Obama Warns Against Fearing the Future, Adhering to the ‘Dogmas of the Quiet Past’

Tuesday at his his final State of the Union address, President Barack Obama warned Americans not to fear the future or adhere to the “dogmas of the quiet past.”

Obama said, “We live in a time of extraordinary change – change that’s reshaping the way we live, the way we work, our planet and our place in the world. It’s change that promises amazing medical breakthroughs, but also economic disruptions that strain working families. It promises education for girls in the most remote villages, but also connects terrorists plotting an ocean away. It’s change that can broaden opportunity, or widen inequality. And whether we like it or not, the pace of this change will only accelerate.”

“America has been through big changes before – wars and depression, the influx of immigrants, workers fighting for a fair deal, and movements to expand civil rights,” he continued. “Each time, there have been those who told us to fear the future; who claimed we could slam the brakes on change, promising to restore past glory if we just got some group or idea that was threatening America under control. And each time, we overcame those fears. We did not, in the words of Lincoln, adhere to the ‘dogmas of the quiet past.’ Instead we thought anew, and acted anew. We made change work for us, always extending America’s promise outward, to the next frontier, to more and more people. And because we did – because we saw opportunity where others saw only peril – we emerged stronger and better than before.”

He added, “What was true then can be true now. our unique strengths as a nation our optimism and work ethic, our spirit of discovery our diversity, our commitment to rule of law, these thing give us everything we need to ensure prosperity and security for nations to come. In fact, it’s in that spirit we have made progress these seven years. That’s how we recovered from the worst economic recovery in generations. That’s how we reform our health care system and reinvented our energy sector. That’s how we delivered more care and benefits no our troops coming home and our veterans that’s how we that’s how we secured the freedom in every state to marry the person we love. But such progress is not inevitable it’s the result of choices we make together and we face such choices right now. Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear turning inward as a nation? Turning against each other as a people or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, in what we stand for.”

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