would that the world would listen

Here is the transcript from Obama’s speech in Tuscon yesterday.

Or, if you’d rather watch it, click here.

The best, most important, part:

They believed, and I believe, that we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here, they helped me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another, that’s entirely up to us. And I believe that for all our imperfections we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as the forces that unite us. . .we should do everything we can to make sure we live up to our children’s expectations.

Let’s make it so.

19 Responses to “would that the world would listen”

  1. January 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Mr President, you may believe, but the facts don’t support that belief.
    You continue to support the lies and defend the liars, thats a fact. That sir is a fact i believe in, and I Know that you and what you represent, will not change till “we the people” demand it. Save your beliefs for church and the angry gods. This sir is real, those guys are dead.

    • January 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      A little angry there, are we, Kyle? These kinds of replies aren’t really helping anyone, nor are they in the spirit of Obama’s speech, which was meant to reach across political boundaries to connect us through our basic humanity. Seems you missed the point.

      • January 14, 2011 at 5:38 am

        Julee, a little angry at the deception. the reply was meant to open your eyes. while he placates us with kind worlds seemingly reaching across the isle, he screws our freedom by supporting the policies of the last corrupt administration.

  2. January 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I loved this speech. The contrast between Obama and Palin could not be greater, as she released her diatribe the same day. That anyone could compare his speaking style with hers (as was done an earlier post on your blog) is mind boggling in the context of these two speeches, released on the same day, by people so different that I find it almost incomprehensible they are of the same species.

    That Obama has a talent for speaking and for bringing people together is beyond question, to me. That Palin was, is and will continue to be a divisive force in this country is also beyond question.

    I continue to hope that people with real compassion will step up and become more active in politics in the U.S., that they will also support acivists for true change, and not throwbacks to an era of political divisiveness.

  3. January 13, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I don’t understand what Kyle is saying (maybe I haven’t followed this closely enough), but I read Obama’s speech and, taken aside from crowd responses and other people’s reactions, found it to be very appropriate, understanding of the loss that people will be feeling and yet as positive as he could be in looking for good to come out of an evil situation.

    However, maybe Obama is too optimistic. Maybe if I was a relative or friend of one of those who died I would not be thinking that such optimism was justified. I might be angry, vengeful, sad and pessimistic about the future of this society. If this is Kyle’s perspective, I understand that.

    • 6 AliceB
      January 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm

      @ oldblack: I’m not sure anyone understands what Kyle is trying to say; perhaps not even Kyle. I also think Obama may be pathologically optimistic — his greatest strength, and perhaps his biggest flaw.

  4. 7 AliceB
    January 13, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Kyle: let me try to understand.

    “Mr President, you may believe, but the facts don’t support that belief.”
    Are you saying that we can’t actually be better? That’s cynical, and sad, and I hope woefully, woefully wrong.

    “You continue to support the lies and defend the liars, thats a fact.”
    I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    “That sir is a fact i believe in, and I Know that you and what you represent, will not change till “we the people” demand it. Save your beliefs for church and the angry gods.”
    I assume that you are referring to the hope that he will not win reelection. I’m curious what it is he’s done that you seem to think is so horrible?

    And are you actually saying that we can hold no beliefs except for those endorsed by organized religion? Also cynical, also sad, and also woefully, woefully wrong.

    “This sir is real, those guys are dead.”
    What’s real? “This sir?” What sir? Maybe you meant to include a comma, as in, This, sir. . .but what? and which guys are dead? The innocent victims? or the angry gods?

    What you do seem to have accomplished is to perfectly illustrate Obama’s point regarding vitriol, anger, and finger pointing. Other than that, you’ve accomplished absolutely nothing, and I’ve spent 7 minutes I can’t get back trying to figure it out.

  5. 8 Boston Margy
    January 13, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I agree and hope for better, less divisive, days.

