Before We are Democrats or Republicans, We are Americans.
If anyone has been paying attention (and that’s somehow rare these days), it’s quite clear President Obama has been consistent in his message about unity and a civil discourse as part of a flourishing democracy. In his remarks at the memorial service in Tuscon last week, and his weekly address, you can trace the themes back to Obama’s keynote address as a newcomer on the national political stage at the 2004 Democratic convention; or the night he claimed victory in the Iowa caucus in 2008. Obviously these are not “feel good” lines in search of the right theme song for Obama. It’s part of a core set of values and a personal narrative.
It seems appropriate to post both the memorial remarks and the weekly address.
Transcript of Remarks at the Tucson memorial service
Transcript of the President’s Weekly
And I give a nod to Senator John McCain (AZ-R) for his op-ed,
“After the shootings, Obama reminds the nation of the golden rule” published in today’s Washington Post
Our political discourse should be more civil than it currently is, and we all, myself included, bear some responsibility for it not being so. It probably asks too much of human nature to expect any of us to be restrained at all times by persistent modesty and empathy from committing rhetorical excesses that exaggerate our differences and ignore our similarities. But I do not think it is beyond our ability and virtue to refrain from substituting character assassination for spirited and respectful debate.
And to the Senators who are “seating” an example and advocating that the parties sit together during the State of the Union address January 25.
Peace, be still.