Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Admiral Joe Sestak on "American Exceptionalism"
Our party is best when it fights for what's best in America's character: an alliance of rugged individualism and common enterprise; people striving for their own individual achievement, but always with a sense of being part of a greater effort. This alliance gave rise to our American Exceptionalism: the middle class, a uniquely American concept. It was born out of the basic idea that everyone should contribute to their fullest and should be given the tools and opportunity to do so. It's why prosperity has always been built up by hardworking people in this country.
We did it by creating over the centuries a superior national environment for individual opportunity from our collective resources, from waterways to airways and infrastructure to education. When you achieved your Dream in America, you did it with us... not apart from us. As the middle class expanded and became the engine of our economy, it became taken for granted that shared opportunity is shared prosperity, and common wealth is common strength.
However, because of the broad challenges we face today, there are those who would now deny this American experience of the past centuries. And rather than remove barriers to continuing our American Exceptionalism, they would prevent the actions needed to do so. But when working families are increasingly unable to afford a college degree for their children, we erode the pillars of our Exceptionalism by limiting the opportunities of those that are not wealthy. And as the middle class shrinks, we become less prosperous as fewer of us can climb the ladders of opportunity... simply because there are fewer ladders with fewer rungs. If you believe in American Exceptionalism, then you believe in providing more ladders with more rungs.
This party isn't perfect, and when the nation's political institutions seem to be incapable of positive change, there is deep unease and justified outrage. But we either re-align government policy to the best of our character...or leave it to the will of the legal tender. Which is why those who care about America must now tie their souls to the fight for its true character.
Last week, I became a member of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party's Second Star Society, its sustaining donor program that provides resources to this fight. I would ask you to join me as a member in this effort. It's not about the Republican Party; it's about us Americans... acting exceptionally to reinforce education; to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure; to chart the payment of our debt; to restore opportunity while rescuing the poor -- reversing the decline of the middle class that will ultimately sustain our Republic.
But we cannot do all this unless those who believe in America's true character win elections. While there are benefits that accrue to Second Star Society members (click here), the greatest is being an integral part of the fight for the people of Pennsylvania, for America's character. So please join us!
Thank you, and have the best of Holiday Seasons! You, and all Americans, deserve it!
Admiral Joe Sestak