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AdLib On September - 14 - 2010

As a follow up to our post on writing a speech for Obama on confronting the hatred and racism that has become so mainstream in our politics, I’ve composed the following draft for your review and comments.

One note before you read it: Many folks wrote inspired comments which I initially tried to work together as the speech but since there was a wide variety of focuses, it was very challenging to get a cohesiveness.

So, I instead I started over and tried to draft a speech that incorporated the gist of many of the comments and present it as a draft for members to suggest specific changes or additions. Hope that’s cool.

I’ll firm up a final draft after everyone has offered their thoughts and suggestions and will then post it on the site where it can be signed online by members then sent to President Obama.

So, here’s my first draft of it, please don’t hesitate to suggest any changes that you would like to see, I’m looking forward to getting as much input as possible:

Good evening.

On June 16, 1858, when anger was boiling over in this nation, pitting more and more Americans against each other, Abraham Lincoln stood before the Republican Party that had just nominated him for Senator and stated, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

For President Lincoln, the pursuit of political power was a mission to bring this country together, to protect and preserve this great nation.

Things are tough right now in our country for many of our fellow citizens who are justifiably upset. Many Americans are unemployed, many are struggling to pay their bills and keep their homes and pay for their children’s education.

However, as we see on a near daily basis, there are those out there who seek to inflame and exploit that frustration, to harness it and redirect it to personally benefit themselves and advance their own self-serving agendas.

This cynical game that such people are playing is destructive and dangerous. We have seen before what happens in society when prejudice, hatred and intolerance are condoned and packaged with deniability so they can be practiced openly.

The dynamics of a marketplace of ideas is what makes a democracy strong, it benefits us to have different voices and different parties that can debate and propose a variety of approaches to the American Public for solving the challenges that we face as a nation.

People of good faith can disagree on how best to keep our country and all of its people moving in the right direction towards better times.

Unfortunately, there are also those who see this as an ideal time to exploit the distress of their fellow Americans for their own personal gain and agenda.

Such opportunists, who hide their greed for power and wealth behind the façade of populism, have preyed on this nation before during difficult times. They seek to whip up the worst in people, hatred, prejudice and fear, in order to manipulate people into rallying behind them and their deceptive and self-serving pursuits. The only way to gather the power needed to push forward their interests is to divide Americans, to set us against each other, to divide our house so that it is too weak to stand against them.

Our history has shown us time and time again, that giving into the forces that seek to divide us, ultimately brings great suffering and robs us of our power as Americans to determine our own destiny. We are faced with such times that now test our generation.

We have also witnessed on a regular basis in the media and on the internet, an ongoing presentation of hostile, polarizing and extremist people, incendiary and insulting statements and rumors, no matter how preposterous or unsubstantiated because, frankly, such exploitation attracts more viewers which can translate into more profits. There is then a financial incentive to fan the flames of intolerance.

I ask those in the media to always remember their responsibility to the American public and their powerful and influential role in affecting the tone and conversation in this nation. Thomas Jefferson viewed the press as the unofficial fourth branch of government, the safety net of our democracy. That is a formidable position to hold in this country and I hope that as we move forward, their duty to fully inform the American people and fairly and responsibly present the truth to them will always be their top priority.

And so, at this crucial moment in the history of this nation, we must stand strong and refuse others the power to further turn us against one another. We face many daunting challenges and decisions to get this country up to full speed and working for every one of us, it’s a difficult job that requires us to all pull together as Americans and use all of our differences as all of our strengths.

For that reason, I am calling out those who wish to divide us and telling them, you will not succeed. And I am calling on the American people to reject the rabid voices sowing suspicion, resentment and hostility towards your fellow Americans because they worship different religions, belong to a different political party, have a different heritage or skin color or differ from you in any way. That is un-American, that is the path of division and destruction, that will not lead us to brighter days but to darker times.

Disagreeing is very American, hating though, is not.

Any American whose opinion opposes yours is just as American as you are. However, any opinion that is tainted with hatred or prejudice against fellow Americans, deserves to be immediately rejected along with the legitimacy of whoever is promoting it.

We must come together, standing against the few but powerful who wish to use our differences and emotions to divide us and empower themselves. By working together, we keep control to decide our own future and we can accomplish remarkable things as generations before us have done so.

We are the United States of America, we are many that stand together as one and because we do, we are the most powerful nation on this planet. A house united can stand against any adversity, let us appreciate and respect our differences in who we are and how we think, reject those who seek to exploit our differences for personal gain and never forget that in the end, we are all Americans.

Thank you, God bless you and God bless America.

Looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions!

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

14 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. boomer1949 says:

    I think a phone call to Gibbs would be appropriate. I don’t know if I would want to chat with Rahm though.

    Hey guys, we have a question from over here at the Planet? Which one of you has been performing C&P on our content?

    I guess if what you wrote was intended for the President and what his writers wrote was intended for the President, who owns the content… you, the President’s speech writers, the President himself? Is it considered Intellectual Property or what? It was obviously lifted from your piece — word for word. I haven’t yet listened, but I have no doubt I will get goose bumps hearing the words you wrote being spoken by our POTUS.

    I agree with Kalima — send ’em a bill and don’t forget to include information documenting your work. Oh, and don’t forget to include your resume. :smile:

  2. AdLib says:

    Okay, who told President Obama to give part of this speech last night to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus?! Whoever it was, thanks!

