I miss this man more and more each day. This brief snippet from his remarks is good, but the whole thing is worth reading. Maybe he’s got more of a bully pulpit because he’s an ex-president, and immune from the politicking that he suffered so much from before… but boy, he sure knows how to use a bully pulpit.
He’s talking about the new Clinton Presidential Library, here.
What it is to me is the symbol of not only what I tried to do, but what I want to do with the rest of my life: building bridges from yesterday to tomorrow, building bridges across racial and religious and ethnic and income and political divides, building bridges.
I believe our mission in this new century is clear. For good or ill, we live in an interdependent world. We can’t escape each other.
And while we have to fight our enemies, we can’t possibly kill, jail or occupy all of them.
Therefore, we have to spend our lives trying to build a global community and an American community, of shared responsibilities, shared values, shared benefits.
What are those values? And I want to say this; this is important. I don’t want to be too political here, but it bothers me when America gets as divided as it was.
I once said to a friend of mine about three days before the election – and I heard all these terrible things. I said, “You know, am I the only person in the entire United States of America who likes both George Bush and John Kerry, who believes they’re both good people, who believe they both love our country and they just see the world differently?”
What should our shared values be? Everybody counts. Everybody deserves a chance. Everybody has got a responsibility to fulfill.
We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter but our common humanity matters more.