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奧巴馬離別演講稿中英文版

时间:2019-01-09 作者:admin

  巴拉克·奧巴馬是美國第44任總統,跟着唐納德·特朗普的中選,奧巴馬的任期也行將完畢,下面是範文大全小編為咱們收集了關於奧巴馬離別演講稿中英文版,期望可以協助到咱們。

  以下是奧巴馬的離別講演全文:

  你好,芝加哥!回家的感覺真好!謝謝,謝謝咱們!(省掉N個謝謝)

  在曩昔幾個星期里,我和Michelle收到了各種夸姣的祝福,咱們十分感動,感謝咱們對我的支撐。今晚我依然要向你們表達我的感謝,是你們,身處各地,各個場所的每一位美國人讓我堅持真摯,是你們給了我創意,並一向鼓舞着我行進。我每天都在向你們學習,是你們讓我成為一個更好的總統,成為一個更優異的人。

  我第一次來到芝加哥仍是20歲出頭的時分,其時我還處在找尋自我的階段,還在為自己的日子尋覓方向。就在離這不遠的一個社區,我開端參加教會集體作業。在這些街區,我看到了崇奉的力氣,看到了勞動公民面對窘境和失落時那種安靜的莊嚴。就是在這裏,我了解到只要一般民眾都參加進來,改造才會發作,只要咱們的力氣聯合起來,社會才會前進。

  現在八年時刻曩昔了,我依然深信這一點。我信賴,這不只僅我自己的一個崇奉,也是咱們整個美國思維的中心地點——對自治進行斗膽地測驗。

  咱們的崇奉一向是,生來對等,造物者賦予咱們一些不行掠奪的權力,其間包含生命、自在以及對美好的尋求。這些權力,儘管人人都有,但並不能主動完成。咱們,每一個公民,有必要經過民主的東西,來創立一個愈加完美的國家。

  這是造物者賜予咱們的禮物,咱們擁有用汗水、辛勞和想象力去追逐咱們的個人願望和自在,一同也承當有聯合一致,完成更高方針的職責。咱們的國家並不是一開端就是完美的,可是咱們現已展現出了改動的才能,併為每一位追隨者供給更好的日子。

  是的,咱們的前進並不均衡,民主作業也一向很困難,一同存在必定的爭議,並且有時是血腥的。每向前邁兩步,給人的感覺往往是還要往後退一步。可是美國在綿長的開展進程中,咱們一向銳意進取,不斷拓展咱們的信條,去擁抱一切,而不只僅是其間一部分。

  假如八年前,我通知你們,美國將改動大闌珊,重振汽車行業,併發明出前史以來最多的就業機會;假如其時我通知你們,咱們將與古巴公民敞開一個新的華章,中止伊朗核武器方案並揪出9/11作業的暗地主使;假如其時我通知你們,咱們將完成婚姻對等,為別的2000萬的同胞贏得健康穩妥的權力;假如其時我通知你們這些,你們可能會說我的方針定得有點高。可是現在這就是咱們所做到的,這就是你們所做到的。是你們促成了這些改動,你們讓期望成真,也正是由於你們,現在的美國比我就任時變得更好、更強。

  十天之內,國際將會見證咱們民主的一個標誌:經過自在推舉,將總統的權力和平地移交給下一位總統。我向中選總統特朗普許諾,我會為他供給最平穩的過渡,就像布什總統之前為我做的相同。由於咱們一切人都需求保證政府可以協助咱們應對現在面對的許多應戰。

  咱們需求去應對這些應戰,由於咱們依然是地球上最賦有、最強壯也最受尊重的國家,咱們的青年和開展動力,咱們的多樣性和敞開程度,咱們應對危險和進行改造的才能,都在向咱們標明未來應該是歸於咱們的。

  可是,只要咱們堅持民主這些潛力才會發揮出來。只要當咱們的政治反映出公民的正派,只要咱們一切人,不管黨派聯繫或特別利益,都有助於推進咱們完成一同意圖的巴望時,這些潛力才會發揮出來。