  6. January 14, 2011 at 5:58 am

    Ok all of you, sorry for the 7min of time waisting. let me spell things out they way i see it and the way the facts lay.
    Mr Obama, is a great speaker, no doubt in my mind, but a great speaker does no make a great leader.
    while he can articulate far better than the last one, he has the same corrupt processes that wastefully consumes our taxes, creates strife all over the world and systematically continues to destroy the future we have built for our children.
    His speech was moving and in normal circumstances would have moved me too, but spoken form a man who as shown little compassion for the rights of Americans, it came across as hypocritical and self serving.

    I am just to frustrated with all the bs from his administration, and its only the 2nd year..

    • 10 AliceB
      January 14, 2011 at 7:52 am

      I strongly disagree. His “processes,” by which I assume you are referring to TARP, while inherited from the previous corrupt administration, have probably saved this country from descending deeply into a Depression. I wonder if you really have any idea what that would be like.

      His compassion for Americans is boundless; and I imagine he is as concerned with our rights as any Republican — he just sees the way to sustain those rights a little differently. The Republican every-man-for-himself mentality may encourage individual effort and responsibility, ideals I uphold, as does Obama, but no man is an island, and supporting people’s individual rights cannot extend to allowing them to trample all over those of everyone who gets in their way.

      And while you claim that “a great speaker does not make a great leader,” a great leader should be a great speaker.

      Sounds to me like you’re spending a little too much time listening to rabid pundits such as Rush or Sean or Glenn; people who are exorbitantly paid because they put on a good show, but who mislead, exaggerate, and expound poorly-researched opinions and often frighteningly incorrect information. Try reading a few different newspapers, and pay attention to what’s REALLY going on in the world instead of what some overpaid overblown huckster tells you.

      • 11 Kyle
        January 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm

        Oh dear AliceB, I would seem that you still don’t understand what really is going on. Mr Obama, continues to support and protect the liars of past administration, the people who destroyed a global economy, started an illegal war, permitted / assisted in numerous attacks on American soil, Killed the Americans who they swore to protect and serve and STILL commit genocide all the Name of America. No matter how well he speaks he still is a bad leader. I don’t listen to the Rush show or the other parrots of the media, I check the facts and those same facts given to us by the government don’t add up.
        To remind you:
        Oklahoma : building collapse, reportedly from a single bomb, yet multiple bombs found , no one of importance killed, only kids and low level ATF employees died. no real investigation allowed and the debris carted off immediately ( sound familiar).
        USS Kole: one large hole with no other damage and no real investigation as to how this was done other than a weak Hollywood story backed with no independent evidence.
        9/11: 4 planes reported, but no evidence of the type of the type of planes found at two of the crash sites and no planes found at two other sites. All public access to evidence redacted or removed .
        Yellow cake: fake documents created yet promoted by the Whitehouse even though there was evidence that it was fake. A US ambassador fired for telling the truth, treason committed by the Whitehouse when his wife was exposed as a CIA agent.
        WMD, BIO Bombs, Nukes : all fake yet promoted on TV (935 times ) by the Whitehouse and other members of congress.
        Gitom: numerous violations of global agreements, torture, kidnapping and murder all in the American Tax payers name.

        All of these blatant criminal acts are protected and defended by the current administration. The criminals have been granted immunity from prosecution by Obama. No investigations allowed by the Obama administration.

        How very strange it is to then stand and tell the world about healing.

        Sorry AliceB, I supported Obama thinking that there would be “change” believing the crap about “yes we can”.. what we have is change, that change is his leadership, although the direction and the actions of the country (in our name) is still the same, and the “yes we can” part applies to his administration, who can continue to kill with impunity, give away the little wealth and freedom of the masses to the few rich and powerful.

        I do pay attention to what is going on in the world since I live all over the world, I get the news that your not allowed to see, read reports that real reporters present, not the sanitized or filtered stuff on CNN BBC, FOXnews MSNBC and the other government controlled media sources .
        Care to debate this issue further, I am up for it. I will also only use the FACTS given by our government and not reported by anyone else.
        The shooting in Arizona while sad, happens everyday else where in he world and in most cases its by our government with our tax dollars in American tax payers names. with a mega increase in the collateral damage.

