Zitate Barack Obama

„You have to be willing to take some risks and do some hard things in order to be a leader. A leader is not just a name, a title, and privileges and perks.“

—  Barack Obama

2015, Young African Leaders Initiative Presidential Summit Town Hall speech (August 2015)
Kontext: And the one thing I’ve learned, both in my personal life and in my political life, is that if you want more authority, then you also have to be more responsible. You can’t wear the crown if you can’t bear the cross. […] So my attitude is, if you want to participate then you have to recognize that you have broader responsibilities. […] And that is part of leadership. That’s true, by the way, for you individually as well. You have to be willing to take some risks and do some hard things in order to be a leader. A leader is not just a name, a title, and privileges and perks.

„Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity. That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.“

—  Barack Obama

2008, A World that Stands as One (July 2008)
Kontext: Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity. That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another. The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.

„When we make rash decisions, reacting to the headlines instead of using our heads; when the first response to a challenge is to send in our military -- then we risk getting drawn into unnecessary conflicts, and neglect the broader strategy we need for a safer, more prosperous world. That’s what our enemies want us to do.“

—  Barack Obama

2015, State of the Union Address (January 2015)
Kontext: When we make rash decisions, reacting to the headlines instead of using our heads; when the first response to a challenge is to send in our military -- then we risk getting drawn into unnecessary conflicts, and neglect the broader strategy we need for a safer, more prosperous world. That’s what our enemies want us to do. I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership. We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy; when we leverage our power with coalition building; when we don’t let our fears blind us to the opportunities that this new century presents. That’s exactly what we’re doing right now. And around the globe, it is making a difference. [... ] That’s how America leads -- not with bluster, but with persistent, steady resolve.

„When I was in Cairo, shortly after I was elected President, I said that all governments must maintain power through consent, not coercion.“

—  Barack Obama

2011, Remarks on Egyptian protests (January 2011)
Kontext: Around the world governments have an obligation to respond to their citizens.  That's true here in the United States; that's true in Asia; it is true in Europe; it is true in Africa; and it’s certainly true in the Arab world, where a new generation of citizens has the right to be heard.
When I was in Cairo, shortly after I was elected President, I said that all governments must maintain power through consent, not coercion. That is the single standard by which the people of Egypt will achieve the future they deserve.
Surely there will be difficult days to come. But the United States will continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people and work with their government in pursuit of a future that is more just, more free, and more hopeful.

„For too long, we’ve been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present. Perhaps we see that now. Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty, or attend dilapidated schools, or grow up without prospects for a job or for a career. Perhaps it causes us to examine what we’re doing to cause some of our children to hate. Perhaps it softens hearts towards those lost young men, tens and tens of thousands caught up in the criminal justice system and leads us to make sure that that system is not infected with bias“

—  Barack Obama

2015, Eulogy for the Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney (June 2015)
Kontext: But I don't think God wants us to stop there. For too long, we’ve been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present. Perhaps we see that now. Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty, or attend dilapidated schools, or grow up without prospects for a job or for a career. Perhaps it causes us to examine what we’re doing to cause some of our children to hate. Perhaps it softens hearts towards those lost young men, tens and tens of thousands caught up in the criminal justice system and leads us to make sure that that system is not infected with bias; that we embrace changes in how we train and equip our police so that the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve make us all safer and more secure. Maybe we now realize the way racial bias can infect us even when we don't realize it, so that we're guarding against not just racial slurs, but we're also guarding against the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal. So that we search our hearts when we consider laws to make it harder for some of our fellow citizens to vote. By recognizing our common humanity by treating every child as important, regardless of the color of their skin or the station into which they were born, and to do what’s necessary to make opportunity real for every American -- by doing that, we express God’s grace.

„Heroism is here, all around us, in the hearts of so many of our fellow citizens, just waiting to be summoned — as it was on Saturday morning.“

—  Barack Obama

2011, Tucson Memorial Address (January 2011)
Kontext: These men and women remind us that heroism is found not only on the fields of battle. They remind us that heroism does not require special training or physical strength. Heroism is here, all around us, in the hearts of so many of our fellow citizens, just waiting to be summoned — as it was on Saturday morning.

