Social Issues

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In all nations – including my own – this change can bring fear.

And I will not settle for an America where some kids don’t have that chance. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk.

But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith. Too much blood has been shed.

And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk. Indeed, it suggests the opposite: we must face these tensions squarely.

They saw that I knew the Scriptures and that many of the values I held and that propelled me in my work were values they shared. But I’m hopeful because I think there’s an awakening taking place in America. We’re not going to agree on everything, but we can disagree without being disagreeable. These are not whiners. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich.

Thank you, and God bless America.