Earning the American dream
Excerpts from the Aug. 14 speech by the President of the United States accepting the Democratic Party's nomination to run for a second term.m It is time to put all America back to work not in make-work, but in real work.Skip to next paragraph
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There is real work in modernizing American industry and creating new industries for America.
Here are just a few things we will build together:
* New industries to turn our coal and shale and farm products into fuel for our cars and trucks, and to turn the light of the sun into heat and electricity for our homes.
* A modern transportation system of railbeds and ports to make American coal into a powerful rival of OPEC oil.
* Industries that will provide the convenience of communications and futuristic computer technology to serve millions of American homeS, offices, and factories.
* Job training for workers displaced by economic changes.
* New investment pinpointed in regions and neighborhoods where jobs are needed most.
* Better mass transit in our cities and between them.
* And a whole new generation of American homes and vehicles and buildings that will house us and move us in comfort -- on a lot less energy.
I have no doubt that the ingenuity and dedication of the American people can make every single one of these things happen. We are talking about the United States of America -- and those who count this country out as an economic superpower are going to find out how wrong they are.
The truth is that we Americans have earned our dream of progress and peace. Look at what our land has been through just within our own memory -- a great depression, a world war, a technological explosion, the civil rights revolution, the bitterness of Vietnam, the shame of Watergate, the twilight peace of nuclear terror.
Through ech of these momentous experiences we have learned something about the world and about ourselves. We have matured and grown stronger as a nation.
We have learned the uses and the limits of power. We have learned the beauty and the responsibility of freedom. We have learned the value and the obligation of justice -- and we have learned the necessity of peace.
Some would argue that to master these lessons is somehow to limit our potential. That is not so. A nation which knows its true strenghts, sees its true challenges, understands legitimate constraints -- that naion -- our nation -- is far stronger than one which takes refuge in wishful thinking or nostalgia.
Three weeks after Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill came to North America -- and said:
"We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountsin, across the prairies because we are made of sugar candy."
We Americans have courage.
Americans have always been on the cutting edge of change. We have always looked forward with anticipation and confidence. I still want what all of you wnat -- self-reliant neighborhoods and strong families; work for the able-bodied and good medical care for the sick; opportnity for our youth and dignity for the old; equal rights and justice for all our people.
I want teachers eager to explain what a civilization really is -- and students to understand their own needs and their own aims, but also theneeds and yearnings of their neighbors. I want women free to pursue without limit the full life they want for themselves.
I want our farmers growing crops to feed the nation and the world, secure in the knowledge that the family farm will thrive and with a fair return on the work they do for all of us. I want workers to see meaning in the labor they perform -- and work enough to guarantee a job for every worker. I want people in business to be bold and free to pursue new ideas. I want minority citizens fully to join the mainstream of American life, and I wnat the blight of discrimination forever wiped away from our land.
Join me in the fulfilling of that vision.