Failure at some point in everyone's life is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable. As a child I stuttered, and she lovingly told me it was because I was so bright I couldn't get the thoughts out quickly enough. When I was not as well dressed as others, she told me how handsome she thought I was. When I got knocked down by guys bigger than me, she sent me back out and demanded that I bloody their nose so I could walk down that street the next day.
My mother's creed is the American creed: No one is better than you. You are everyone's equal, and everyone is equal to you.
Another year and no raise?
Did you hear the company may be cutting our health care?
Now, we owe more on the house than it's worth. How are we going to send the kids to college?
How are we gonna be able to retire?
That's the America that George Bush has left us, and that's the future John McCain will give us. These are not isolated discussions among families down on their luck. These are common stories among middle-class people who worked hard and played by the rules on the promise that their tomorrows would be better than their yesterdays.
. He chose to go to Chicago. The South Side. There he met men and women who had lost their jobs. Their neighborhood was devastated when the local steel plant closed. Their dreams deferred. Their dignity shattered. Their self-esteem gone. [dream deferred is from the line in the play, "A dream deferred dries up like a Raisin in the Sun"]
John McCain is my friend. We've known each other for three decades. We've traveled the world together. It's a friendship that goes beyond politics. And the personal courage and heroism John demonstrated still amaze me.
But I profoundly disagree with the direction that John wants to take the country. For example, John thinks that during the Bush years "we've made great progress economically." I think it's been abysmal.
And in the Senate, John sided with President Bush 95 percent of the time. Give me a break. When John McCain proposes $200 billion in new tax breaks for corporate America, $1 billion alone for just eight of the largest companies, but no relief for 100 million American families, that's not change; that's more of the same.
Even today, as oil companies post the biggest profits in history -- a half trillion dollars in the last five years -- he wants to give them another $4 billion in tax breaks. But he voted time and again against incentives for renewable energy: solar, wind, biofuels. That's not change; that's more of the same.
Millions of jobs have left our shores, yet John continues to support tax breaks for corporations that send them there. That's not change; that's more of the same.
He voted 19 times against raising the minimum wage. For people who are struggling just to get to the next day, that's not change; that's more of the same.
And when he says he will continue to spend $10 billion a month in Iraq when Iraq is sitting on a surplus of nearly $80 billion, that's not change; that's more of the same.
Should we trust John McCain's judgment when he said only three years ago, "Afghanistan we don't read about it anymore because it's succeeded? Or should we trust Barack Obama, who more than a year ago called for sending two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan?
The fact is, al-Qaida and the Taliban -- the people who actually attacked us on 9/11 -- have regrouped in those mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan and are plotting new attacks. And the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff echoed Baracks call for more troops.
John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.
Should we trust John McCain's judgment when he rejected talking with Iran and then asked: What is there to talk about? Or Barack Obama, who said we must talk and make it clear to Iran that its conduct must change.
Now, after seven years of denial, even the Bush administration recognizes that we should talk to Iran, because that's the best way to advance our security.
Again, John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.
Should we trust John McCain's judgment when he says there can be no timelines to draw down our troops from Iraq that we must stay indefinitely? Or should we listen to Barack Obama, who says shift responsibility to the Iraqis and set a time to bring our combat troops home?
Now, after six long years, the Bush administration and the Iraqi government are on the verge of setting a date to bring our troops home.
John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.
Millions of Americans have been knocked down. And this is the time as Americans, together, we get back up. Our people are too good, our debt to our parents and grandparents too great, our obligation to our children is too sacred.