„America moves forward only when we do so together, and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all.“

—  Barack Obama

2013, Fifth State of the Union Address (February 2013)
Kontext: The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party. They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. For they know that America moves forward only when we do so together, and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all.

„Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL.“

—  Barack Obama

2014, Statement on ISIL (September 2014)
Kontext: Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL. And any time we take military action, there are risks involved –- especially to the servicemen and women who carry out these missions. But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.

„If you want to go into government, you shouldn’t just want to be a particular government official. You should want to go into government because you think it can help educate some children, or it can help provide jobs for people who need work.“

—  Barack Obama

2014, Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Town Hall (April 2014)
Kontext: And when I think back to my journey, my past, I think the most important thing for -- and maybe the most important thing for all the young people here -- is to realize that you really can have an impact on the world; you can achieve your dreams. But in order to do so, you have to focus not so much on a title or how much money you’re going to make, you have to focus more on what kind of influence and impact are you going to have on other people’s lives -- what good can you do in the world. Now, that may involve starting a business, but if you want to start a business you should be really excited about the product or the service that you’re making. It shouldn’t just be how much money I can make -- because the business people who I meet who do amazing things, like Bill Gates, who started Microsoft -- they’re usually people who are really interested in what they do and they really think that it can make a difference in people’s lives. If you want to go into government, you shouldn’t just want to be a particular government official. You should want to go into government because you think it can help educate some children, or it can help provide jobs for people who need work. So I think the most important thing for me was when I started thinking more about other people and how I could have an impact in my larger society and community, and wasn’t just thinking about myself. That’s when I think your dreams can really take off -- because if you’re only thinking about you, then your world is small; if you‘re thinking about others, then your world gets bigger.

„It’s not a sign of strength. Anybody can make threats. Anyone can move an army. Anyone can show off a missile. That doesn’t make you strong. It does not lead to security, or opportunity, or respect. Those things don't come through force. They have to be earned.“

—  Barack Obama

2014, Address to European Youth (March 2014)
Kontext: It’s not a sign of strength. Anybody can make threats. Anyone can move an army. Anyone can show off a missile. That doesn’t make you strong. It does not lead to security, or opportunity, or respect. Those things don't come through force. They have to be earned. And real strength is allowing an open and participatory democracy, where people can choose their own leaders and choose their own destiny. And real strength is allowing a vibrant society, where people can think and pray and speak their minds as they please, even if it’s against their leaders -- especially if it’s against their leaders. Real strength is allowing free and open markets that have built growing, thriving middle classes and lifted millions of people out of poverty.

„We respect the past, but we don’t pine for the past. We don’t fear the future; we grab for it.“

—  Barack Obama

2015, Bloody Sunday Speech (March 2015)
Kontext: We respect the past, but we don’t pine for the past. We don’t fear the future; we grab for it. America is not some fragile thing. We are large, in the words of Whitman, containing multitudes. We are boisterous and diverse and full of energy, perpetually young in spirit. That’s why someone like John Lewis at the ripe old age of 25 could lead a mighty march. And that’s what the young people here today and listening all across the country must take away from this day. You are America. Unconstrained by habit and convention. Unencumbered by what is, because you’re ready to seize what ought to be. For everywhere in this country, there are first steps to be taken, there’s new ground to cover, there are more bridges to be crossed. And it is you, the young and fearless at heart, the most diverse and educated generation in our history, who the nation is waiting to follow.

„The absence of hope can rot a society from within.“

—  Barack Obama

2009, Nobel Prize acceptance speech (December 2009)
Kontext: A just peace includes not only civil and political rights — it must encompass economic security and opportunity. For true peace is not just freedom from fear, but freedom from want.
It is undoubtedly true that development rarely takes root without security; it is also true that security does not exist where human beings do not have access to enough food, or clean water, or the medicine and shelter they need to survive. It does not exist where children can't aspire to a decent education or a job that supports a family. The absence of hope can rot a society from within.

„It is that spirit, that innate longing for justice and equality, for freedom and solidarity -- that’s the spirit that can light the way forward. It's in you.“

—  Barack Obama

2013, Cape Town University Address (June 2013)
Kontext: We always have the opportunity to choose our better history. We can always understand that most important decision -- the decision we make when we find our common humanity in one another. That’s always available to us, that choice. [... ] it can be heard in the confident voices of young people like you. It is that spirit, that innate longing for justice and equality, for freedom and solidarity -- that’s the spirit that can light the way forward. It's in you.

