They know those things. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice. In this election, we offer that choice. Our Party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. And that man is John Kerry. From his heroic service to Vietnam, to his years as a prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country.
His values — and his record — affirm what is best in us. John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded; so instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he offers them to companies creating jobs here at home. John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves.
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View all New York Times newsletters. John Kerry believes in the Constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties, nor use faith as a wedge to divide us. And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world war must be an option sometimes, but it should never be the first option. You know, a while back, I met a young man named Shamus [Seamus?
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Hall in East Moline, Ill.. He was a good-looking kid, six two, six three, clear eyed, with an easy smile. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Shamus as well as he is serving us? Now let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found.
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They must be pursued — and they must be defeated. John Kerry knows this. And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure. John Kerry believes in America. E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.
Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America.
There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope?
John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope.
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The hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores. The hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta. The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!
A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead. I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity. I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.
I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us. Tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion I do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do — if we do what we must do, then I have no doubts that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president, and John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president, and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.
Thank you very much everybody. God bless you. Please upgrade your browser. And I think that principle will win out. But it does mean that you should pay attention and contribute in any way that you can. Stay informed. Write letters, or make phone calls on behalf of an issue you care about. If we are to win this struggle and spread those freedoms, we must keep our own moral compass pointed in a true direction. Our job is to make sure that even as we make progress, that we are also giving people a sense of hope and vision for the future.
I am going to press on. We built this country by making things , by producing goods we could sell. And I refuse to renew them again. But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable. We are going to press on. We have work to do. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible.
You have to let your failures teach you.
We came here to shape it. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.
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Keep dreaming. Keep asking why. Never stop believing in the power of your ideas, your imagination, your hard work to change the world. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up. We get up. Barack Obama is known for being different than most politicians. He emphasized that he was going to work to change things for the better throughout his campaign and presidency. Though Congress turned down many of his laws, he passed important bills, including the health care reform.
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