If you can manage to ignore all the negative nonsense and partisan attacks and have followed Hillary's career knowing what she has accomplished over her nearly fifty years of dedicated public service you too may hear what I do when Hillary Clinton speaks. I am only sorry not everyone can cut through the noise to hear this. I hope it will come through loud and clear between now and November 8th.
As voting begins in what many have called the most crucial election of our time I ask you to do something that some may find difficult. But for the future of the United States and the world it is important you try to look past all the partisan attacks and negativity which has emerged in this election and focus instead on each candidate's vision for the future. The issues and policies we have each delineated to make our vision a reality.
I have spent nearly fifty years in public service. It has given me the opportunity to make real some of my vision for a better life for my daughter Chelsea and my grandchildren; it's the same vision I have for a better future for you, your children and grandchildren as well.
Over the past year you saw campaigns often filled with negativity and nastiness. You listened as one candidate insulted, scapegoated and stigmatized individuals and whole groups of people. It's not the campaign you or I wanted.
From day one I wanted my campaign to focus on the future; a future we can build together for generations to come. I want to talk with you about the future of America, the greatest country on earth, and how together we can make your dreams for yourself and your family a reality. My vision isn't simply a slogan; my vision includes a long term plan on how we can ensure equality and provide real opportunity for all.
My vision has always been a positive one that builds on what the founders of our nation, those who wrote our Constitution, believed and knew our nation could become. Some of them realized it would be incumbent on each new generation to strive to make ours a ''more perfect union'. We have met some of their expectations, even if too slowly, over 240 years. It hasn't always been easy and we even fought a civil war to continue to move toward that goal. I know if we talk to each other, listen to each other, and try to understand each other, we will continue to make progress.
President Obama has worked hard over the past eight years and deserves immense credit for saving us from another depression. He has led our country with intelligence, courage and grace. His hard work has given us the tools and the ability to move beyond where we are today, where everyone is still not benefiting from our progress, to a place where everyone will participate equally and reap the benefits of our growing economy and our democracy.
Americans are resilient. We come from different life circumstances and backgrounds, those born here and immigrants alike; and those circumstances are what mold our different views of the world. There are times when the future we envision for ourselves and our families may be different from what our neighbors see for themselves. We must understand and deal with that; while at the same time realize more binds us together than separates us. As human beings and Americans, we care deeply about our friends, loved ones and families. We all want to live in a world with less strife and hatred and more love. We all want the chance to succeed and live our lives up to our God-given potential. No matter our differences these are things we have in common.
What we often see differently is how to achieve our goals. Some may see government as a partner, others see it as a hindrance. Some believe one of government's obligations is to help those who can't help themselves while others see that as purely the role of the church and/or community.
My vision for a brighter future encompasses both those views. As a lifelong Methodist I know what it means for my church to work in the community; to bring food to the hungry, and help house the homeless. My church, just as yours, tries to lift up its members and remind them god is good and god has a role for all of us even in the darkest of times.
I also believe government has a singular role in keeping our nation safe and secure. It has a role when natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Sandy strike and overwhelm what any church or community can do on their own. When hunger and homelessness have reached proportions where our churches and communities just don't have the resources to help lift up those in need government must be there for them.
My vision for America like yours has been molded by my experiences. I was fortunate to be brought up in a middle-class home with parents who instilled in me the tenets of the church and the need to work hard to achieve what I wanted. We never went hungry and we always had a roof over our heads. My vision is one where every child in America has that. I was both lucky to be brought up in a good home and worked hard in school; went to college and then law school and found a job working for the Children's Defense Fund doing what I cared about, helping people to achieve a better life in a more just world. In law school I met the man I would later marry who worked as hard to succeed as I did. His early years were different from mine. He was brought up by a single mother who sometimes struggled to provide for him and his brother. But he is a man who god graced with intelligence, a drive and a love of people, which helped him to succeed.
