I believe in the limitless potential of the idea of America.
There are three things that exemplify this potential in my mind:
1. Our constitution and form of democratic government have stood the test of time. The freedoms guaranteed within the constitution and bill of rights allow us the liberty to live life as it is meant to be lived.
2. We are perhaps the most diverse nation that has ever existed. Racially, ethnically, economically, and otherwise. Despite our many differences, it is our similarities that provide strength. E Pluribus Unum, Out of many, one. This national motto is more relevant now than it was when it was established over 200 years ago.
3. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this country is our willingness to confront numerous nearly insurmountable challenges and face them with integrity and confidence. When we were taxed without representation, we declared independence. When our country was nearly torn apart at the seams during the civil war, the union survived. At the height of the great depression, the New Deal forced us to become a community again and help those who needed it the most. And when totalitarianism swept Europe, we mobilized as a nation and did what had to be done.
When scholars and historians look back at this generation and evaluate how we have dealt with the unique challenges of the early 21st century, what will they say?
On the morning of September 11th 2001 I was a college student studying political science at a mid-sized University in the Midwest. I understood the gravity of what had taken place but could not begin to contemplate the long-term implications. Who would have guessed that the events taking place on that sunny fall morning would dominate political discourse in this country for years to come? I believe our elected leaders have a responsibility to take a reasoned and diplomatic approach to solving the problems associated with global terror networks. There are difficult questions to ask, and there has never been a nation more willing and able to ask them. Mistakes have been made, no one will deny that. But the question that remains is this: Does this country have the will and capability to neutralize the varied threats that face us without sacrificing the very values that make us who we are?
I certainly hope so.
This I believe, and I hope you do too.
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