[roar of applause]
Thank you. Thank you very much.
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, Distinguished Guests & Fellow Americans,
I woke up this morning with the most powerful moral clarity that perhaps a human being can posses. I woke up this morning with an understanding of our human condition that demands me to say what it is I am going to say tonight. I won’t be speaking about our trials as a country or our need for bipartisan cooperation. I won’t be touting our countries accomplishments in a thinly veiled attempt to outline my successes. I won’t be politicking, policy making or performing tonight. I am only here to speak with one group of people: My fellow Americans.
People of this country, your government has failed you. This is not a recent failure. My administration, as well as those before me, are not to blame for the problems we face. We are merely the source for perpetuating the circumstances that keep us in them. We have been faced with these problems for many decades now and although our country is always faced with challenges and difficulties, it is how we choose to meet those challenges as a people that determines our success.
The current problems we face, are outside the office of the President to fix. They are outside the congressional and judicial branches ability to solve. There is no one in this government who can change our nation’s circumstances but you; the American Citizen.
[light, sporadic applause]
From here on out, I will commit myself to doing what this office was meant to do; to serve and lead the American people. Instead of working towards partisan goals, voting along party lines, lobbing for corporate interests, working towards re-election or appealing to the approval of those within the government, I will, from here forth, focus on you the people of this country. You are my employer and whom I am elected to serve.
[light, confused applause]
The problem is simple. We here in the government have been focusing on the wrong point of power to steer this country. We have been focusing on a very small minority to determine our direction as a nation; ourselves as government officials. We have been caught up in a false idea that we determine our countries course and have been gradually reinforcing the idea that you are merely a spectator. Certainly, some of you congregate in protest and work to move this nation in an equally partisan direction as we do in our separate parties. Unfortunately, that is as powerless as the methods of leadership we have been perpetuating here in Washington.
It is not our differences that make us strong. It is our collective interests and values that do so. Make no mistake, we are one people in a common goal for all our wellbeing. This is not achieved by focusing on our divisive self-interests. It is accomplish by focusing on our collective values, our unified purpose and our united vision.
[light applause…trying to get back into it]
We all want to feed our families. We all want to prosper in our circumstances. We all want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as a attainable possibility. Therefore, we all must collectively move forward in a direction to get us all there.
[two people applauded in the back]
Over the course of my remaining months in office, I will work diligently to guide you in steering this country out of this dark and difficult time; and make no mistake, it is a dark and difficult time for this country. We will accomplish this together by focusing on the steps that, as a collective of individuals, make us indivisible. By being indivisible we will begin to steer our country in a better direction.
The 3 initiatives that I am about to lay out may seem trivial to you. They may seem inconsequential to our greater problems and perhaps, on their own, they are. However, it is the outcome they can produce to change our country that makes all the difference. Once we as a nation, a collective, learn to adjust our focus from the problems to the solutions, we will be a new kind of global power. A power of true peace and prosperity for mankind. We will be what our founding fathers intended this country to be.
I am going to ask you to trust me. Now, that’s not something you are used to hearing from your President; is it? If we are going to get through this, then we are going to have to start looking at our daily lives differently and begin to act upon new directions; including trusting each other.
The first initiative is about allowing each of you the means and focus to take back your control over your daily lives. As a powerful symbol of this, I am going to ask you to do something that hasn’t been done in this country in over 70 years. I have carved out a small amount of money from the defense budget through the Executive Defense Initiative to fund a program to get every American growing his and her own food. We are only a few months away from the planting season and I am asking each and every one of you to build a Victory Garden.
I am encouraging business and land owners, city officials and community leaders to rally behind this initiative. Open up spaces for people to plant Victory Gardens in empty lots, unused fields, roof tops and in back yards everywhere. I am not going to authorize a tax break or money to encourage you toward this purpose. I am simply asking each of you to come together behind this idea and work to achieve it.
I am authorizing money to make organic seed, soil and fertilizer initiatives in communities everywhere a reality. I have created a small department that reports directly to me to oversee this program and create online classes and materials to teach people how to get started and have the most success possible.
Why would I make this my first initiative in this plan you might ask. It’s simple. If a people have lost their ability to control their own destinies, either voluntarily or through force, giving them a collective vision and goal that brings them together is the only way to gain that control back as a people. I know no better way to gain control over each of our individual lives than feeding your families. As an example, the west lawn will be converted into a victory garden that myself, the first lady and our children will maintain .
The second initiative is to understand our collective power as a people. I am encouraging you to all congregate together regularly. It doesn’t matter how or for what reason but I am asking you to take one day a week and make it a day of congregation. You may congregate in a church, a community center, someone’s home or just outside. I am asking you to come together in groups of 12 or more and talk to each other.
It will be difficult for you at first and it might feel a little uncomfortable but it is so important to understand that we are not on our own in this world. This initiative can not be achieved through the comfort and security of our televisions or internet connections. Therefore, I would ask you to consider, during this time of weekly congregation, to keep all media and forms of outside influence to a strict minimum.
The goal is to come together, to talk about your lives and to find connection. My personal experience is that smaller groups work quicker and more efficiently to achieve this goal. However, I leave your method of congregation and the subject matters you discuss to you. Just remember, coming together in positive attitude and open mindedness will produce abundant results. Anything opposite of that, will simple keep you imprisoned in your old routines and achieve little towards our greater good.
The final initiative is observance. I want you to observe how the next 12 months unfold. Be observant of the engines of our culture that have perpetuated a state of division among us. Be observant of yourselves and the things inside you that perpetuate this division. Be observant of our world and our neighbors and how we respond to them and vise versa. Act out of this observance to make a better home, neighborhood, community and country for ourselves.
I have every confidence that these three initiatives will get us moving forward as a country. You, the collective people of the United States of America will take the initiative from here. The power has always, truly, been with you. It’s time for all of us to remember this.
Thank you and good night.
[crickets chirping in the distance]