Two hundred years ago, our Founding Fathers gave us a democracy. It was based upon the simple, yet noble, idea that government derives its validity from the consent of the governed.
We are a continuum. Just as we reach back to our ancestors for our fundamental values, so we, as guardians of that legacy, must reach ahead to our children and their children. And we do so with a sense of sacredness in that reaching.
This land, this water, this air, this planet - this is our legacy to our young.
In this era of the global village, the tide of democracy is running. And it will not cease, not in China, not in South Africa, not in any corner of this earth, where the simple idea of democracy and freedom has taken root.
Seven and half years ago I began my own journey. For me and my family it was a time of adversity. But during that adversity I derived a deeper faith. And born out of that adversity was a commitment to devote myself to those people and to those issues that truly matter to me.
No one is immune from the larger events of his or her time - the Depression, World War II, civil rights, Vietnam, the spring of 1989 in China. These events intrude upon our lives and radically affect our directions.
When George Bush used the Willie Horton ad, he knew what he was doing.