Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Yet again a diary over at Daily Kos
has inspired in me a need to commit a thought process to paper. In his excellent diary entitled I love Barack Obama
, dKos diarist ToqueDeville
excerpts the following passage from Barack Obama's keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention:
If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. "I am my brother's keeper" is the simplest, cleanest and most beautiful phrase to sum up my political and personal philosophy in this life and on this earth. It is also an excellent articulation of the platform Democrats should be echoing again and again and again:
If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription drugs, and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent.
If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.
It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper -- that makes this country work.
- I am my brother's keeper. I will not stand idly by while he suffers for lack of medical care.
- I am my brother's keeper. I want him to succeed and have an opportunity to work hard and be rewarded for that work.
- I am my brother's keeper. I love him as I love my own family and I want us to be safe from all threats, man-made and natural.
- I am my brother's keeper. I will not leave him to suffer because help does not arrive.
- I am my brother's keeper. I don't want to see him have to choose between eating dinner and filling up his car to get to work.
- I am my brother's keeper. I don't want to see his children or mine saddled with the debt and bad decisions made in a time that was not theirs.
- I am my brother's keeper. I want his children and mine to learn and be educated and have every chance at success and happiness in life.
- I am my brother's keeper. I want his children and mine to have clean air to breath and safe food to eat and clean water to drink.
It's a great frame, I think. It speaks to compassion, responsibility and accountability for everyone - government, individuals, other leaders. You are my keeper and I am yours. The things I want for you and your family are the same things I want for myself and my family. We are responsible to each other.
Each of those bullet points represents a positive articulation of policy which should be broadly but clearly spelled out. I think it's a fabulous starting point even though my language needs to be refined.
posted by RenaRF at 11:06 AM