The campaign speech I want to hear
2 min read

The campaign speech I want to hear

The choice for America's future is not black and white, right and wrong. It's a choice between fear and courage.
Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, 2012

My fellow Americans, we've been lied to. Or maybe we've been lying to ourselves.

We're told that this is the most important election ever and that making the wrong choice will be the end of everything. Some see the boot of authority lurking in the shadows; others see change and fear that things they cherished are slipping away.

But the choice for America's future is not black and white, right and wrong. It's a choice between fear and courage.

I'm asking you to choose courage. And courage means seeing who we are -- as well as who we can be.

We can celebrate that no nation has enabled human flourishing and innovation like the United States *and* admit that we've held entire generations back through prejudice and the destructive, reductive dictums of bad public policy. We can agree America has done great things; let's also agree there is much left to do.

We can do more and better for those who need our help, understanding our north star is an America where everyone has the tools and opportunity to flourish, not merely exist in dependency.

We can live and thrive beyond the labels we put on each other, or that government wants to put on us. We -- every one of us -- are more than that.

We can support strong borders and legal immigration *and* recognize that there would be no America without the contribution of immigrants yesterday, today and tomorrow. America is never too scared, too full or too lacking in compassion for those drawn by liberty's torch.

We can see government for what it is: A tool for protecting our rights. Not a piggy bank for the connected or a job for life rewarding those who seize the reins of power. Once, we referred to politicians as public servants; it's time those who ask to lead embrace that spirit once again.

We can disagree without canceling, violence or hatred.

We can fight for the America we want, even as our neighbor fights for the America he wants. And we can do it while realizing that the freedom to engage in that fight, that ability to strive for that personal ideal, is one of the greatest gifts we have as Americans.

We are a nation of good, kind, strong, and fundamentally decent people -- right and left, traditional and revolutionary, satisfied and clamoring for change. We come by it honestly; the same conflicts and ideals were present at Lexington and Concord, at the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, in struggles ranging from women's suffrage to the civil rights battles of the 1960s. And, yes, in city streets all over America this summer.

Then, as now, America is what we make of it. That's not my job; it's all our jobs.

I believe America's best days still lie ahead, and Americans' best dreams are still within reach. I hope you do as well.