One of the most important sections of the speech focused on the idea of citizenship. Both because the president’s citizenship has been questioned by birthers since he was elected and the idea that citizenship comes with duties and responsibilities. “But we also believe in something called citizenship — citizenship, a word at the very heart of our founding, a word at the very essence of our democracy, the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations.”
The idea of citizenship is at the core of the argument for patriotism that this speech addressed to distinguish this week’s convention from the one in Tampa, where Mitt Romney didn’t mention the war in Afghanistan at all. That patriotism also includes the idea that Americans elected President Obama and through continued work can do it again. All of the policy successes over the past four years were not the president’s achievements alone. “You did that,” the president said as he ran through a list of accomplishments like Obamacare, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and even ending the war in Iraq.
It’s up to American voters to choose their own future. This election is an opportunity to continue down the same road towards the promised land, or go back to the party that drove the country in the ditch. As an incumbent, Obama was in a unique position to say, “I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the president.” The reality of doing the job of a president requires toned-down rhetoric which was souring to new heights four years ago.
This year it’s about keeping the president in the job with the new version of hope that he can be even more successful over the next four years. Americans have until November 6th to decide whether President Obama deserves to continue on as the commander and chief molding the nation in his own vision for the future, or whether the other vision for the country wins out.
Follow Zerlina Maxwell on Twitter at @zerlinamaxwell