Historical Remarks by President Obama After Winning Challenging Election 2012

By McCormick Place
Chicago, Illinois (GOV NEWS)

THE PRESIDENT: Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. (Applause.)

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression; the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope — the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family, and we rise or fall together, as one nation, and as one people. (Applause.)

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come. (Applause.)

I want to thank every American who participated in this election. (Applause.) Whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time — (applause) — by the way, we have to fix that. (Applause.) Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone — (applause) — whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard, and you made a difference. (Applause.)

I just spoke with Governor Romney, and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. (Applause.) We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply, and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service, and that is a legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. (Applause.)

In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward. (Applause.)

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior — (applause) — the best Vice President anybody could ever hope for — Joe Biden. (Applause.)

And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. (Applause.) Let me say this publicly — Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s First Lady. (Applause.) Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes, you’re growing up to become two strong, smart, beautiful young women, just like your mom. (Applause.) And I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now, one dog is probably enough. (Laughter.)

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics — (applause) — the best. The best ever. (Applause.) Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together, and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful President. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. (Applause.) You lifted me up the whole way. And I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you put in. (Applause.)

I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos, or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies, and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late at a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.

You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s worked his way through college, and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. (Applause.) You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. (Applause.) You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job, or a roof over their head when they come home. (Applause.)

That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small; it’s big. It’s important.

Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight — and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty, and we can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today. (Applause.)

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers — (applause) — a country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt; that isn’t weakened by inequality; that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. (Applause.)

We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world; a nation that is defended by the strongest military on Earth and the best troops this world has ever known — (applause) — but also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.

We believe in a generous America; in a compassionate America; in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. (Applause.) To the young boy on the South Side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. (Applause.) To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a President. That’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go. Forward. (Applause.) That’s where we need to go.

Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock, or solve all our problems, or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus, and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.

Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. (Applause.) And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned from you. And you’ve made me a better President. With your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do, and the future that lies ahead. (Applause.)

Tonight, you voted for action, not politics as usual. (Applause.) You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together: reducing our deficit; reforming our tax code; fixing our immigration system; freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do. (Applause.)

But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America has never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. (Applause.) That’s the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, culture are the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth — the belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another, and to future generations; that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for comes with responsibilities as well as rights, and among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great. (Applause.)

I am hopeful tonight because I have seen this spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job.

I’ve seen it in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them, watching their back. (Applause.)

I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. (Applause.)

And I saw it just the other day in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his eight-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything, had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care. (Applause.) I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd, listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright.

That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your President. (Applause.) And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. (Applause.) I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope.

I’m not talking about blind optimism — the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us, so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting. (Applause.)

America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made, and continue to fight for new jobs, and new opportunity, and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founding — the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or where you love — it doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white, or Hispanic or Asian, or Native American, or young or old, or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight — you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try. (Applause.)

I believe we can seize this future together — because we are not as divided as our politics suggest; we’re not as cynical as the pundits believe; we are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions; and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America. (Applause.) And together, with your help, and God’s grace, we will continue our journey forward, and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth. (Applause.)

Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States. (Applause.)


For More Than 130 Years Tested and Failed Unity of Abyssinia, Oromia and Others Nations Colonized to Form Ethiopia.

