Some Facts

1 February 2006

Our President spoke tonight. The sound bites were plentiful, but the statements of fact were compelling. Either we believe these things or we do not:

  • “But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger.”
  • “We will choose to act confidently in pursuing the enemies of freedom – or retreat from our duties in the hope of an easier life.”
  • “No one can deny the success of freedom, but some men rage and fight against it.” Hindsight alone is not wisdom. And second-guessing is not a strategy.
  • “Yet there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure. Hindsight alone is not wisdom. And second-guessing is not a strategy.”
  • “The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions – and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons.”
  • “We must also confront the larger challenge of mandatory spending, or entitlements.”
  • “By 2030, spending for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid alone will be almost 60 percent of the entire Federal budget.”
  • “Our Nation needs orderly and secure borders.”
  • “Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.”
  • “We need to encourage children to take more math and science, and make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations.”
  • “Today, having come far in our own historical journey, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish well?”

Are there problems of national scope and scale that should rank higher than these? If so, we must identify and agree on them. If not, we must get on with the (civil) debates that lead to lasting solutions.

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