  民主不需求同一性,咱們的首領會爭持,會退讓,但他們知道民主需求一種根本的聯合認識,儘管咱們存在各種差異,但咱們仍要聯合一致,一同進退。

  前史上總會有一些時刻會要挾到這種聯合,本世紀就是這樣的時刻:國際不斷變小,不對等繼續擴展,人口改動以及恐怖主義延伸,這些要素不只僅對咱們國家安全和經濟繁榮的檢測,也是對咱們民主的檢測。咱們如何來應對這些應戰,將決議咱們是否有才能教育好咱們的孩子,發明優質的作業,並維護咱們的家鄉。換言之,它將決議咱們的未來。

  在曩昔五十年以來,現在的醫療保健本錢正在以最慢的速度上升。假如任何人可以擬定一個顯着優於現在醫療保健體系的改進方案,並盡可能掩蓋更多的人,那我必定會揭露表示支撐。

  我中選后,呈現了一種說法是美國進入后種族年代(種族輕視現已不存在),這僅僅一個願景,並不是實際。由於種族問題在咱們的社會中依然是一種強有力的割裂力氣。儘管這一問題得到了某種程度的改進,但咱們每一個人都需求做出更多的儘力。究竟,假如每一個經濟問題都被看作是勤勞的白人中產階級和不受歡迎的少數民族之間的對立,那一切種族的工人只能是搶奪蠅頭小利,而有錢人坐收漁翁之利。

  這一切都不簡單。關於咱們中的太多人來說,退回到咱們自己的溫床里最安全,不管是咱們的社區或大學校園或禮拜場所或咱們的交際媒體中,和那些與咱們類似,有着相同的政治布景,從不質疑咱們的假定的人共處最舒適。光禿禿的黨派之爭、日益添加的經濟和區域分層、媒體的割裂都成為政黨宣揚的東西——一切這一切使得這種區別好像變得天然,乃至是不行避免的。咱們變得躲在自己的泡沫里,只承受契合咱們定見的信息,而不是根據現有依據構成自己的觀念。

  這不是總是使政治如此懊喪的那部分嗎?當咱們主張將財政經費投入到孩子們的學齡前教育時,推舉官員對赤字感到如此憤恨,可是當為公司削減稅收時,為什麼不感到憤恨?其它黨派做出品德淪喪的作業時,咱們緊緊抓住不放,但為什麼當咱們自己的黨派做出相同的作業時,咱們卻挑選寬恕?這不僅僅不誠實,而是對現實進行挑選;這會自取其咎,由於我的媽媽從前通知我,“現實總有一天會露出在你面前。”

  在短短8年時刻里,咱們削減了對外國石油的依靠,使咱們的可再生能源添加了一倍,並帶領國際達成了一項解救地球的協議。假如不果斷舉動,咱們的孩子將不會再有時刻來爭辯氣候改動的存在;由於,他們將忙於應對其影響:環境災禍、經濟損壞和尋求維護的氣候難民潮。

  偽裝問題不存在不只變節了子孫,它露出了這個國家的實質精力。

  由於咱們的官員、法令人員和外交官的特殊勇氣,不管男性仍是女人,在曩昔八年中,沒有外國恐怖安排成功施行對咱們的家鄉的突擊,儘管波士頓和奧蘭多提示咱們急進安排的危險性,單咱們的法令安排比以往愈加具有有效性和警惕性。咱們現已制服了數萬名恐怖分子——包含烏薩馬·本·拉登。

  咱們領導的全球聯盟現已控制了伊拉克和黎凡特伊斯蘭國領導人,佔據了大約一半的疆域。伊黎伊斯蘭國將被炸毀,任何要挾美國的人都將被制服。

  這就是為什麼,在曩昔八年中,我一向致力於在一個更堅決的法令基礎上儘力衝擊恐怖主義,這就是為什麼咱們可以完畢摧殘,關閉關塔那摩灣(以作為美軍的拘留營而聞名),並變革咱們的監管法令,以維護隱私和公民自在。

