Thursday, 30 June 2016
Overnight, President Obama made a speech to the two Houses of the Canadian Parliament. It's worth watching and listening to. (Justin Trudeau's words are also worth listening to - so, if you have time, don't skip the first 9 minutes of this video). I would particularly draw your attention to the following words in the President's speech, very relevant in this week of turmoil -
"I think we can all agree that our democracies are far from perfect. They can be messy, and they can be slow, and they can leave all sides of a debate unsatisfied. ... But more than any other system of government, democracy allows our most precious rights to find their fullest expression, enabling us, through the hard, painstaking work of citizenship, to continually make our countries better. To solve new challenges. To right past wrongs.
Democracy is not easy. It's hard. Living up to our ideals can be difficult even in the best of times. And it can be harder when the future seems uncertain, or when, in response to legitimate fears and frustrations, there are those who offer a politics of "us" versus "them," a politics that scapegoats others — the immigrant, the refugee, someone who seems different than us. We have to call this mentality what it is — a threat to the values that we profess, the values we seek to defend. "