This country’s character, our backbone is defined by people in this community, and in my towns of Delaware — like Dagsboro and Gumboro, and places like Maquoketa and other places in Iowa. I mean, this is — this is how we’re defined as a nation. And it’s also primarily how we define ourselves. Even people in the cities define themselves in terms of rural America. It sounds a strange thing to say when we talk about these basic values.
And so community centers like this, or cucumber fields and farms in the area — I mean, this is who we are. And I — many of you have been dealt out of that aspirational dream for too long. So, folks, our plan is to deal you back in. America needs its small towns to flourish as much as it needs its big cities to survive and flourish. So we’re here today to begin the process of helping make that happen.
Look, let me conclude by saying to I remember reading a great description of a North Carolinian from a writer who was touring North Carolina towns in the midst of the Great Depression. And he wrote a description of a typical North Carolinian facing uncertain times in the ’30s. And here’s what he wrote, and I quote: “He is now less proud of the distance he has gone than aware of the distance he must go. He knows that he has the greatest state on Earth and that he is as good as anybody in it. But he is by no means sure this is good enough.”
Well, folks, let me say to you we got a long distance to go. But I can assure you, unlike that observer in the 1930s, it is absolutely — we are good enough. We are good enough, you and us, to make sure that the future is a lot better than the recent past. And in just the brief time I’ve been here, I can say with confidence that you have all around you, as a community, everyone here thinks we’re plenty good enough to get ourselves out of this. And we’re going to be able to do this in relatively short order, because you’re more than good enough.
So I can say that together with people like you, and with the help of the leadership of President Obama, in my view, and the Congress’ support, we’re going to turn this around. And I can say together I think we’re going to begin to reshape the world.