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President Obama re-elected

President Obama re-elected

President Obama spoke to an enthusiastic crowd in Chicago after the long election night. Some highlights from the reuters transcript:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people….

…elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today….

…whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead….

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth. The belief that our destiny is shared, that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great….

And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future.

I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.

America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth. Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.

Immediate reactions from some familiar Cafe names on Twitter:

Paul B. Raushenbush ?(Senior Religion Editor, HuffingtonPost) @raushenbush

Great definition of Hope – stubborn feeling inside us that believes that something betting awaits

Diana Butler Bass ?@dianabutlerbass

Love and charity. It’s a sermon!

An acceptance speech about COMMUNITY, about belonging to one another, about belonging responsibly to the world.

He’s talking about faith, hope, and love in a meaningful inclusive way.

Niraj Warikoo ?(Religion Reporter for Detroit Free Press) @nwarikoo

Pledging to work across partisan lines, Obama says: “We’ve got more work to do.”

“I’ve never been more hopeful about America.”

Susan Russell ?@revsusanrussell

I’m talking about hope — not blind optimism. Hope – the stubborn feeling inside us that believes that something better awaits @BarackObama

MeredithGould ?@MeredithGould

The best is yet to come IF we all work for the greater good

Rev. Bosco Peters ?@Liturgy

Crowd struggling with Obama’s graciousness #election2012

Ed Bacon ?@RevEdBacon

The role of citizen does not end with a vote. It’s about self governance. It’s about work

(I’ll throw myself in there…)

Kurt C. Wiesner ?@keepercaines34

“Democracy is noisy and messy and complicated” I think I’ve used that argument about a certain church…

(And perhaps a good way to end…)

Rachel Held Evans ?@rachelheldevans

Dang. One of Obama’s best speeches. Too bad it’s 2 a.m.!

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www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawllr4vbR4IJI

I’m not interested in a lot of “nyah-nyah-nyah, you did it first, blah blah” Chris. You asked, I told you.

I don’t know what they’ll retrain for. Maybe there are just too damn many people. Maybe the country’s doomed. Maybe people who claim that people ought to take responsibility for their future ought to do it themselves.

I really don’t care anymore. Until America – left and right – grows the hell up and starts caring as much about one another as about their own point scoring and bank accounts, there is no hope. That much I am sure of, like it or not.

– Mark Brunson

Chris H.

Bill, the focus on Sandy’s port and dock damage causing the gas shortages was what brought the imports to mind. Before Sandy gas was cheaper there than here and since America imports huge amounts, it makes sense that would be on the coasts.

Wind farms take a fraction of the workers of traditional energy and we have lots of idle turbines because the environmentalists blocked the lines for them. When modern tech allows 10 people to do what needed hundreds, what exactly do you train the hundreds for? Right now the answer is just to put them all on welfare or unemployment.

If it’s only the “culture war” that makes people vote Repub. what do Dems vote for? Not their culture? Were the rural voters in GA voting FOR Democratic policies or just AGAINST CEO paychecks and low taxes. The Dem. senator here won by pointing out every time he voted against Obama. The other Dem. candidate towing the party line lost badly. So people voting Dem. here weren’t all really FOR the party, but isn’t it all “culture” on both sides?

Chris Harwood

www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawllr4vbR4IJI

Chris,

The energy problem is – to my mind – the problem. We can’t thrust people out of jobs, but we can’t keep on with a rapidly-decreasing non-renewable source. This is part of my emphasis on education – re-training to work in renewable energy fields would be necessary. Engineers, technicians and plain ol’ muscle is still needed for turbines, solar collectors, etc.

I like your ideas of increasing EPA standards and requiring “made in USA.” Raising taxes would depend upon whom they are being raised. I’m with most Republican rank-and-file that middle-and-lower-middle class pay enough, already. Small businesses are not the problem – they are community employers – but big business, multinationals, corporations. I’m not against coroporations, as they provide a better quality of life – who could afford, for instance, a new tv if only local businesses existed? – and understand that corporations depend on investors, but we must be realistic; corporate profits depend on a larger society, depend on the workers, and, frankly, the CEO’s and top brass are the problem. I don’t think that investors are making unreasonable returns, but billions to the Koch Brothers, personally(to use a current icon of greed)?

I also am a big fan of the idea of requiring banking “Made in the USA.” Offshore accounts, Swiss banks – why isn’t that illegal? If you’re sending your money overseas, you need to go with it. Simplistic, perhaps, but I’ve seen no argument outside personal greed to support it.

Finally, as a side note, I was amused at the reversal here in Georgia, in which the same urban/rural distrust exists, but rural areas tend to see Republican big business in Atlanta as sucking up all resources. It is only the culture war that gives Republicans any real rural support, honestly.

Jim Naughton

For what it is worth, I’ve been in the room when Integrity and other pro-LGBt organizations in the church were deciding what they needed to compromise on. That bishops get to decide whether their dioceses will permit same-sex blessings is the result of such a compromise. Collective bargaining is by its nature a compromise. This may not be to the larger point, but these organizations do compromise.

billydinpvd

But Chris, Integrity and labor unions are organizations with a very narrow focus of interest. Political parties, one would hope, have broader ranges of interest, even if their demographics are very tight. If the GOP isn’t aware of the difference between a single issue interest group and a party, maybe this is a teachable moment.

I honestly had not heard of the problems with energy production you mention. I tried to find out where the fuel for the 70% or so of the power I use which isn’t from nuclear plants, but I could only find that most of it comes from gas – but not where it’s from. I wonder where to go for that information. The only pipeline to which there has been opposition to that I’m aware of is the one from the Canadian tar sands.

Bill Dilworth

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