Beverly Hills, California

6:48 P.M. PST

THE PRESIDENT:... I ran for president because... I thought we were coming apart when we ought to be coming together... and because I want every person who lives in this country to have a chance to live up to their God-given potential...  In the end, the true test of our endeavors is whether they enrich the meaning of the lives of the people who live in this country...  And I come here tonight really to ask for your help for this reason...  I believe... we can make the kinds of changes, public changes we need to make to move this country forward.

But we have to face the fact that millions and millions and millions of our fellow Americans are caught... in an outer class totally apart from the life that the rest of us take for granted...  [T]hey are the ones who have been hardest hit by the combined force of a loss of economic opportunity, the destruction of community support, and the erosion of family itself...

[T]here are not sustaining forces in our culture, which... offset that...  [T]here are problems this nation has that cannot be fixed by the passage of a law, or by an official decree from the President of the United States.  They require us to change from the inside-out... family by family, community by community...  [A]nd you have the capacity... to help to change... the way we think of ourselves...

So what I ask you to do is to join a partnership with me... to examine what... you might do to simply face the reality that so many of our young people live with, and help us as we seek to rebuild the frayed bonds of this community; as we seek to give children nonviolent ways to resolve their own frustrations; as we seek to restore some structure and some hope and some essential dignity and purpose to lives that have been dominated by chaos or worse.

We must do this.  Make no mistake...

There are few things more powerful in any time and place than culture.  The ability of culture to elevate or debase is profound... [and] you have more influence over different kinds of people that you will never meet... than a president's speech...

Meanwhile, we want more and more entertainment more and more instantanously...  ["J]ust give us the thing and let us focus on something else.["]  For all of us who have highly structured, successful lives where our attention is diverted to the big fundamental things in our life, this works fine.  For people living in chaos, it is a disaster.

And so I ask you,... let us together do something to rebuild the bonds of community; to restore... spirit...; to give people a chance to build whole lives around solid values so that they, too, will have internal structures...

We must rebuild this country fundamentally.  And we have to have the support of people who can shape our culture to do it.  It is our job, and if we do it, we will be proud we did.



"Ordinary people should have freedom; a chance to shape their own destiny, to govern themselves."

"We must rebuild this country fundamentally..."  

"We must become the change we want to see in the world."  

"[We] must look for consistency. Where there is a want of it [we] must suspect deception."  

"Man masters nature not by force, but by understanding."  

"Cogent Reasoning and a Cogent Self-Image — Cogent Individual Character. The most civilized way to celebrate The Heroic Ideal."