Infrastructure as Monument

11/04/2010 06:45 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I want to talk about the industrial center of this country -- from Eastern Pennsylvania through Ohio and Indiana and Illinois and Wisconsin -- from Scranton to Oshkosh.

It's the part of the country where guys root for Da Bears and the Packers, the Eagles, the Steelers, and the Browns...

All that American heart voted against the Democrats this week -- in all the Senate and governors races -- all those heartbreakers that cost Democrats their seats in Congress -- a lot of good guys like Iraq vet Patrick Murphy and Chris Carney, another warrior for his country, and gutsy Joe Sestak -- who was an admiral in the navy, and young Alexi Giannoulias.

Why? Because the American manufacturing heart has been cut out. We used to build trains and subways and airplanes for the world. Now we read about trains running three hundred miles an hour in France and China and we piddle along on Amtrak like we're on a buckboard.

Why can't we build railroads -- rapid railroads to unite this country instead of making the vast continent between New York and LA "fly-over country" for the bi-coastal elite to look down on? Why don't we build "anything" anymore? Would we build the subway systems of our country today? Would we build the Empire State building or the Golden Gate Bridge? Would be build this beautiful capital of Washington today?

You know the answer. We don't build because we have neither the money nor the courage to do it. Republicans don't believe in public investment, not even real capital investment that builds the economy. They think tax cuts are the one and only way to promote economic progress. Democrats are afraid to challenge them. And while we worry about today, China never stops thinking about tomorrow... investing and spending and creating the jobs we should have right here.

Yes, Lincoln spoke well, Mr. President, but he also built the intercontinental railways. Ike couldn't speak as well as you, but he did build the intercontinental highway system. Kennedy spoke well but he also got us to the moon! What are you going to leave as your monument? Health care is great. But we need jobs to pay for health care. There's still time to get started, Mr. President. You have to explain to the country why creating things matters. We need to build.