My Fellow Americans,
In a very short time, you will be given the chance to exercise one of the greatest and gravest responsibilities for citizens of the world’s most successful democracy. On that day, you will be choosing between two candidates, both tireless public servants whose personal stories show our nation’s ability to nurture the success of people who have had diverse and remarkable personal journeys.
As often happens during a heated campaign, there has been some divisive rhetoric and appeals to some of our baser natures. I wish to make it perfectly clear that at a time when our nation engages in its 44th peaceful transition of executive power, in a time of economic uncertainty and international instability, our nation cannot afford to appeal to our lowest common denominator. In a few months, one of us will sit in the Oval Office and be the chief executive of all Americans. If my journey to this seat of power requires me to appeal to our deepest fears, to mine our deepest prejudices, I do not want your vote.
If you vote for me to show your hate of someone else, I do not want your vote.
If you vote for me to show your hate of another group, another religion, another race, I do not want your vote.
I want your vote because you think that my ideas are better. I want your vote because you agree with my vision for our nation. I want your vote because of your confidence in me to lead us through these difficult times.
I want your vote if you are a Christian. I want your vote if you are a Jew. I want your vote if you are a Muslim. I want your vote if you are not religious. But I don’t want your vote if you are voting against a particular religion or culture.
As the personal histories of both of us show, there are many ways to serve. You can organize your neighborhoods to reduce violence and poverty and home. You can defend your country as a member of the military. You can even, from humble beginnings, become a Senator and help make the laws that keep our country great.
My fellow Americans, in a very few days you will engage in a very simple, yet vital act. You will elevate one of us to a position of great power and great responsibility. I encourage you all to look at our words, our deeds, and those of our surrogates. If you believe in what I stand for, vote for me. If you do not, vote for my opponent. But vote you must, as it is your sacred duty as an American. Do not vote for the man you fear least, but the one who can lead you best. I hope and believe that that man is me, but I respect your choice, as an American, to disagree.