Increasingly political awards show speeches could benefit from a little understanding. Here’s the speech we wish we’d hear at the Oscars tonight. We’re not holding our breath.
“Like many of you, I am unhappy with last year’s election results and concerned about the direction our president is taking the country. But at the same time, it is time to acknowledge that I – we, those of us in this room – missed something fundamental going on in this country.
“So while I will continue to oppose this president and many of his policies, I’m committing myself to listening – really listening – to those who supported him, certain in the knowledge that we have more in common than not.
“It’s still a fact that most of us in this country want a place where we can chase and achieve our dreams, create a good life and opportunity for our families, and recognize that through diversity comes our great strengths. That was true when boatloads of European foreigners arrived at Ellis Island in the early days of the 20th Century, and it’s true today when planes from London and Istanbul and Kabul arrive at LAX or JFK, carrying people who’ve taken the many long, hard steps it takes to qualify for citizenship here.
“We all pay taxes, we all live in the same place, a place that is truly great. But we can and must do better. That’s the essence of America, and being an American – always striving for improvement.
“So let’s all of us seek out those who think differently from us on some issues, humble in our understanding that neither we, nor they, have all the answers.
“Finally, I’d like to thank my mom, my dad, my producers, my co-stars for helping me achieve this great honor. Because in filmmaking, like in life, we never achieve anything all by ourselves.
Richard Keil is a former White House correspondent for Bloomberg News and national reporter for the Associated Press. Keil is currently Executive Vice President at public relations firm H&K. Follow him on Twitter @RDKeil1