Now don't get me wrong. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side, I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me. Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. And yet Al Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for the attack, and even now states their determination to kill on a massive scale.
It's that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country - a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old - is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know. That promise is our greatest inheritance.
It's that folks are hungry for change - they're hungry for something new. We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work. Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America's founding.
This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers, and the promise of future generations. It came about as a choice, and not an epiphany. Religious leaders like my friends Rev. Jim Wallis and Rabbi David Saperstein and Nathan Diament are working for justice and fighting for change. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that's when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom. Now Ashley might have made a different choice.
And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. I know there are many - Muslim and non-Muslim - who question whether we can forge this new beginning. The people of the world can live together in peace.
Thank you very much everybody.