„We saw people of faith praying together and chanting – “Muslims, Christians, We are one.”“

—  Barack Obama

2011, Remarks on Egyptian political transition (February 2011)
Kontext: I know that a democratic Egypt can advance its role of responsible leadership not only in the region but around the world.
Egypt has played a pivotal role in human history for over 6,000 years.  But over the last few weeks, the wheel of history turned at a blinding pace as the Egyptian people demanded their universal rights.
We saw mothers and fathers carrying their children on their shoulders to show them what true freedom might look like.
We saw a young Egyptian say, “For the first time in my life, I really count.  My voice is heard.  Even though I’m only one person, this is the way real democracy works.”
We saw protesters chant “Selmiyya, selmiyya” — “We are peaceful” — again and again.
We saw a military that would not fire bullets at the people they were sworn to protect.
And we saw doctors and nurses rushing into the streets to care for those who were wounded, volunteers checking protesters to ensure that they were unarmed.
We saw people of faith praying together and chanting – “Muslims, Christians, We are one.”  And though we know that the strains between faiths still divide too many in this world and no single event will close that chasm immediately, these scenes remind us that we need not be defined by our differences.  We can be defined by the common humanity that we share.
And above all, we saw a new generation emerge — a generation that uses their own creativity and talent and technology to call for a government that represented their hopes and not their fears; a government that is responsive to their boundless aspirations.  One Egyptian put it simply:  Most people have discovered in the last few days…that they are worth something, and this cannot be taken away from them anymore, ever.
This is the power of human dignity, and it can never be denied. Egyptians have inspired us, and they’ve done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence.  For in Egypt, it was the moral force of nonviolence — not terrorism, not mindless killing — but nonviolence, moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more.

„The office humbles you. You’re reminded daily that in this great democracy, you are but a relay swimmer in the currents of history, bound by decisions made by those who came before, reliant on the efforts of those who will follow to fully vindicate your vision. But the presidency also affords a unique opportunity to bend those currents -- by shaping our laws and by shaping our debates; by working within the confines of the world as it is, but also by reimagining the world as it should be.“

—  Barack Obama

Remarks by the President at LBJ Presidential Library Civil Rights Summit at Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas on April 10, 2014. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/10/remarks-president-lbj-presidential-library-civil-rights-summit
2014
Kontext: Those of us who have had the singular privilege to hold the office of the Presidency know well that progress in this country can be hard and it can be slow, frustrating and sometimes you’re stymied. The office humbles you. You’re reminded daily that in this great democracy, you are but a relay swimmer in the currents of history, bound by decisions made by those who came before, reliant on the efforts of those who will follow to fully vindicate your vision. But the presidency also affords a unique opportunity to bend those currents -- by shaping our laws and by shaping our debates; by working within the confines of the world as it is, but also by reimagining the world as it should be.

„These aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart.“

—  Barack Obama

2008, A World that Stands as One (July 2008)
Kontext: I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.
But I also know how much I love America. I know that for more than two centuries, we have strived - at great cost and great sacrifice - to form a more perfect union; to seek, with other nations, a more hopeful world. Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom - indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours; every point of view is expressed in our public squares. What has always united us - what has always driven our people; what drew my father to America's shores - is a set of ideals that speak to aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want; that we can speak our minds and assemble with whomever we choose and worship as we please. These are the aspirations that joined the fates of all nations in this city. These aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart.

„We do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place.“

—  Barack Obama

2009, Nobel Prize acceptance speech (December 2009)
Kontext: We do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached — their fundamental faith in human progress — that must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey.
For if we lose that faith — if we dismiss it as silly or naïve; if we divorce it from the decisions that we make on issues of war and peace — then we lose what's best about humanity. We lose our sense of possibility. We lose our moral compass.
Like generations have before us, we must reject that future. As Dr. King said at this occasion so many years ago, "I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present condition makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him."
Let us reach for the world that ought to be — that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls.

„And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.“

—  Barack Obama

2011, Tucson Memorial Address (January 2011)
Kontext: If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today. And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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