Monday, January 29, 2007

I'm currently reading The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. I've only gotten as far as the prologue but already I like what he has to say. Here is a man who really gets the purpose of government. Of his experiences talking to ordinary citizens of Illinois during his Senate campaign, Obama writes on page 7:

"No blinding insights emerged from these months of conversation. If anything, what struck me was just how modest people's hopes were, and how much of what they believed seemed to hold constant across race, region, religion, and class. Most of them thought that anybody willing to work should be able to find a job that paid a living wage. They figured that people shouldn't have to file for bankruptcy because they got sick. They believed that every child should have a genuinely good education--that it shouldn't just be a bunch of talk--and that those same children should be able to go to college even if their parents weren't rich. They wanted to be safe, from criminals and from terrorists; they wanted clean air, clean water, and time with their kids. And when they got old they wanted to be able to retire with some dignity and respect.

That was about it. It wasn't much. And although they understood that how they did in life depended mostly on their own efforts--although they didn't expect government to solve all their problems, and certainly didn't like seeing their tax dollars wasted--they figured that government should help."

If this were a speech I'd stand up and applaud right about now.

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