Politics Magazine

Barack Obama's Philadelphia Speech

Posted on the 23 October 2020 by Jobsanger
Barack Obama's Philadelphia Speech 

Barack Obama hit the campaign trail for Joe Biden this week. On Wednesday, he delivered a great speech in Philadelphia. The whole speech is well worth reading or watching, but here is some of it:

I never thought Donald Trump would embrace my vision or continue my policies but I did hope for the sake of the country that he might show some interest in taking the job seriously, but it hasn't happened. He hasn't shown any interest in doing the work or helping anybody but himself and his friends or treating the presidency like a reality show that he can use to get attention. And by the way, even then his TV ratings are down. So you know that upsets him.

But the thing is, this is not a reality show, this is reality. And the rest of us have had to live with the consequences of him proving himself incapable of taking the job seriously. At least 220,000 Americans have died. More than 100,000 small businesses have closed. Millions of jobs are gone. Our proud reputation around the world is in tatters. Presidents up for reelection usually ask if the country is better off than it was four years ago. I'll tell you one thing, four years ago you'd be tailgating here at the Lincoln instead of watching a speech from your cars. The only people truly better off than they were four years ago are the billionaires who got his tax cuts. Right now as we speak, Trump won't even extend relief to the millions of families who are having trouble paying the rent or putting food on the table because of this pandemic. But he's been doing all right by himself. . . .

I want to be honest here. This pandemic would have been challenging for any president but this idea that somehow this White House has done anything but completely screw this up. It's just not true. I'll give you a very specific example. Korea identified it's first case at the same time that the United States did. At the same time, their per capita death toll is just 1.3% of what ours is. In Canada, it's just 39% of what ours is. Other countries are still struggling with the pandemic but they're not doing as bad as we are because they've got a government that's actually been paying attention.

And that means lives lost. And that means an economy that doesn't work. And just yesterday, when asked if he'd do anything differently, Trump said, "Not much." Really? Not much? Nothing you can think of that could have helped some people keep their loved ones alive? So, Joe's not going to screw up testing. He's not going to call scientists idiots. He's not going to host a super spreader event at the White House. Joe will get this pandemic under control with a plan to make testing free and widely available, to get a vaccine to every American cost free and to make sure our frontline heroes never ask other countries for their equipment they need.

His plan will guarantee paid sick leave for workers and parents affected by the pandemic and make sure that the small businesses that hold our communities together and employ millions of Americans can reopen safely. Donald Trump likes to claim he built this economy but America created 1.5 million more jobs in the last three years of the Obama-Biden administration than in the first three years of the Trump-Pence administration. How you figure that? And that was before he could blame the pandemic. Now, he did inherit the longest streak of job growth in American history but just like everything else he inherited, he messed it up. The economic damage he inflicted by botching the pandemic response means he will be the first president since Herbert Hoover to actually lose jobs. Joe's got a plan to create 10 million good clean energy jobs as part of a historic $2 trillion investment to fight climate change, to secure environmental justice. And he'll pay for it by rolling back that tax cut for billionaires. And Joe sees this moment not just as a chance to get back to where we were but to finally make long overdue changes so that our economy actually makes life a little easier for everybody, the waitress trying to raise her kid on her own, the student trying to figure out how to pay for next semester's classes, the shift worker who's always on the edge of getting laid off, the cancer survivor who's worried about her preexisting conditions, protections being taken away. . . .

We're not going to have a president that goes out of his way to insult anybody who doesn't support him or threaten them with jail. That's not normal presidential behavior.

That's not normal presidential behavior. We wouldn't tolerate it from a high school principal. We wouldn't tolerate it from a coach. We wouldn't tolerate it from a co-worker. We wouldn't tolerate it in our family, except for maybe crazy uncle somewhere. I mean, why would we expect and accept this from the President of the United States? And why are folks making excuses for that? "Oh, well, that's just him." No. There are consequences to these actions. They embolden other people to be cruel and divisive and racist, and it frays the fabric of our society, and it affects how our children see things. And it affects the ways that our families get along. It affects how the world looks at America. That behavior matters. Character matters. And by the way, while he's doing all that, it distracts all of us from the truly destructive actions that his appointees are doing all across the government, actions that affect your lives. The Environmental Protection Agency that's supposed to protect our air and our water is right now run by an energy lobbyist that gives polluters free reign to dump unlimited poison into our air and water. The Labor Department that's supposed to protect workers and their rights, right now it's run by a corporate lobbyist who's declared war on workers, guts protections to keep essential folks safe during a pandemic, makes it easier for big corporations to shortchange them on their wages. The Interior Department, that's supposed to protect our public lands and wild spaces, our wildlife and our wilderness. And right now that's run by an oil lobbyist who's determined to sell them to the highest bidder.

You've got the Education Department that's supposed to give every kid a chance, and that's run by a billionaire who guts rules designed to protect students from getting ripped off by for profit colleges and stiffs arm students looking for loan relief in the middle of an economic collapse. I mean, the person who runs Medicaid right now is doing their best to kick people off of Medicaid instead of sign them up for Medicaid. Come on. When Joe and Kamala are in charge, they're not going to surround themselves with hacks and lobbyists, but they're going to appoint qualified public servants who actually care about looking out for you, for your job, for your family, for your health, for your security, for your planet, and that more than anything is what separates them from their opponents. They actually care about every American, including the ones that don't agree with them.

And they're going to fight for you every day. They care about you and they care about this democracy. They believe in a democracy. . . .

A president by himself can't solve every challenge in a global economy. But if we've got Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House at a House and Senate that are focused on working people, it can make a difference and get millions of people the help they need. A president by himself can't eliminate all racial bias in our criminal justice system. But if we've got district attorneys and state's attorneys and sheriffs and police chiefs focused on equality and justice, it can make things better. . . .

And the fact that we don't get 100% of what we want right away is not a good reason not to vote. It means we've got to vote and then get some change and then vote some more and then get some more change, and then keep on voting until we get it right. . . .

I'm asking you to remember what this country can be. What it's like when we treat each other with respect and dignity, what it's like when our elected officials actually behave responsibly. I'm asking you to believe in Joe's ability, in Kamala's ability to lead this country out of these dark times, and help us build it back better, because we can't abandon those who are hurting right now. We can't abandon the children who aren't getting the education they need right now.

We can't abandon those protesters who inspired us. We've got to channel their activism into action, we can't just imagine a better future. We've got to fight for it. We've got to out hustle the other side, we got to outwork the other side, we've got to vote like never before and leave no doubt. . . .

What Lincoln called the better angels of our nature, those are still in us. We see them operating every single day. We see them in neighborhoods, we see them in churches and synagogues and mosques and temples. We see them in people helping out a neighbor. We see them them inside our own families. We see that what is best in us is still there, but we've got to give it voice, and we've got to do it now.


Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog