I listened and heard President Obama’s speech my mind raced to
Uganda because much of what he said has relevance to Uganda’s
development challenges. The relevant sections are presented below for
Uganda and other readers.
economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and
irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure
to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have
been lost, jobs shed, business shuttered. Our health care is too
costly. Our schools fail too many. And each day brings further
evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and
threaten our planet.
remain a young nation, but in the words of the scripture, the time
has come to set aside childish things.
time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit, to choose our better
history, to carry forward that precious gift, the God-given promise
that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue
their full measure of happiness.
our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting
off unpleasant decisions, that time has surely passed. Starting
today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again
the work of remaking America.
everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of our
economy calls for an action, bold and swift, and we will act not only
to create new jobs, but to lay new foundation for growth. We will
build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines
that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science
to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise
health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun
and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.
And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to
meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And this we will
question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too
small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs
at decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.
those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account
– to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the
light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust
between a people and their government.
is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or
ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.
But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the
market can spin out of control; that a nation cannot prosper long
when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has
always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product,
but on the reach of our prosperity – on our ability to extend
opportunity to every willing heart, not out of charity but because it
is the surest route to our common good.
because we have tested the bitter swill of civil war and segregation
and emerged from the dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot
help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the
lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller,
our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play
its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame
their society’s ills on the West, know that your people will judge
you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling
to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent,
know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will
extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make
your farms flourish and let the clean water flow, to nourish starved
bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that
enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to
the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world’s
resources without regard to effect.
the world has changed, we must change with it.
challenges may be new. The instruments with which we must meet them
may be new. But those values upon which our success depends –
honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and
curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These
things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress
throughout our history.