I watched Barack Obama's full speech at University of Illinois and was inspired. He is speaking reasonable language and talks about how progression is not perfection and finding common ground isn't mythical. Obama promotes a pursuit of better. If we pursue a politics that ensures better for all and not some, then we are facing progression. I knew I was going to post his speech, but then I read the youtube titles.
Barack Obama was accepting an award. An "ethics in government" award. Ethics. The conviction to morals. Morals. Standards of belief. In short, doing what one thinks is right. We hold different morals. We hold different ideals about right and wrong. We hold to a flowing code of ethics that will ebb and flow with the influx of experience. We are at a crossroads of ethical decisions. As a former journalism teacher, I hold the freedom of press and speech dearly and want it protected. So I was saddened when I went to grab a version of this speech, this speech in which Obama was receiving an award for ethical governing, when former President Obama was talking about the ethical decisions he took while in office was entitled with words like slams, rips, and bashes. Did he criticize what is happening in the White House? Yes. Did he acknowledge his bias as a Democrat? Yes. Did he slam no. Because he was receiving the Paul H. Douglas award honoring his ethics, his adherence to a moral code in which he believes when we all do better, we all do better.
Also, in his hour long speech, Obama encouraged people to learn from history, he shows how what we are facing is not unique, but it is extraordinary. He focuses on the necessity of every vote, regardless of beliefs, because each and every vote is what counts in the experiment of self governance and free democracy. But that was lost in headlines that included words like scathing, rebukes, and diatribe.
We are asked to cut through a lot of noise. Where we grab our videos from, the sources we promote say something to someone everywhere. I did the best I could. I looked for a youtube title that indicated exactly what was happening, and I found it from Time.
It is an hour that is worth your time, no matter what side of politics you resonate with. It is about voting, progress, and finding/standing on common ground.