Full Text of the Clinton Speech to the DLC
Full transcript can be found here...below are excerpts:
"Things are not looking so good right now, with so much out of balance in the body politic, but I believe that our great party, with its own rich legacy of progress from the time of Andrew Jackson to Truman, Kennedy, to Clinton, and so many other Democratic leaders of vision and accomplishment, is poised to help realize the dreams I have imagined for America today.
After more than four years of Republican control, our government has not only gone off track, it has reversed course. They turned our bridge to the 21st century into a tunnel back to the 19th century. And while we envision restoring the American dream to its full potential, the Republican leadership is busy concentrating wealth and power, restricting opportunity, and abandoning responsibility for our shared future.
Thus, the clear mission of a unified Democratic Party is to back us out of that Republican tunnel, fill it in, go back across the bridge, and get America back in the business of building dreams again. Let us start by uniting against the hard-right ideology, of those who have used it to divide Americans and distract us from our common responsibility. We Democrats have not yet succeeded in isolating and defeating the far right, in part because all too often we have allowed ourselves to be split between left, right and center. We can and should differ with one another on this or that detail of politics and ideas. After all, we are thinking Democrats, not lockstep Republicans.
But let us acknowledge that what separates us on occasion is but a tiny sliver in comparison to the Grand Canyon gap between us and the Republican Party. Now, I know the DLC has taken some shots from some within our party and that it has returned fire too. Well, I think it’s high time for a cease-fire. It’s time for all Democrats to work together based on the fundamental values we all share, values violated every day in Washington by the ideologues of the Republican right.
And we will avoid accepting the false logic of false choices that keeps our party and our country divided and drifting. I believe we can support and prove that the Democratic Party stands for both expanded healthcare coverage and greater fiscal responsibility. We can support a woman’s right to choose that makes abortion safe, legal, and rare and reduces the number of abortions. We can continue to open up new markets for America without giving in to lopsided trade agreements that lack adequate protections for workers and the environment. We can have faith and religion in our lives without using religion to divide Americans. We can be for programs that help the poor and favor work over dependence, for greater access to education and higher standards and accountability, for initiatives like the COPS program that prevents crime, and for tough penalties on serious criminals. We can fight terrorism aggressively and strengthen our alliances to build that world of more partners and fewer enemies. I know we can do all of these things because we have done it before.
The American dream is not just for us; it is for all who will come this way when we are gone. They deserve more than the self-indulgent and self-defeating policies of the Washington Republicans and we can give it to them. We can restore America to its historic devotion to opportunity, responsibility, and the common good, with big dreams, new ideas, and old-fashioned values.
American life is not a zero-sum game. Our individual success is not dependent on someone else’s failure. We must all rise together to renew the American dream for ourselves and for generations to come. We have come to Columbus today to begin a new voyage of discovery toward the America our children deserve from us."