President Obama Embraces the Liberal Spirit of Christmas

Dec 13 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, White House

President Obama reminds Americans to have empathy this holiday season

President Obama Ties Christmas in With Liberal Ideology

President Obama spoke at the Christmas in Washington celebration last night at a performance to benefit the Children’s National Medical Center, during which he tied the Christmas holiday to the liberal themes that we are all our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and that Christmas is a time to remember those in need as well as to celebrate.

President Obama spoke movingly about the Christian themes of charity, compassion, and goodwill, tying these tenets of faith to the notion that as Americans we have a responsibility for our neighbors.

Video courtesy of the Whitehouse Blog:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/12/13/remarks-president-christmas-washington

“This season reminds us that more than 2,000 years ago, a child born in a stable brought our world a redeeming gift of peace and salvation. It’s a story with a message that speaks to us to this day — that we are called to love each other as we love ourselves, that we are our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper, and our destinies are linked.

It’s a message that guides my Christian faith and it focuses us as we think about all those whose holidays may be a bit tougher this year. We pray for our troops serving far away from the warmth of family and homespun traditions. We remember those who are out of work, or struggling just to get by. We hold in our hearts all those who’ve fallen on hard times this holiday season.

Because while Christmas is a time to celebrate, a time to sing chorales and exchange gifts, it’s also something more. It’s a time to rediscover the meaning of words like “charity” and “compassion” and “goodwill”; to do our part for our neighbors; to serve God through serving others. So from our family to yours, happy holidays, everybody. Merry Christmas, and God bless you all. And God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.”

Cue the right wing head’s exploding as the President ties the core foundation of Christianity to the liberal notions of compassion, charity and goodwill. I can hear the flag pins popping over at Fox as I type.

As the President struggles with the obstructionism of the Republicans on one hand and the betrayal of his Democratic Senate on the other, his words serve to remind us that at the end of the day, the unemployment benefits he salvaged for those in need this season represent a core value of our democracy – the value of empathy. Indeed, while it may be a nasty business to negotiate the public theft of tax breaks for the rich in order to provide a social safety net for the poor, it is not only our moral mission but also our patriotic duty to act on behalf of the least among us.

It is this spirit of civility and empathy that represents the best of America, it’s what motivated millions to work tirelessly to get President Obama elected, and it is ultimately the place we need to rediscover as a nation. We need to abandon the sports mentality of a win for us a loss for the other team, we need to set aside the tea party selfishness along with our own grievances, and we need to stand up as the mighty Americans we are and take ownership of the tremendous spirit of this land.

We may have been kicked around for years and abused by corporate interests, we may be battered and enraged and feeling helpless as we look around this great country at the state of our infrastructure (e.g., education), but we can overcome this together. We can keep our eye on the eternal rightness of the American cause as we support this President in his goals of long-term paradigm shifting regarding the role of government as a government that cares about the least among us.

The American people support the concept of a social safety net. The American people want those among us who are suffering to be afforded some protection. They want a government that will not do for them, but will protect them from the for profit motive of corporations in a balancing act between capitalism and democracy. The American people want a government that will protect and empower them to be their best.

We can do this if we remember who we are.

We can do this by working for the good of the whole. We do this by softening our hearts to anger and injustice for long enough to look behind us and acknowledge the suffering of others. And instead of turning a cold shoulder as we raise pitchforks to the corporatist rapers of the American dream, let’s take this battle to a place where we can win our democracy back, one step at a time.

It all starts with remembering who we are as a country. Compassion, charity, goodwill and a fighting, can-do spirit. Regardless of your spiritual or religious beliefs, these timeless values inform the foundation of liberalism and of American patriotism. This holiday season, we can embrace the positive, highest aspects of our beliefs and own them proudly.

While there are philosophical differences in the way the left and right approach these problems, no serious person can say this country did not intend to provide a social safety net for its people and yet here we are, the left forced into the street to argue and defend the absurd premise that it’s un-American to not hand all of our hard earned money over to the top 2 percent, as they grift and steal from the people. We’ve gotten so far off course as we’ve been forced further and further off the cliff that we’ve forgotten who we are.

We are the only people out there fighting for the least among us. Let’s not forget that this holiday season. How long I waited to have a President who could and would remind us of the best in ourselves, who would use the holiday season to bring us home to our core values, who shared my beliefs regarding the role of government. And he’s here now. Imperfect, perhaps, but still leading the soft charge forward to a better America.

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