Exactly one year ago I wrote of the disjunction between the ideals American professes and the reality it embodies. That was the second anniversary of hurricane Katrina and the day after the 44th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in which he said “one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed.”
- “In 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.”
- “I’ll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy.”
- “Now is the time to meet our moral obligation to provide every child with a world-class education.”
- “Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable accessible health care for every single American.”
- “I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm’s way with a clear mission … I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century…”
“What is that American promise? It’s a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect…
That’s the promise of America, the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation, the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper.
That’s the promise we need to keep. That’s the change we need right now.”
Today we are a step closer to living out the meaning of our creed, to bringing the ideals of American into closer connection with our reality.