    • January 15, 2011 at 1:36 am

      Hi, Kyle —

      I guess I can agree in part with what you’re saying. I think Obama has been forced to accept some of the policies that are preceded his election because he has not had the power to make unilateral changes, and because, as I see it, he has decided to try to work in a bipartisan way with Democrats and Republicans who don’t necessarily agree with him, in order to create a government that works together and decides things in concert, rather than prolonging the divisive politics that have been in place for so long in our country. Making this kind of base level change does not come quickly or easily.

      I get the impression he has a lot of compassion for the rights of Americans. I feel in speeches like this one he shows how very much he cares for the “common man” (and women) and how much he wants to help change the government so that it serves us, rather than just the fat cats with lots of money and influence. I believe his hands have been tied by the Republicans and yet I think he continues to reach out in an effort to find common ground so that government practices and policies can be changed in order to give us real, lasting changes that will make a difference. However, I also believe that process is (a) slow, (b) slow because real change is slow, and (c) slow because most Republicans oppose any change coming from Obama on principle, rather than on merit.

      I feel frustrated too, by the war in Iraq especially, because I distinctly remember Obama saying he would pull the U.S. out of the war. But I also listen to radio programs (on NPR?) and some reading (perhaps I am not privy to the information you say you have available to you) that have explained in some detail what the issues are, and I think what happened is when he got into office and studied the problems, he realized they were much more complex and deeper than he’d realized from the outset (not being President and privy to the type of information that became available to him as President), and came to understand that at this time it would be unfair to the Iraqis to pull out and leave them stranded w/out any support. Anyway, that’s my impression. They don’t have an infrastructure and my understanding is that what we’re there to help provide, to help them rebuild so they aren’t left with rubble and anarchy.

      As to the economy, I don’t see how anyone can blame him. It’s a problem that he inherited. I was kind of disappointed that the stimulus package hasn’t seemed to work, and I was under the impression that the money hadn’t been deployed, but found out that something like 95% of the funds have been released and used for projects. Mostly small projects that had already been planned, States applied for the money and were given it, and most of the funds were used to keep projects going that had stalled (due to lack of funds), or used to keep people employed in projects when they would have been fired if the money had not been made available. So while the economy didn’t seem to be impacted by those funds, in fact, unemployment would probably be much higher if the stimulus package had not been implemented. It’s sort of a blind benefit, imo. It’s not dramatic or showy, but it has actually helped.

      Finally, I can’t agree that Obama’s speech came across as hypocritical and self-serving. Look to GW for great examples of that type of speech, his self-serving visit to Ground Zero and the famous photo of him on the fire truck with his arm around a “common man” type of worker. To me, that was the epitomy of hypocritical and self-serving. And his “fly overs” after Hurrican Katrina, yet no federal funding, no federal aid, etc., were provided to that area and New Orleans remains a disaster precisely because GW didn’t give a shit about a geographic area that was home to a lot of poor, black people living there and how could he possibly relate that them? He was all talk and no action, that one, except for getting us into a war that was waged on the back of lies told to the American public.

      • January 16, 2011 at 9:56 am

        Julee, when you take over a position you make changes, otherwise you are accepting all issue and process as yours with no change. He as the power to change but means “selective change”. I hate liars. tell its “selective” change. change “Yes we can”
        “Yes we might”.
        The issue of the economy was predicted. people made a lot of money and the crash. but the actors in this were awarded tax money, and still allowed to tax the source. The banks have reported the recored breaking profit quarters all last year. No one has lost a job, no has been charged. where did the money go? some one lied, planned and stole this. people were duped. the laws we have in place were violated. No charges only loans, guess it pays to steal big, kill big.

        As of today we are now in dept for 14 trillion .. that comes out to $52,345.00 each America of all ages, our elected leaders have taken our hard earned cash and have borrowed $55.5 trillion, we have a debt to income ration that just shot past 95%.Happy new year 2011.

        The most powerful nation in the world is lead and supported by fiscal morons.