  這就是為什麼我對立輕視穆斯林美國人,這就是為什麼咱們不能退出大規模的全球奮鬥——咱們要擴展民主、人權、婦女權力和LGBT權力,不管咱們的儘力有多麼不完美。由於,這是保衛美國的一部分。為了對立極點主義以及宗派主義和沙文主義,這是與反威權主義和民族主義侵犯的奮鬥。

  這也是我想要表達的最終一點:當咱們把民主視為天經地義時,咱們的民主就會遭到要挾。咱們一切人,不管黨派,都應該致力於重建咱們的民主體系的使命。當投票率是興旺民主國家中最低之一時,咱們應該使投票更簡單,而不是更難。 當咱們的安排信賴度下降時,咱們應該削減金錢在政治中的腐蝕性影響,並堅持透明度和品德的公共效勞準則。當國會功用失調時,咱們應該招引咱們的區域鼓舞政客投合群眾需求,而不是死板的極點。

  一切這一切都取決於咱們的參加;咱們每個人都有公民的職責,不管權力以何種方法搖擺。

  咱們的憲法是一個了不得的,美麗的禮物。但它真的僅僅一塊羊皮紙。 它自己沒有力氣。 而是咱們,公民,賦予它的權力——咱們的參加,和咱們做出的挑選。 咱們是否支撐咱們的自在,是否尊重和履行法治。美國並不軟弱,可是,咱們綿長的自在之旅的效果並不斷定。

  假如你厭惡了在網絡上與生疏人爭辯,測驗在實際日子中與他們進行說話吧。 假如有什麼需求改動,那就系好你的鞋帶,安排一些作業。假如你對你中選的官員感到絕望,可以拿一張剪貼板,拿一些簽名,自己去辦公室,出頭,深化追查,持之以恆。

  有時你會贏,有時你會輸。假定他人都具有仁慈的美德可能是一種危險,並且會有一段時刻,這個進程會讓你絕望。可是,關於咱們這些有幸成為這項作業的一份子的人來說,細心想想,我可以通知你,它可以使每個人得到鼓舞和啟示。在這個進程中,你對美國和美國人的決心將得到證明,而我的崇奉現已得到證明。

  感謝Michelle,在曩昔的25年中,你不僅僅我的妻子和我的孩子的母親,也一向是我最好的朋友。 你所要承當的這個人物並不是你自己要求的,但你卻用高雅、堅韌、共同的風格和幽默感成功地完成了人物改變。 你使白宮成為歸於每個人的當地。而新一代的年青人視界會更高,由於他們有你作為典範。

  感謝瑪麗亞和薩莎,你們成為了兩個了不得的年青女人,聰明和美麗,但更重要的是,仁慈和周到,充溢熱情。你們在聚光燈下承受了多年的擔負。在我終身中所做的一切作業中,我最為驕傲的是成為你們的父親。

  副總統拜登,是我做出的首個提名,也是最棒的提名。不只僅是由於你是一個巨大的副總統,也是由於我收成到了你這樣一個兄弟。你就像我的家人相同,與你的友誼也是我日子中的一大高興地點。

  關於我那些出色的作業人員,八年的時刻,乃至對其間一些人來說,時刻還要更久,我被你們的精力所感染,回想你們每一天的體現,你們的性情、心靈和抱負。八年的時刻,其間有些人由獨身,到成婚生子,開端自己人生路上的新旅程。儘管世事困難,但你們一向沒有被打倒,你們讓我驕傲。

  關於你們一切的人,每位搬到生疏城市的安排者,每一名敲門宣揚的志願者,每一名第一次投票的年青人,每個為這種改動儘力的美國人,你們是最棒的支撐者和安排者,我將永久感謝在心,由於是你們改動了國際,是你們的勞績。

  這也是為什麼,我儘管脫離仍堅持達觀的原因地點,由於咱們的作業不只僅是協助到許多人,更是激發了許多美國人,尤其是年青人,信賴你們可以有一番作為。

  這一代美國人忘我、賦有發明性,並浸透愛國精力,你們信賴公正、公正和容納,你們知道不斷堅持改動是美國的標誌,所以不要懼怕,擁抱這些改動,你們會情願承當這項艱巨的民主作業。你們很快就會逾越咱們這些人,我信賴,未來在你們手中。

