I couldn’t summarize this #ObamaFarewell quote for Twitter.
We have to preserve this truth with jealous anxiety, that we should reject the first dawning of any attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties that make us one. America, we weaken those ties when we allow our political dialogue to become so corrosive that people of good character hesitate to enter public service…we weaken those ties when we define some as more American than others, when we write off the whole system as inevitably corrupt, and when we sit back and blame the leaders we elect without examining our 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…because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud type. The most important office in democracy. Citizen. Citizen. So you see, that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when you’re own narrow interests are at stake, but every day….
If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try talking with one of them in real life. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for elected office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Stay at it. Sometimes you’ll win, sometimes you’ll lose.
Presuming a reservoir of goodness in other people, that can be a risk. There will be times when the process will disappoint 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, it can inspire…. My faith in America has been confirmed.”