Together we built a life for ourselves and our daughter which we can now share with our grandchildren. You all know about that life as it has been lived in the public arena for nearly 50 years. You know its highs and its lows. That life enabled me to come into contact with the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. On the same day I could be in a school with children who were from poor or sometimes broken homes where food was not always on the table; then that same evening sit at a glittering 'state dinner' with men and women in thousand dollar tuxedos and gowns drinking from crystal goblets. Those experiences reinforced my strong conviction we must somehow overcome the inequality in the world; fairness and decency demand that of us.
My experiences have included meeting with, playing with and listening too children from Appalachia to Afghanistan. I met with women supporting their families working more than one job to do so; met with women escaping from abusive relationships. I met men struggling to make a living also working three jobs. Men who would do anything they could when it came to trying to support their families. Many just one paycheck away from homelessness. My vision for America is no family should have to live that way; that hard work will be rewarded with a decent wage which will enable you to support your family and live healthy and fulfilling lives.
I have seen these two unequal worlds, rich and poor, and have been honored to have had the opportunity to do something to move forward my vision over the years. Whether improving education for all children in Arkansas; helping more children to be adopted and find loving homes; or ensuring all children have adequate healthcare. Working in the Senate to guarantee healthcare for our national guard. Still, while making some progress, you and I both know there is so much more to do.
Like nearly all women of my generation I have felt discrimination, both overt and covert. Women today are still discriminated against in many ways not the least of which is receiving only 79 cents for each dollar a man makes in the same job. My vision includes correcting that wrong. I know while we have passed many laws to guarantee equality for African Americans those laws, even the amendments to our Constitution, have not rid us of the systemic racism that still exists in our nation. We are all called on to do something about that and do it now so more people don't suffer. I have met 'dreamers', young people who simply want a chance to become American citizens and partake fully in their communities. I have met many of their families under constant threat of being torn apart and know we are all called upon to do something about that. I was honored to be able to speak out for women's rights in Beijing in 1995, and for LGBT rights in Geneva in 2011. But you and I know there is so much more to do. Changing laws is only half the battle; changing the culture to acceptance is often the harder fight and our challenge is working together to do that.
Over my nearly fifty years in the public spotlight and again in this campaign I have met many really good people. Those same people don't always realize until they take the time to really think about it how sexism, racism, homophobia and xenophobia impact even their neighbors in their own church or community.
My vision for America's future doesn't begin with tearing our country down but rather building on its greatness. If my vision is to come to fruition we must all stand and work together. It doesn't mean we will always agree; it means we will never shut one another out; we will never stop talking to each other; trying to work together to sort out and solve our problems. It is what families do and our country is just a bigger family.
English poet John Donne wrote 'No man is an Island' and I wrote a book whose title was based on an old African proverb 'It takes a village to raise a child'. I still believe with all my heart both those things are true.
When I chose the slogan 'Stronger Together' for my campaign it was based on that belief. It is the rare person who goes through life with no contact with and no reliance on anyone else. We all need human contact and we all need love. We all get that in different ways and from different people but the fact remains we need love and sometimes even help beyond what our immediate families can give us.
We all want to lead secure lives. Whether it is the security we want to give our children as they are growing up; security our jobs will be here tomorrow; security of a roof over our head and food on the table. The security we get from a loving spouse in a loving relationship; from our church family; from our neighbors; from our friends; and take it from me I know what that is about and how fragile it can all be. We all struggle for those things for ourselves and our loved ones every day.
Then there is the security of our nation. How do we protect our borders and protect ourselves and our neighbors from those who wish us harm. That is what I think about every day as I ask for your vote. How can I as President give you an iron clad guarantee our nation will never again be harmed? I can't, no one can. The role and job of the President and Commander-in-Chief includes staying awake at night worrying and working on this every minute of every day so that you and your children are able to sleep at night without that fear and worry.
The role of President is to help parents make their children feel safe even after they have seen the news and seen children here at home and around the world hurt in senseless violence. Whether that violence is caused by a foreign enemy or someone here at home shooting innocent children and teachers, we need to work together to figure out how we end it.
