A personal message from Bill Bradley
I am writing to inform you that I have formed a committee to explore running for President in 2000.
For 30 years as a basketball player, a Senator, a writer, a speaker and a businessman, I have traveled and listened throughout America. During that time, I have learned that America is a country full of good people who are, by and large, industrious, talented, optimistic, and generous. In our short history Americans have settled a continent, won world wars and created unparalleled prosperity. When given the facts honestly, our common sense usually puts us on the right course. I have tremendous respect for the wisdom and decency of the American people. Today, when too many of our young people have diminished life chances and when we stand on the brink of convulsive changes wrought by technology and globalization, it is good to remember that we are up to meeting these challenges. We have done great things here and we will again.
Now, I am considering seeking the Democratic nomination for President in the year 2000.
I would run to improve the opportunity for more Americans to live healthier, more economically secure, more personally fulfilling lives.
I would run to help unleash the enormous potential of the American people. We see it everyday in the energy that makes our economy move, fuels our technological advances and produces individual acts of compassion. I want to help take that energy and channel it not only toward further economic vitality but also toward finishing our agenda of obligations that we have for one another.
I believe, as the most powerful nation in the world today, we have an obligation to give the world a map to democracy, a sense of physical security against blatant aggression, and a set of economic institutions that allow more people a chance to turn their dreams for a better life into a reality.
I believe in a type of leadership that doesn't stand in the spotlight as much as call attention to millions of Americans who shine everyday. I believe in the kind of leadership that faces up to our problems. Let me give you a specific example. One out of every six children in America lives in what is called deep poverty. They live in homes that don't even reach the poverty level. As they grow up, many of them become armed, dependent on drugs, preoccupied with a distorted sense of "respect" and uninterested in the future. We won't reach our potential as a nation until we improve this unacceptable situation.
Today, many hard working parents, who hold several jobs in order to make ends meet, worry that they don't have enough time with their children to imbue them with a proper set of values. Helping parents help their children must be a national priority. Children need a caring adult in their lives, and America needs a next generation that appreciates a meaning in life that is deeper than just the acquisition of material goods. If that next generation doesn't reach its full potential, America can never reach its own.
Today, we're told by the cynics that a large vision for our country is somehow unrealistic. That things can't be changed; they say that we can't assure quality healthcare at reasonable costs for all Americans. We can't have dramatically more effective schools. We can't have all American families share in at least a portion of our prosperity.
I don't believe that.
I say, think of the unlikely miracle that was the founding of our country. Think of the GI bill or the creation of Medicare or Social Security.
It's not that we should live in the delusion that nothing is impossible - we're not naive - but that we should live in the spirit that nothing is impossible.
By living in that spirit, not only can individual Americans achieve personal fulfillment more easily but as a country, we can assure better living conditions for most Americans. By doing both, we can be worthy of our founders' ideals.
When I observe Americans who can see deeper than skin color or eye shape to a person's individuality, I think, all of us can be that good. When I see American companies innovate, thereby changing the way we conceive our future, I think, most of our companies can be that good. When I see neighbors help neighbors after a hurricane, tornado or earthquake, I think more of us - more often - can be that good.
We can move forward and affirm the basic goodness of the American people. We can realize our potential as workers, citizens and human beings. I believe we can be that visionary. I believe we can be that generous and thoughtful. I believe we can be that smart and innovative.
If you believe as I believe, I ask you to join me. Because together, we can take on the biggest and most important challenges that remain.
Together we can be that good.
Although time constraints make it difficult to speak with you personally at this time, please share your thoughts about my potential candidacy by writing me at the address below or by sending an e-mail message to: email@example.com
Thanks for your friendship!
The Bill Bradley Presidential Exploratory Committee
One Riverfront Plaza, 14th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102
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Bill Bradley Presidential Exploratory Committee