  我的同胞們,為你們效勞是我的僥倖。我不會中止為你們效勞,今後我將作為一個公民,與你們站在一同。最終,就像八年前相同,我期望你們可以堅持咱們最開端的崇奉,那些來自奴隸和廢奴主義者爭奪對等的崇奉,那些移民和自耕農人群的奮鬥不息的精力,以及那些關於民主自在權力的爭奪,這些也是每一位美國人的崇奉,未來的華章等待着你們去編寫。

  我期望你們可以堅持咱們最開端的崇奉,那些來自奴隸和廢奴主義者的主意,那些移民和自耕農人群的精力,以及那些正義的追隨者的崇奉,這一崇奉是每個美國人的中心崇奉,未來的華章等待着你們去編寫。

  是的,咱們能行。(Yes We Can.)

  是的,咱們做到了。(Yes We Did.)

  是的,咱們能行!(Yes We Can.)

  願上帝保佑你們,願上帝保佑美國!

  英文原文

  It’s good to be home. My fellow Americans, Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well-wishes we’ve received over the past few weeks. But tonight it’s my turn to say thanks. Whether we’ve seen eye-to-eye or rarely agreed at all, my conversations with you, the American people – in living rooms and schools; at farms and on factory floors; at diners and on distant outposts – are what have kept me honest, kept me inspired, and kept me going. Every day, I learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.

  I first came to Chicago when I was in my early twenties, still trying to figure out who I was; still searching for a purpose to my life. It was in neighborhoods not far from here where I began working with church groups in the shadows of closed steel mills. It was on these streets where I witnessed the power of faith, and the quiet dignity of working people in the face of struggle and loss. This is where I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.

  After eight years as your President, I still believe that. And it’s not just my belief. It’s the beating heart of our American idea – our bold experiment in self-government.

  It’s the conviction that we are all created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  It’s the insistence that these rights, while self-evident, have never been self-executing; that We, the People, through the instrument of our democracy, can form a more perfect union.

  This is the great gift our Founders gave us. The freedom to chase our individual dreams through our sweat, toil, and imagination – and the imperative to strive together as well, to achieve a greater good.

  For 240 years, our nation’s call to citizenship has given work and purpose to each new generation. It’s what led patriots to choose republic over tyranny, pioneers to trek west, slaves to brave that makeshift railroad to freedom. It’s what pulled immigrants and refugees across oceans and the Rio Grande, pushed women to reach for the ballot, powered workers to organize. It’s why GIs gave their lives at Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima; Iraq and Afghanistan – and why men and women from Selma to Stonewall were prepared to give theirs as well.

  So that’s what we mean when we say America is exceptional. Not that our nation has been flawless from the start, but that we have shown the capacity to change, and make life better for those who follow.

  Yes, our progress has been uneven. The work of democracy has always been hard, contentious and sometimes bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.

  If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history…if I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, and take out the mastermind of 9/11…if I had told you that we would win marriage equality, and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens – you might have said our sights were set a little too high.

  But that’s what we did. That’s what you did. You were the change. You answered people’s hopes, and because of you, by almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started.

  In ten days, the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power from one freely-elected president to the next. I committed to President-Elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition, just as President Bush did for me. Because it’s up to all of us to make sure our government can help us meet the many challenges we still face.

  We have what we need to do so. After all, we remain the wealthiest, most powerful, and most respected nation on Earth. Our youth and drive, our diversity and openness, our boundless capacity for risk and reinvention mean that the future should be ours.

  But that potential will be realized only if our democracy works. Only if our politics reflects the decency of the our people. Only if all of us, regardless of our party affiliation or particular interest, help restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now.

  That’s what I want to focus on tonight – the state of our democracy.

