Prime Minister Gordon Brown: All Americans Are Optimists Like FDR, Reagan, Obama

The British prime minister gives the United States a shot in the arm.


By Mary Kate Cary, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Amidst all the doom and gloom, here's a bit of a shot in the arm from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's address to a joint session of Congress. This was the speech where he announced knighthood for Senator Kennedy, among other things. And then the grand finale:

These recent events have forced us all to think anew. And while I have learnt many things, I keep returning to something I first learned in my father's church as a child. In this most modern of crises I am drawn to the most ancient of truths; wherever there is hardship, wherever there is suffering, we cannot, we will not, pass by on the other side.

But working together there is no challenge to which we are not equal, no obstacle that we cannot overcome, no aspiration so high that it cannot be achieved.

In the depths of the Depression, when Franklin Roosevelt did battle with fear itself, it was not simply by the power of his words, his personality and his example that he triumphed.

Yes, all these things mattered. But what mattered more was this enduring truth: that you, the American people, at your core, were, as you remain, every bit as optimistic as your Roosevelts, your Reagans and your Obamas.

This is the faith in the future that has always been the story and promise of America. So at this defining moment in history let us renew our special relationship for our generation and our times. Let us restore prosperity and protect this planet and, with faith in the future, let us together build tomorrow today.

Boy, the Brits are good at the old "Conquer we must, as conquer we shall" type of stemwinder. If you really want to see a speechwriter's idea of a good time, check out the London Guardian, which has a way-cool interactive summary of Brown's speech. I've never seen anything like it. Wouldn't it be great if we could get the big corporate and political speeches this way all the time? Speechwriting goes high tech.

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