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"?
Or do we want to 'abandon all hope' and cast each unfortunate child to the little-seen mercy of the insurance companies; each down-sizable worker to the brutal calculations of the corporate out-sourcing spreadsheets?
As an American -- are you more than a Number?
The choice is clear. The will of the People shall be heard, assuming Citizenship still matters in America.
Assuming our Votes still matter; and our Votes still count.
And it's up to us to prove that they do -- still Count. That one is paramount, among the many responsibilities, of "what it means to be a concerned, and involved Citizen of America;"
... the simple act of making your voice heard. True Americans Vote.