As we look toward Barack Obama’s final days as President of the United States, I keep returning again and again to his remarkable speech from Tuesday night.
Obama’s final speech as president reminded me why I am proud to be an American. It inspired me to dig deep and realize how much we all have left to give. It made me get up and recommit to all of the work we have left to do.
Our “potential will only be realized if our democracy works,” Obama said. “Only if our politics better reflects the decency of our people. Only if all of us, regardless of party affiliation or particular interests help restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now.”
This is what I want to help do right here in Wisconsin. And really, when we take a minute, shake off our pessimism, and look toward our ultimate goals, our sense of common purpose is crystal clear.
We must unite to make Wisconsin a stronger, better, more prosperous state – that’s a common purpose that I think speaks to all of us. We must unite our rural and urban communities, making sure no one is left behind. We must fight for the middle class, for equal access to health care, for fair pay, for the basic tenets of democracy.
We must remember that one loss – as bad of a loss as 2016 was – is not the end of the story. It is not the end of our state or the end of our country. No, our story doesn’t end until every Wisconsinite is thriving, fully taken care of, blossoming in their communities.
President Obama’s message on Tuesday was about how all of us have the ability to make change. It was about leadership and getting involved in our beautiful but frustrating democracy. It was about each and every one of us, a challenge and a rallying cry: We must do better – and we can. Yes, we can.