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Truly Right View » Economic/Financial Collapse, Government Corruption, Government Waste, Main Stream Media Bias, Political Campaigning, Politics, Problems of Big Government, Restoring America » Obama: We Have To Keep “Our Leaders” From “Inflicting Real Human Suffering On Their Constituents”

Obama: We Have To Keep “Our Leaders” From “Inflicting Real Human Suffering On Their Constituents”

Former President Barack Obama delivered a speech at an event held by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday in New York City. Without naming him, Obama said the threat of President Trump “inflicting real human suffering” requires people like him to “mobilize every couple months” to prevent it.

FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: For the first time, more than 90% of Americans know the security of health insurance. Paying more for insurance, or being denied insurance because of a preexisting condition or because you are a woman – that’s not a thing anymore. We got rid of that. And people are alive today because of it, and that’s progress. Now, the legislation that we passed was full of things that still need to be fixed. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better.

So when I see those people trying to undo that hard-won progress, for the 50th or 60th time, with bills that would raise costs or reduce coverage, or roll back protections for older Americans or people with pre-existing conditions – the cancer survivor, the expecting mom, or the child with autism, or asthma, for whom coverage once again would be almost unattainable… it is aggravating.

And all of this being done without any demonstrable economic, or actuarial, or plain common sense rationale — it frustrates. And it’s certainly frustrating to have to mobilize every couple months to keep our leaders from inflicting real human suffering on our constituents. But… typically that’s how progress is won. And how progress is maintained, on every issue, we have to stand up for each other, recognize that progress is never inevitable, that it often can be fragile, it’s in need of constant renewal, and our individual progress and our collective progress depends on our willingness to roll up our sleeves and work, and not be afraid to work.

In conclusion, each of us can make a difference, and I know I’m preaching to the choir here because otherwise you wouldn’t be a goalkeeper. But many of you are young and maybe have only seen forward momentum and may not have seen backward momentum yet. Many of you may confront hurdles and roadblocks and disappointments in the future. And when that happens, that’s the test. The test is not how you feel when things are going good or when you are at a cool conference in New York with Bill and Melinda Gates, and Will I Am. The test is when you’re in the field and you’re on the ground and you are doing work and people are resisting or misunderstanding or purposely undermining efforts that you know can make a difference, and how you respond to that. And what I’m suggesting here today is that your response has to be to reject cynicism and reject pessimism and push forward with a certain infectious and relentless optimism. Not blind optimism. Not one that ignores the scale and the scope of our challenges – but that hard-earned optimism that’s rooted in the stories of very real progress that have occurred throughout human history. And the recognition that our successes – even though sometimes they’re small, or incomplete – accumulate, they build, and they create a trajectory that’s better and will mean some girl, somewhere getting an education that otherwise she wouldn’t have had. That’ll mean some farmer being able to cultivate a crop to feed his family and, if enough of them do it, feed a nation. That’s what you’re fighting for at every moment.

Because each new generation stands on the successes of the previous generation. It’s like a relay race that we’re running. Each generation reaches up, standing on that previous generation and bends that arc of history in the direction of more freedom, and more opportunity, and more justice. That’s why I spent so much when I was president convening young leaders on every continent that I visited. That’s why in my post-presidency my emphasis is going to be on training the next generation of leaders to take their own crack at changing the world through the Obama Foundation, which will be based in Chicago, but will have projects, programs, and digital networks all across the globe. And I’m hoping I get a chance to work with some of you, because I have great faith in you, just as I know Bill and Melinda have great faith in you. And I’m certain that if you keep pushing forward, then America and the world are going to be just fine. Thank you very much.

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Filed under: Economic/Financial Collapse, Government Corruption, Government Waste, Main Stream Media Bias, Political Campaigning, Politics, Problems of Big Government, Restoring America

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