  Understand, democracy does not require uniformity. Our founders quarreled and compromised, and expected us to do the same. But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity – the idea that for all our outward differences, we are all in this together; that we rise or fall as one.

  There have been moments throughout our history that threatened to rupture that solidarity. The beginning of this century has been one of those times. A shrinking world, growing inequality; demographic change and the specter of terrorism – these forces haven’t just tested our security and prosperity, but our democracy as well. And how we meet these challenges to our democracy will determine our ability to educate our kids, and create good jobs, and protect our homeland.

  In other words, it will determine our future.

  Our democracy won’t work without a sense that everyone has economic opportunity. Today, the economy is growing again; wages, incomes, home values, and retirement accounts are rising again; poverty is falling again. The wealthy are paying a fairer share of taxes even as the stock market shatters records. The unemployment rate is near a ten-year low. The uninsured rate has never, ever been lower. Health care costs are rising at the slowest rate in fifty years. And if anyone can put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we’ve made to our health care system – that covers as many people at less cost – I will publicly support it.

  That, after all, is why we serve – to make people’s lives better, not worse.

  But for all the real progress we’ve made, we know it’s not enough. Our economy doesn’t work as well or grow as fast when a few prosper at the expense of a growing middle class. But stark inequality is also corrosive to our democratic principles. While the top one percent has amassed a bigger share of wealth and income, too many families, in inner cities and rural counties, have been left behind – the laid-off factory worker; the waitress and health care worker who struggle to pay the bills – convinced that the game is fixed against them, that their government only serves the interests of the powerful – a recipe for more cynicism and polarization in our politics.

  There are no quick fixes to this long-term trend. I agree that our trade should be fair and not just free. But the next wave of economic dislocation won’t come from overseas. It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes many good, middle-class jobs obsolete.

  And so we must forge a new social compact – to guarantee all our kids the education they need; to give workers the power to unionize for better wages; to update the social safety net to reflect the way we live now and make more reforms to the tax code so corporations and individuals who reap the most from the new economy don’t avoid their obligations to the country that’s made their success possible. We can argue about how to best achieve these goals. But we can’t be complacent about the goals themselves. For if we don’t create opportunity for all people, the disaffection and division that has stalled our progress will only sharpen in years to come.

  There’s a second threat to our democracy – one as old as our nation itself. After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America. Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic. For race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society. I’ve lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were ten, or twenty, or thirty years ago – you can see it not just in statistics, but in the attitudes of young Americans across the political spectrum.

  But we’re not where we need to be. All of us have more work to do. After all, if every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hardworking white middle class and undeserving minorities, then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves. If we decline to invest in the children of immigrants, just because they don’t look like us, we diminish the prospects of our own children – because those brown kids will represent a larger share of America’s workforce. And our economy doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. Last year, incomes rose for all races, all age groups, for men and for women.

  Going forward, we must uphold laws against discrimination – in hiring, in housing, in education and the criminal justice system. That’s what our Constitution and highest ideals require. But laws alone won’t be enough. Hearts must change. If our democracy is to work in this increasingly diverse nation, each one of us must try to heed the advice of one of the great characters in American fiction, Atticus Finch, who said “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

  For blacks and other minorities, it means tying our own struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face – the refugee, the immigrant, the rural poor, the transgender American, and also the middle-aged white man who from the outside may seem like he’s got all the advantages, but who’s seen his world upended by economic, cultural, and technological change.

  For white Americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn’t suddenly vanish in the ‘60s; that when minority groups voice discontent, they’re not just engaging in reverse racism or practicing political correctness; that when they wage peaceful protest, they’re not demanding special treatment, but the equal treatment our Founders promised.

  For native-born Americans, it means reminding ourselves that the stereotypes about immigrants today were said, almost word for word, about the Irish, Italians, and Poles. America wasn’t weakened by the presence of these newcomers; they embraced this nation’s creed, and it was strengthened.

  So regardless of the station we occupy; we have to try harder; to start with the premise that each of our fellow citizens loves this country just as much as we do; that they value hard work and family like we do; that their children are just as curious and hopeful and worthy of love as our own.

