US President Barack Obama on Thursday said that anyone who challenges or threatens longstanding American values “cherished” by people of every faith and race will fail eventually as he made a strong case for “fighter” Hillary Clinton’s presidency.
Asking his countrymen to vote for Hillary Clinton, Obama narrated the values he was taught by his Kansas grandparents – the story he told at the Boston convention 12 years ago.
“Anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end,” Obama, 54, said in his address to the Democratic National Convention.
“They (grandparents) came from the heartland; their ancestors began settling there about 200 years ago. They were Scotch-Irish mostly, farmers, teachers, ranch hands, pharmacists, oil rig workers. Hardy, small town folks. Some were Democrats, but a lot of them were Republicans,” he said.
Obama said his grandparents did not like “show-offs”, “braggarts” or “bullies” and had no respect for “mean-spiritedness” or people who were always looking for shortcuts in life. “Instead, they valued traits like honesty and hard work. Kindness and courtesy. Humility; responsibility; helping each other out,” he said.
“That’s what they believed in. True things. Things that last. The things we try to teach our kids. And what my grandparents understood was that these values weren’t limited to Kansas. They weren’t limited to small towns,” Obama said.
They knew these values weren’t reserved for one race; they could be passed down to a half-Kenyan grandson, or a half-Asian granddaughter; they were the same values Michelle’s parents, the descendants of slaves, taught their own kids living in a bungalow on the South Side of Chicago, he said.
“America has changed over the years. But these values my grandparents taught me – they haven’t gone anywhere. They’re as strong as ever; still cherished by people of every party, every race, and every faith. They live on in each of us.
“What makes us American, what makes us patriots, is what’s in here. That’s what matters. That’s why we can take the food and music and holidays and styles of other countries, and blend it into something uniquely our own,” Obama said. He said it was because of these shared values the US attracts strivers and entrepreneurs from around the globe.
“That’s why our military can look the way it does, every shade of humanity, forged into common service. That’s why anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end,” Obama said.
“That’s America. Those bonds of affection; that common creed. We don’t fear the future; we shape it, embrace it, as one people, stronger together than we are on our own. That’s what Hillary Clinton understands – this fighter, stateswoman, this mother and grandmother, this public servant, this patriot – that’s the America she’s fighting for,” he said.
“And that’s why I have confidence, as I leave this stage tonight, that the Democratic Party is in good hands. My time in this office hasn’t fixed everything; as much as we’ve done, there’s still so much I want to do,” he said.