In a speech to the people of Israel Thursday, President Obama told an audience at the Jerusalem Convention Center that democratic discourse serves to allow “each generation to reimagine and renew our union.” (Emphasis added):
“But the source of our friendship extends beyond interests, just as it has transcended political parties and individual leaders. America is a nation of immigrants. We are strengthened by diversity. We are enriched by faith. We are governed not simply by men and women, but by laws. We are fueled by entrepreneurship and innovation. And we are defined by a democratic discourse that allows each generation to reimagine and renew our union once more. So in Israel, we see values that we share, even as we recognize what makes us different.”
Five days before his first election in 2008, then-Senator Obama relied on a similar assertion to rally his base. “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America,” he said then.
The president’s critics leaned on that phrase throughout his first term, finding him at fault for wanting to “transform” the country “fundamentally.”