  None of this is easy. For too many of us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighborhoods or college campuses or places of worship or our social media feeds, surrounded by people who look like us and share the same political outlook and never challenge our assumptions. The rise of naked partisanship, increasing economic and regional stratification, the splintering of our media into a channel for every taste – all this makes this great sorting seem natural, even inevitable. And increasingly, we become so secure in our bubbles that we accept only information, whether true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that’s out there.

  This trend represents a third threat to our democracy. Politics is a battle of ideas; in the course of a healthy debate, we’ll prioritize different goals, and the different means of reaching them. But without some common baseline of facts; without a willingness to admit new information, and concede that your opponent is making a fair point, and that science and reason matter, we’ll keep talking past each other, making common ground and compromise impossible.

  Isn’t that part of what makes politics so dispiriting? How can elected officials rage about deficits when we propose to spend money on preschool for kids, but not when we’re cutting taxes for corporations? How do we excuse ethical lapses in our own party, but pounce when the other party does the same thing? It’s not just dishonest, this selective sorting of the facts; it’s self-defeating. Because as my mother used to tell me, reality has a way of catching up with you.

  Take the challenge of climate change. In just eight years, we’ve halved our dependence on foreign oil, doubled our renewable energy, and led the world to an agreement that has the promise to save this planet. But without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change; they’ll be busy dealing with its effects: environmental disasters, economic disruptions, and waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary.

  Now, we can and should argue about the best approach to the problem. But to simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations; it betrays the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem-solving that guided our Founders.

  It’s that spirit, born of the Enlightenment, that made us an economic powerhouse – the spirit that took flight at Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral; the spirit that that cures disease and put a computer in every pocket.

  It’s that spirit – a faith in reason, and enterprise, and the primacy of right over might, that allowed us to resist the lure of fascism and tyranny during the Great Depression, and build a post-World War II order with other democracies, an order based not just on military power or national affiliations but on principles – the rule of law, human rights, freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, and an independent press.

  That order is now being challenged – first by violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam; more recently by autocrats in foreign capitals who see free markets, open democracies, and civil society itself as a threat to their power. The peril each poses to our democracy is more far-reaching than a car bomb or a missile. It represents the fear of change; the fear of people who look or speak or pray differently; a contempt for the rule of law that holds leaders accountable; an intolerance of dissent and free thought; a belief that the sword or the gun or the bomb or propaganda machine is the ultimate arbiter of what’s true and what’s right.

  Because of the extraordinary courage of our men and women in uniform, and the intelligence officers, law enforcement, and diplomats who support them, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland these past eight years; and although Boston and Orlando remind us of how dangerous radicalization can be, our law enforcement agencies are more effective and vigilant than ever. We’ve taken out tens of thousands of terrorists – including Osama bin Laden. The global coalition we’re leading against ISIL has taken out their leaders, and taken away about half their territory. ISIL will be destroyed, and no one who threatens America will ever be safe. To all who serve, it has been the honor of my lifetime to be your Commander-in-Chief.

  But protecting our way of life requires more than our military. Democracy can buckle when we give in to fear. So just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are. That’s why, for the past eight years, I’ve worked to put the fight against terrorism on a firm legal footing. That’s why we’ve ended torture, worked to close Gitmo, and reform our laws governing surveillance to protect privacy and civil liberties. That’s why I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans. That’s why we cannot withdraw from global fights – to expand democracy, and human rights, women’s rights, and LGBT rights – no matter how imperfect our efforts, no matter how expedient ignoring such values may seem. For the fight against extremism and intolerance and sectarianism are of a piece with the fight against authoritarianism and nationalist aggression. If the scope of freedom and respect for the rule of law shrinks around the world, the likelihood of war within and between nations increases, and our own freedoms will eventually be threatened.

  So let’s be vigilant, but not afraid. ISIL will try to kill innocent people. But they cannot defeat America unless we betray our Constitution and our principles in the fight. Rivals like Russia or China cannot match our influence around the world – unless we give up what we stand for, and turn ourselves into just another big country that bullies smaller neighbors.