  7. 14 Kyle
    January 14, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Would that the world listen to this, take a few hrs of your time, and watch these two shows to start:
    “the war you don’t see” by John Pilger, International reporter http://johnpilger.com/

    “Occupation 101: American tax payers support of Genocide in the 20th and 21st century. http://www.occupation101.com/multimedia.html

    try to listen and learn. America is not the Knight in shining armor and nor is Mr, Obama or his predecessors.

    America is the war machine. It is the only 1st world country who is still in a state of war and has been for over 200 years.

    Would that the world listen and act with one voice. These operations are form the people we elect support and fund. The AZ killing is a direct fall out from our own examples & actions.

    • 15 AliceB
      January 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm

      I don’t believe that America is, nor has it ever been “a knight in shining armor.” one certainly doesn’t have to look all the way back to our treatment of Native Americans, or the practice of slavery, but to our continued, and recent, self-centered, short-sighted imperialist actions.

      There were no WMDs in Iraq, W was finishing a battle his daddy left unfinished; Reagan oversaw the hypocrisy of Iran-Contra; and Clinton had a sexual relationship with an intern. Shameful acts, committed by leaders and, through association, one could almost argue, with the collusion of the American people.

      But we know about all of these things because of the media. What would the media have to gain by colluding with the government to keep its secrets for it? I may read my newspapers with a so-called “gimlet eye,” and always question the sometimes poorly-veiled personal opinions of the authors, but don’t believe that the institution as a whole is engaged in a country-wide conspiracy to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.

      I do agree that much reporting is slanted and potentially self-serving, especially the crap on the news-as-entertainment-shows. At least when the Russians were reading Pravda there was no illusion of openness and fairness. The fact that Fox can call themselves Fair and Balanced without laughing so hard they snort milk through their nose demonstrates pretty well how far we’ve traveled from a universal idea of what those words actually mean.

  8. 16 AliceB
    January 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm


    You seem to be holding Obama responsible for an awful lot of the madness in the world, and are privy to a lot of information available to no one else on the planet. And while I believe that all citizens have a responsibility to be informed, and to view their leaders with a watchful, maybe even cynical eye, I fear you may be taking that too far.

    I’m curious what you think Obama would have to gain “covering up” any of these heinous acts.

    I would also hesitate to equate institutions such as the BBC with Fox “News.”

    I can’t respond to the end of your email as I cannot decipher what you are trying to say. But enough of this. I’m sure we both have other things on our lives needing our attention.

    • January 16, 2011 at 9:38 am

      Dear AliceB,
      I do hold responsible for the actions of the past, he was in government and still is. is Action or inaction in a direct and indirect way helped create or sustain the crimes of our government.

      His Gain is rather obvious. Assume for a moment that you were in his shoes and were presented with issues of your office with more clarity. The account is far more overdrawn, there are criminal charges that will affect the brand image, the bargains you made for the vote curtail further progress, and the list goes on. I am sure his “reason” for covering up the lies and issuing the pardons is not all self serving. but thats only because the first 99% of his “reason” is already spoken for so he could get into office.

      Your hesitation to not equate BBC to Fox news will lead you down the garden path. Both source their official response from the government, irrespective of content or scientific fact. There are hundreds of examples where both have been complicit in blatant cover ups on the same day of an event. both have lied for 7 hours of rolling news stories, yet to be corrected.

      Apologies for the last bit, i saw the typo. needless to say Alice, I am very jaded by news with any official title, i tend now to only pay fleeting attention to commentary and search or source the information directly when ever possible.

  9. January 17, 2011 at 8:24 am

    I hate to say it but as much as I’d like to believe he meant that and that it comes from a good place, it sounds a whole lot more like fluffy bullshit concocted by a professional speech writer whose job it is to placate the masses with pretty and comforting words. He hits all the big ones – believing, unity, children. But, I guess I don’t blame the current generations for wanting to feel like their leader is insightful and quotable. We imagine that past leaders were because history only shows their greatest hits.

    • January 17, 2011 at 12:23 pm

      “We imagine that past leaders were ” Perfect” because history only shows their greatest hits.” Gina.

      The good news is that 1st amendment is still standing, although considerable hunched over. I just hope the Internet remains a haven for the truth.

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