The formations of empire called Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa succeeded by Menelik II in 19th century after many failed attempt by his preceding rulers. Menelik II became successful by the help of imperial west countries. They helped him by providing modern weapon and advise to achieve their own objectives in the area. As a result Menelik able to conquer the indigenous nations like Oromia, Sidama, Hadiya, Walayita, Ogadenia, Afar and many others. After destroying more than five millions of Oromo and others, they start to exercise the colony system which helps them to rule over for many years. As a result they destroyed the identity, culture, language of the colonized nations. Soon they begin to play physical, psychological and spiritual games on the colonized. We need to point out that superficially they are saying that we are working for the unity of Ethiopia. The cold war after colonization continued. Menelik knew Oromo and other nations are the majority. He will never continue peacefully without removing and replacing their identity and being. That is why he said we need to mix them up genetically through marriage to form new Ethiopia. Immediately after war to colonize is over, he ordered his soldiers to marry beautiful girls from Oromo, change their original names, identity and being. Just analyze the truth what cities in Oromia look like today; the foundation which is the premise of colonization. I don’t mind if someone marries a person who he or she loved. My argument is that the Habeshas used the natural marriage to prolong colonization on Oromo nation. I personally like and respect all human kind by who they are. What I and Oromo don’t like and accept is their deeds on the others. They do to others what they don’t like to do on themselves. The Habeshas used every means to their maximum capacity to change the identity and culture of all the colonized nations under the name Ethiopia. Even the Menelik regime tried to change the name Oromo which is name of person which has many children today in Oromia. For those who don’t know the father of Oromo, Oromo is the son of Waqo whose origin is around Mada Walabu, between Bale and Borena in Oromia. They did the same to Walayita, Sidama and others. These are the natures of colonizers. In spite of all such unity destroying actions against nations and nationalities in Ethiopia by themselves, they forced the colonized nation for unity. The colonizers, Abyssinians exploit the nature and economy of the colonized nations. The worst thing which other colonizing countries didn’t fully exercised but the Menelik regime and the succeeding rulers followed is that they keep the colonized nation in general and Oromo in particular under illiteracy. That is why the prime minister of Hailesilase Regime advised General Tadese Biru against education campaign to teach Oromo. Akililu Habtewold thought that Tadese is Habesha because he speaks Amharic fluently; that is why he disclosed this secret to General Tadese Biru who trained the Noble Prize winner Mandela during struggle of apartheid regime in South Africa. This anti Oromo advice given by Akililu to Tadese, ignited General Tadese Biru’s heart to join the Oromo Liberation Front. So are we Oromo who worked to destroy the unity of Ethiopia or the colonizers themselves? If so why they blame the Oromians who are pushed away, counted as a second citizen on their own land? Everybody who lived in Oromia and grown with Oromos, knows that Oromo is kind, hospitable, caring and loving people. Some of the singers of Habesha, sing for the nature and natural gift of Oromia but they are sick to hear about the freedom and right of Oromo. During the Haile Silase Regime Oromo and other nations counted as servant while the colonizers as lord. The children of the Habeshas went to school but Oromo and others produced the food on their own land to supply more than half of production to their land lords. The Habesha ruling system threated the people they call in one country differently but expect in reverse the unity. It is a puzzle for me why they failed to recognize this? I thought that they think by tip of the gun; that is why they worked to destroy unity among nations and nationalities. We can substantiate that they colonized the nations by gun and they thought that gun and force would keep on unity.
After the formation of empire Ethiopia, these colonized nations particularly Oromia played a great role to defend the territory of the country. Particularly the war with Italy, we always remembers the known hero Abdisa Aga who defeated Italians in many ways. Above all the children of Oromia even under colonization contributed a lot to introduce Ethiopia to the world. Abebe Bikila the first black, African Marathon winner with bare foot is unforgettable. Today thousands of Oromo athletes gave a name ‘green flood’ in the making of popularizing the colonizing empire. Still no change for Oromo, except killing, exploiting, imprisoning and displacing from their own land.
Derg arrived to guarantee the land less Oromo and other nations to make the owner of the land. But sooner they begin to kill Oromo intellectuals who survived the discriminations of Habeshas. General Tadese Biru, which all Oromo considers as great hero, executed by Derg. Teferi Banti who tried to rule and settle the unity of that country soon murdered. Oromo youngsters were murdered in mass during the Derg Regime. No body from Habesha side to oppose and stop the killings. But still they are shouting for unity. But when Oromo say we have tried and worked hard to keep the unity and to civilize together, the Habesha push away Oromo by every means possible. And when Oromo say enough is enough with Ethiopia, we are determined to decolonize ourselves; they blame Oromo for failed unity forgetting their progressive suppression and discrimination they exercised on Oromo. Even if Oromo get ready to forgive all evil deeds for a century, they chose to continue the same repression and exploitation; they have been doing so far.
In 1991, during the transitional government, Oromo was a part of main change as Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was fighting to dismantle the Deg Regime and became successful. But after one year the Habesha, all from North start thinking to destroy OLF from the transitional government. As a result, tens of thousands Oromo youth all over Oromia were murdered. Intellectuals, silently killed, disappeared, tortured and imprisoned. Still more than 50,000 Oromo intellectuals, students, farmers, from all walks of age and sex including Bekele Gerba and Olbana Lelisa are suffering in the horrible prison of Ethiopia. Tens of thousands flee away to save their lives and many are drawn away by ocean and seas. But no body from the unity seeking Habesha groups, try to oppose the action which had destroyed the unity of that nation. How come only Oromo National particularly targeted by successive rulers of Ethiopia (the colonizers)? After death of tyrant and dictator Meles Zenawi, once again the majority of the country, Oromo People ignored on transitional power sharing. Instead of correcting a century mistakes, Ethiopian ruling groups continued to repress Oromo. In September 29, 2012 when more than 3 million of Oromo from all over Oromia came to celebrate their indigenous and cultural festival, Irrecha, peacefully at Bushoftu, the Ethiopian ruling government soldiers attacked the participants because they had their cultural clothes and materials with them. More than 200 hundreds taken to prison for torture, many have gone home bare body, without clothes as the Tigray People Libration Front (TPLF) soldiers striped them in a shameful way. Every day in Oromia today Oromo People imprisoned for torture and death. They continued to destroy the villages and houses of Oromo People. We remember the recent destruction of Bole Bulbula Oromo Community houses in Addis Ababa. Without any consideration they TPLF leaders destroyed more than 400 Oromo Family’s houses. The people became homeless; their children went to street for begging. Still nobody protested the action of government from the unity sides. But when their own people they think forcefully displaced from the South Nations and Nationalities, the unity sides were shouting loudly from all over the world. But when it comes to Oromo even some of the unity leaders rejoice of the sufferings and repressions that have been carried on Oromo People. On the other hand they are working to destroy the unity of Oromo, to force Oromo as used to be into the night mare of unity which they themselves destroyed it.
From the past trials of keeping Ethiopia in unity, the victims were Oromo and other colonized nations. Therefore, that is why Oromo Liberation Front, Ogaden National Liberation Front and Sidama Liberation Front and others forced to choose to regain their own original independent country and to exercise their freedom and the right on their own. I don’t think these unity groups learn today to respect the freedom and right of oppressed and colonized nations in Ethiopia. Because we have actually tested and examined the practice of fake unity for more than 130 years in that country. And the worst thing is that there is no single sign of correcting a century mistakes. As Dr.Martin Luther King said Freedom never voluntarily given by oppressors but should be demanded by the oppressed. Oromo generation and other colonized nations should work in unity to achieve their freedom from the hegemony of successive Ethiopian rulers particularly TPLF.
Oromia and other oppressed nations in Ethiopia shall be free!