  Which brings me to my final point – our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted. All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions. When voting rates are some of the lowest among advanced democracies, we should make it easier, not harder, to vote. When trust in our institutions is low, we should reduce the corrosive influence of money in our politics, and insist on the principles of transparency and ethics in public service. When Congress is dysfunctional, we should draw our districts to encourage politicians to cater to common sense and not rigid extremes.

  And all of this depends on our participation; on each of us accepting the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power swings.

  Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it’s really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power – with our participation, and the choices we make. Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms. Whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law. America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.

  In his own farewell address, George Washington wrote that self-government is the underpinning of our safety, prosperity, and liberty, but “from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken…to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth;” that we should preserve it with “jealous anxiety;” that we should reject “the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties” that make us one.

  We weaken those ties when we allow our political dialogue to become so corrosive that people of good character are turned off from public service; so coarse with rancor that Americans with whom we disagree are not just misguided, but somehow malevolent. We weaken those ties when we define some of us as more American than others; when we write off the whole system as inevitably corrupt, and blame the leaders we elect without examining our own role in electing them.

  It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title: Citizen.

  Ultimately, that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life. If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere. Sometimes you’ll win. Sometimes you’ll lose. Presuming a reservoir of goodness in others can be a risk, and there will be times when the process disappoints you. But for those of us fortunate enough to have been a part of this work, to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire. And more often than not, your faith in America – and in Americans – will be confirmed.

  Mine sure has been. Over the course of these eight years, I’ve seen the hopeful faces of young graduates and our newest military officers. I’ve mourned with grieving families searching for answers, and found grace in Charleston church. I’ve seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch, and our wounded warriors walk again. I’ve seen our doctors and volunteers rebuild after earthquakes and stop pandemics in their tracks. I’ve seen the youngest of children remind us of our obligations to care for refugees, to work in peace, and above all to look out for each other.

  That faith I placed all those years ago, not far from here, in the power of ordinary Americans to bring about change – that faith has been rewarded in ways I couldn’t possibly have imagined. I hope yours has, too. Some of you here tonight or watching at home were there with us in 2004, in 2008, in 2012 – and maybe you still can’t believe we pulled this whole thing off.

  You’re not the only ones. Michelle – for the past twenty-five years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend. You took on a role you didn’t ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humor. You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You’ve made me proud. You’ve made the country proud.

  Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.

  To Joe Biden, the scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware’s favorite son: you were the first choice I made as a nominee, and the best. Not just because you have been a great Vice President, but because in the bargain, I gained a brother. We love you and Jill like family, and your friendship has been one of the great joys of our life.

  To my remarkable staff: For eight years – and for some of you, a whole lot more – I’ve drawn from your energy, and tried to reflect back what you displayed every day: heart, and character, and idealism. I’ve watched you grow up, get married, have kids, and start incredible new journeys of your own. Even when times got tough and frustrating, you never let Washington get the better of you. The only thing that makes me prouder than all the good we’ve done is the thought of all the remarkable things you’ll achieve from here.

  And to all of you out there – every organizer who moved to an unfamiliar town and kind family who welcomed them in, every volunteer who knocked on doors, every young person who cast a ballot for the first time, every American who lived and breathed the hard work of change – you are the best supporters and organizers anyone could hope for, and I will forever be grateful. Because yes, you changed the world.

  That’s why I leave this stage tonight even more optimistic about this country than I was when we started. Because I know our work has not only helped so many Americans; it has inspired so many Americans – especially so many young people out there – to believe you can make a difference; to hitch your wagon to something bigger than yourselves. This generation coming up – unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic – I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, just, inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, something not to fear but to embrace, and you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result that the future is in good hands.

  My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my days that remain. For now, whether you’re young or young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your President – the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago.

  I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours.

  I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written:

  Yes We Can.

  Yes We Did.

  Yes We Can.

  Thank you. God bless you. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.

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