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The Audacity of Hope

Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

By Barack Obama
  • Read in 21 minutes
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  • Contains 14 key ideas
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The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

The Audacity of Hope is based on a keynote speech Barack Obama delivered at the 2004 Democratic Convention, which launched him into the spotlight of the nation. It contains many of the subjects of Obama’s 2008 campaign for the presidency.

Key idea 1 of 14

All Americans share a fundamental set of values reflecting the founding fathers’ intent.

The founding fathers had the foresight to write two masterpieces, which directly reflect how they envisioned the American ideal: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

At the very core of these documents is the idea that every man and woman is born free, with the same rights and chances in society.

Still, the founding fathers faced the reality that liberty was not without its challenges: never before in human history had a stable democracy worked for a large nation for any long period of time.

Thus personal freedom seemed only possible in a society which also upholds communal values, such as family, religion, patriotism. Another prerequisite was that power be diffused and all absolute authority rejected. Never in America’s history should a king, general, or pope alone be able to shape the path of the American people.

Still today, all Americans subscribe to two main notions:

  • The idea of individual liberty and affording every citizen the same chances, regardless of race, religion, or class
  • Communal values bringing people together, keeping their democracy alive.

The attitudes of Americans today continue to be strongly shaped by the founding fathers’ spirit. These shared values are often considered so natural that people take them for granted.

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