Well, I refuse to go backwards, Milwaukee. And that's the choice America faces this fall. Do we go back to the policies of the past? Or do we move forward? I say we move forward. America always moves forward. And we are going to keep moving forward today.
Let me just close by saying this. I know these are difficult times. I know folks are worried, and there's still a lot of hurt out here. I hear about it when I spend time in towns like this; I read about it in your letters at night. And when times are tough, it can be easy to give in to cynicism and fear; doubt and division - to set our sights lower and settle for something less.
But that is not who we are. That is not the country I know. We do not give up. We do not quit. We are a people that faced down war and depression; great challenges and great threats; and lit the way for the rest of the world. Whenever times have seemed at their worst, Americans have been at their best. Because it is in those times when we roll up our sleeves and remember that we will rise or fall together - as one nation, and one people. That's the spirit that started the labor movement. The idea that alone, we are weak. Divided, we fall. But united, we are strong. That's why we call them unions. That's why we call this the United States of America.
When the man does a good speech, he really does a good speech. Check out the whole thing if you haven't. What I'm impressed by is that he lays out what has been done during his presidency, why these policy choices made sense, and what he'd still like to see done, such as a plan to rebuild and modernize this country's transportation infrastructure--a plan that will not just create jobs, but will benefit all of us. (Since the "Road Fairy" doesn't come down in the night and lay asphalt, after all.)
I think it's a terrible cynicism I'm developing that in advance, I'm already expecting this to be pushed back on by the GOP. So I think, in advance, I'm going to push forward, or maybe, against their expected pushback:
How could anyone be against a meaningful jobs creation program for public works in a time of serious unemployment? Aren't jobs better than handouts? Doesn't a great nation deserve a world-class infrastructure? This is certainly a plan in line not just with FDR's WPA, but with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Interstate Highway initiative, which is one of the greatest public works projects in our history, connecting the open expanses of our countryside and offering a boon to commerce and industry! I, like I hope most Americans, want to see people back at work, and this looks like a good way to do it. I also appreciate that our infrastructure could use some work, too. This takes care of both issues.