    The whole speech is great but go to 6:56 in the video below and let me know if you see any similarities to the following excerpts from the draft speech above including these sections:

    However, as we see on a near daily basis, there are those out there who seek to inflame and exploit that frustration, to harness it and redirect it to personally benefit themselves and advance their own self-serving agendas.

    We have seen before what happens in society when prejudice, hatred and intolerance are condoned and packaged with deniability so they can be practiced openly.

    For that reason, I am calling out those who wish to divide us and telling them, you will not succeed. And I am calling on the American people to reject the rabid voices sowing suspicion, resentment and hostility towards your fellow Americans because they worship different religions, belong to a different political party, have a different heritage or skin color or differ from you in any way.

    We must come together, standing against the few but powerful who wish to use our differences and emotions to divide us and empower themselves. By working together, we keep control to decide our own future and we can accomplish remarkable things as generations before us have done so.


    • kesmarn says:

      That is almost eerie, AdLib! Great minds think alike? Or do we have important visitors who quietly scan the Planet? That’s kinda flattering, if true, I guess!

      If it’s any consolation, I was — I think — the first person immediately after the financial crash to post at HP the comment: “If someone takes your car and runs it into the ditch, you don’t give him the keys back.” Sigh. Why didn’t I copyright that?

      :roll:

      President Obama did give a heckuva speech there, though. Mostly because it so closely resembled yours!

    • Kalima says:

      I’m busy typing out a bill for the WH, but won’t send it until I know for sure if the President reads our blogs. If it was plagiarized by anyone else, the fee is triple.

      Seriously, it’s almost word for word, and where the heck is your credit?

      First your take on the DR.Seuss post, and now this?

      All they had to do was ask, I didn’t notice a “Help Yourself” sign..

      Oh, and I want to nominate you for the post of the President’s offical speechwriter, if you can fit it in with all of the other stuff that you have to do that is.

    • boomer1949 says:

      Well, Adlib, your post has been up for a couple of days now. Plenty of time for it to be read, reread…borrowed? I seriously doubt the writers had an in with Carnac the Magnificent.

  3. kesmarn says:

    AdLib, this is a very fine speech. Does it sound bizarre if I say that the only possible criticism that could be made is that it is too reasonable, too well thought out, or too intelligent? What a sad commentary on the state of the national IQ, no?

    There were probably fewer college grads, percentage-wise, in America in the 1930s, and yet it seems as if FDR were speaking to a whole different audience then. People who focussed on their radios and really listened…really thought hard about what they were hearing.

    You’ve written such a smart speech here. Will they be able to hear it? I don’t know…

    But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth delivering.

    • AdLib says:

      How kind and flattering, Kes, I’m still blushing!

      As I just posted above, apparently we’re not off base in wanting to see Obama make this kind of speech, his speech last night had some amazingly similar passages as noted.

      I do think he should make a prominent national speech from the Oval Office confronting the poisoning of our political system with sheer hatred but I am very pleased to see that he is saying these very things in speeches right now.

      • kesmarn says:

        A prominent national speech is so much needed, as you say AdLib. I wish Obama could find just the right venue, though, for that speech.

        It struck me, while I was watching last night’s speech, how different he is, as an orator, when there’s a live audience actively responding to him. His addresses from the Oval Office just don’t seem to pack the same punch that his live appearances do. He’s energized by the interaction and his passion really comes through. That’s when he’s at his best.

        I’d love to see him give a fiery address in front of thousands of people — and to have the MSM just cover it, not spin it. That could be a game-changer.

        • bitohistory says:

          I completely agree with this k’es.

          It struck me, while I was watching last night

          • kesmarn says:

            The MSM’s corporate ownership has never been more noticeable, has it, b’ito? Wall Street and big business do not like this president one bit. And they certainly are not above using the media that they own to bring him down.

            Which should surely tell folks that he’s doing something right! Wouldn’tcha think?

            He’s fighting for all of US, and so many people just don’t get it.

  4. VegasBabe says:

    Dude, I hate to break this to ya, but America was built on hate and ignornance from day one and will remain so til time ends. Just ask the American Indians for starters, followed immediately by black americans, and the asian population might wish to join in what with that phucked up situation they endured when Pearl Harbor was bombed and to add to the list, our compadres from across the border ain’t real happy with the US right about now either (I don’t even wanna mention the muslims…that’s another talk show entirely). THERE IS NO SPEECH, there is no stance, no position to alter, remedy, resolve what we have here. It is what it is, what it’s always been. It’d be much easier to address the rich against the poor….but the ignorance and hatred thing, the racism and bigotry thing, the prejudice….it’s here to stay. I think even gays would have to agree who too have had endured the unspeakable. I’m done with that.

    • AdLib says:

      Have to disagree with you, there indeed have been those in history who have made a big difference by speaking out against hate. Jesus. Gandhi. Martin Luther King.

      Though their words may not have stopped hatred in its tracks, they contributed to meaningful changes in their societies that revived humanity and led away from oppression and widespread hatred.

      Unfortunately, hatred is like a weed that keeps popping up and if we don’t work to cut it back, it can overgrow a society as it unfortunately has in recent years.

      We can’t wipe it out but we can trim it back down from where it is today.


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