We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. Indeed, it suggests the opposite: we must face these tensions squarely. There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect.
The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely - just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed. For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn't.
I thought of the families I've met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists. Hope in the face of difficulty. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.
It got hijacked. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well. She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one's own faith by the rejection of another's.
Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didn't need to feel shame about...memories that all people might study and cherish - and with which we could start to rebuild." When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed. I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow. Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons.
Thank you. And may God's peace be upon you.