All across America there are quiet storms taking place. There are lives of quiet desperation. People who need just a little bit of help. Now, Americans are a self-reliant people, we’re an independent people. We don’t like asking somebody else to do what we can do ourselves but you know what we understand is that every once in a while somebody’s going to get knocked down. Every once in a while somebody’s going to go through some hard times. When we least expect it tragedy may strike. And what has always made this country great is the understanding that we rise and fall as one nation, that values and family, community and neighborhood, they have to express themselves in our government. Those are national values. Those are values that we all subscribe to. And so that the spirit that we extend today and in the days to come as we monitor what happens on the Gulf that’s the spirit that we’ve got to carry with us each and every day. That’s the spirit that we need in our own homes and it’s the spirit that we need in the White House. And that’s why I’m running for president of the United States of America.
Because if there’s a poor child out there, that’s my child. If there’s a senior that’s having trouble, that’s my grandparent. If there’s a guy who’s lost his job, that’s my brother. If there’s a woman out there without healthcare, that’s my sister. Those are the values that built this country. Those are the values we are fighting for.
I wondered, reading it, if it came across as dismissive, as telling people on the Gulf Coast, “eh, everybody’s got problems all over.” I don’t know how this sounds elsewhere. I only know how it sounds to me: We are not a country that needs a crash course in coping with the cruelty of the world, where the slings and arrows ever stop coming. Maybe our press is by nature, even by necessity, hit and run, I can’t always say I stuck with every story I ever covered. But to pretend it stops because we aren’t there to see it is to pretend to a callousness I hope you never let me get away with. Things don’t start to exist when I look at them, and I’m not due some kind of medal for noticing what’s been in front of my face the whole time.
Am I making sense here? It’s all one thing: It’s you today, it’s me tomorrow, and it’s not that everybody’s got problems so fuck yours, it’s that everybody’s got problems so please, please, let me help you. It’s past time we had a leader who talked about all of it, all of it being the same thing, all of it being one life, and we either care for each other or we don’t. That’s the choice. It’s the only choice that exists. It’s the only one that ever has.