On the America we want to achieve in the next twenty years, I don’t think the picture is hard to draw. It is an America where we are well on our way to ending poverty. It is an America where every American has health care coverage – not access to health insurance or other wiggle-word ways we try to describe something less than health coverage for every American. It is time. It is an America where businesses and working people thrive in a competitive and fair international marketplace. It is an America where everyone can join the middle class and everyone can build a better future than their parents had.
I want to live in an America free from dependence on fossil fuels, where our environmental policies reflect our pride in the blessings of a beautiful and abundant country and our commitment to preserve that country for our farmers, our fishermen, our children. Sacrifice, conservation, and innovation will be required.
I want to live in an America that has not sacrificed individual liberties in the name of freedom, where – in the fight to preserve the country we love – we do not sacrifice the country we love, where we don’t make excuses for violating civil rights, though we understand the test of liberty is in the moments when such excuses almost sound reasonable.
I want to live in an America where we value work as well as wealth, because we understand that we are only strong because our people work hard, that we are made strong by our longshoremen and autoworkers, our computer programmers and janitors, and disrespect to any of them is disrespect to the values that allowed for America’s greatness in the first place.
I want to live in an America where the difference in our best schools and our worst schools cannot be measured by Newsweek, where those who can teach are encouraged and rewarded and where the world of learning is opened to every child.