11 May 2019, American University School of Public Affairs, Washington DC, USA
[Excerpt, full transcript to come]
Our ambitions, our decisions, our responses, are shaped by what we hold to be true. Beyond the easy labels of party and ideology are the deeply held convictions that shape those labels. But too often, adherence to conservative or progressive, to liberal or moderate, to Democrat or Republican or Independent, to being pro-this or anti-that becomes an excuse for lazy thinking. It becomes an excuse for hostile action. And for today, at least, I urge you to set aside your labels and explore what your principles say about the world you wish to serve. Because beliefs are our anchors. If they aren’t, we run the risk of opportunism, making choices because others do so, not because we should. But those anchors should never weigh us down. They should weigh down our capacity for thoughtful engagement and reasonable compromise.