Obama — Farewell Address

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.

Barack Obama — Farewell Address, transcript as published in Los Angeles Times

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3 thoughts on “Obama — Farewell Address

  1. Watched the speech last night. It was a little more generic than I had hoped for, considering what a gifted speaker he is and how much he seems to have a sense of theater (and I mean that in a good way – Presidents should I always understand their role as figurehead). The end of the speech where he said his thanks was fun to watch. He seems to genuinely love Joe Biden and I think that is awesome to see. And I couldn’t help but say out loud, in front of the wife, that Michelle Obama is without a doubt one of the most beautiful First Ladies we have had. And she’s also a rock star. What a role model for women of all ages.

    I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing what they do with the next chapter of their lives.

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