The Democrats had long labeled the impeachment debate a distraction from the urgent business of a great nation. But the Republicans argued that the pursuit of justice is the business of a great nation. In winning this point, they caught the falling flag, producing a triumph for the rule of law, a reassertion of the belief that no man is above it, and a rebuke for an arrogance that had grown imperial,
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In a president, character is everything. A president doesn't have to be brilliant... He doesn't have to be clever; you can hire clever... You can hire pragmatic, and you can buy and bring in policy wonks. But you cant buy courage and decency, you cant rent a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him. He needs to have, in that much maligned word, but a good one nonetheless, a vision of the future he wishes to create.. But a vision is worth little if a president doesn't have the character - the courage and heart - to see it through.
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Prayer is the hardest thing. And no one congratulates you for doing it because no one knows you're doing it, and if things turn out well they likely won't thank God in any case. But I have a feeling that the hardest thing is what we all better be doing now, and that it's not only the best answer but the only one.
Everyone over 50 in America feels like a refugee. In the Old America there were a lot of bad parents. There always are, because parenting is hard. Inadequate parents could say, 'Go outside and play in the culture, ' and the culture - relatively innocent, and boring - could be more or less trusted to bring the kids up. Grown ups now know that you can't send the kids out to play in the culture, because the culture will leave them distorted and disturbed.
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We must try again to be alive to what the people of our country really long for in our national life: forgiveness and grace, maturity and wisdom... Our political leaders will know our priorities only if we tell them, again and again, and if those priorities begin to show up in the polls.
Do not be afriad! I can see that Americans are not afraid. They are not afraid of the sun, they are not afraid of the wind, they are not afraid of 'today'. They are, generally speaking, brave, good people. And so I say to you today, always be brave. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid. God is with you. Do not be afraid to search for God-then you will truly be the land of the free, the home of the brave. God Bless America.
What we need most right now, at this moment, is a kind of patriotic grace - a grace that takes the long view, apprehends the moment we're in, comes up with ways of dealing with it, and eschews the politically cheap and manipulative. That admits affection and respect. That encourages them. That acknowledges that the small things that divide us are not worthy of the moment; that agrees that the things that can be done to ease the stresses we feel as a nation should be encouraged, while those that encourage our cohesion as a nation should be supported.
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Great speeches have always had great soundbites. The problem now is that the young technicians who put together speeches are paying attention only to the soundbite, not to the text as a whole, not realizing that all great soundbites happen by accident, which is to say, all great soundbites are yielded up inevitably, as part of the natural expression of the text. They are part of the tapestry, they aren't a little flower somebody sewed on.
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Our patriotic fervor was the result of the old and widespread belief in the idea of American exceptionalism, the idea that America was a new thing in history, different from other countries. Other nations had evolved one way or another, evolved from tribes from a gathering of clans, from inevitabilities of language and tradition and geography. But America was born, and born of ideas: that all men are created equal, that they have been given by God certain rights that can be taken from them by no man, and that those rights combine to create a thing called freedom.
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one way to keep people close to you is by not giving them enough. ... with people who give a lot of themselves, you sometimes lean back - but with people who give little you often lean forward, as if they're a spigot in the desert and you're the empty cup. It is the tropism of deprivation: We lean toward those who do not give.
The thing political figures fear most is a terror event that will ruin their careers. The biggest thing they fear is that a bomb goes off and it can be traced to something they did or didn't do, an action they did or didn't support. They all fear being accused of not doing enough to keep the citizenry safe.
We must try again to be alive to what the people of our country really long for in our national life: forgiveness and grace, maturity and wisdom. ...Our political leaders will know our priorities only if we tell them, again and again, and if those priorities begin to show up in the polls.