Some would say the way to do that is to circle the wagons and build walls. But let us look at the history of our own country. The pioneers did that when they first started exploring the West. They circled their wagons and built forts with high walls and yet that didn't really ensure their safety or take into consideration the rights of those who they at one time considered their enemies. In the end after too many had died it was bargaining and signing peace treaties; and eventually learning to know and trust one another and accept our differences that made us safer and allowed us to build our great nation.
Today the threats are more sophisticated. We know what happened when we dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We see those threats today and while my opponent believes it's better if everyone has the ability to annihilate each other; I believe it would be better if we eliminate nuclear weapons from the world and no one has that ability; especially when there are leaders like Kim Jong-un in North Korea who is unstable and could start World War III simply because he feels someone has offended him.
I truly believe we are 'stronger together' and working together we can make a positive difference in all our lives. We can achieve a more peaceful world by joining with our allies and building coalitions to defeat ISIS. Here at home we can defeat enemies such as joblessness, hunger and homelessness. We can fight drug addiction; strive to end racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia. But we must face all these enemies together and not let anyone use them as a wedge to drive us apart.
I have made mistakes in my life, who hasn't. Using a private email server when I was Secretary of State was a mistake and I hope you accept my heartfelt apology and a promise I have learned from that and will lead a more transparent government. Some of you felt my not sharing my diagnosis of pneumonia was wrong. I only ask you to think about how you handle illness. How you so often go to work when you are sick and must deal with your children whether you are sick or not. You have to power through knowing you have no time to stay at home or stay in bed. That is how I felt about my pneumonia. I may have been wrong but then like you I am just human.
The reality is there are two people with the chance to be your next President. Mr. Trump will continue to speak for himself and share whatever vision he may have with you. From what he has said so far we know it to be a much darker one than mine.
Our future and that of the world, because we are the strongest nation with the strongest economy, will be decided by the decision you make in this election.
At home if you share my vision and support my plans we will be working toward free and debt free college; lowering interest rates on student loans; equal pay for equal work; a living wage; developing effective plans to fight the scourge of addition; and ensuring healthcare for all. We will be rebuilding the nation's infrastructure; improving education options including pre-K for all; and continuing to build an economy that will provide high paying jobs. Then there is my vision for who I will nominate to be on the Supreme Court. They will be highly qualified individuals representing the diversity of our society. They will be committed to overturning 'Citizens United' ridding us of the outrageous amounts of money now polluting our politics. My nominees will also be committed to protecting 'Roe v. Wade' and 'marriage equality'.
Internationally my vision includes continuing to work effectively with our allies on security and trade; working even harder to fight climate change; working to strengthen our alliances including supporting NATO and the UN; and building and strengthening the coalitions necessary to finally defeat ISIS.
This election is so crucial to all our futures I ask you to think long and hard before possibly casting what some have called a 'protest vote'. Unfortunately we have seen this before and no one wants the end result of that vote to be electing the person you know without a doubt is definitely the wrong person to lead our nation.
Some have asked if it is hubris for me to think I can really make a difference as President for people here at home and around the world. One of the major differences between my opponent and me is I know I can't do it alone. My vision for America will come to fruition if we all work together. It is a vision that includes everyone and if you give me the honor of electing me the nation's 45th President I promise your views will have a place at the table in my administration. My belief in my ability to make a difference comes from believing people of good will working together can make all our lives better and our world safer today and for future generations. We are truly 'stronger together'.
So this is what I hear in my heart every time Hillary speaks. It doesn't always come out the same way because as Hillary has said, like us she is human. But then the New York Times managed to cut through the negativity and partisan attacks in their endorsement and said, "In any normal election year, we'd compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year. A comparison like that would be an empty exercise in a race where one candidate -- our choice, Hillary Clinton -- has a record of service and a raft of pragmatic ideas, and the other, Donald Trump, discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway. Through war and recession, Americans born since 9/11 have had to grow up fast, and they deserve a grown-up president. A lifetime's commitment to solving problems in the real world qualifies Hillary Clinton for this job, and the country should put her to work"