What is good about the United States is the sense that you can disagree with the government and not be seen as unpatriotic, although many in the government will try to make you seem unpatriotic.
In the spring of 1994 I decided not to seek reelection to the Senate. I had made the decision 12 years earlier, Christmas Day of 1982, just after I had been first elected to a full term, that I would do the best I could for a limited time.
So my father grew up in an orphanage in Boston. He was then adopted by an elderly childless couple from Maine, who gave him the name of Mitchell. He moved to Maine, and there he met my mother and was married.
Although he's regularly asked to do so, God does not take sides in American politics.
You know, the pessimism which exists now in the Middle East existed in Northern Ireland, but we stayed at it.
From my parents, I learned a very strong work ethic, and all of my brothers and sisters all worked from the earliest days of life right through to the present time.
So I developed very early a massive inferiority complex, and I've told the story often about how that inspired me later in life to get involved in other things, because I couldn't out-do my brothers in sports, and it's a very competitive relationship.
The result was, of course, that today, tragically, more than 40 million Americans don't have health insurance, and for many, not having health insurance means they don't have access to good health care.
I didn't want to make it a lifetime thing. I don't believe in statutory term limits, but people can limit themselves if they want to, and that's what I decided to do.
I spent two years in the Army. And my older brother, who was also a great positive influence on me, encouraged me to think about law school, and I said - well, I didn't have any money.
My father was the orphaned son of immigrants to the United States from Ireland. My father never knew his parents. His mother died - we're not sure - either at or shortly after his birth, and he and all of his siblings were placed in orphanages in the Boston area.
I enjoyed practicing law.
I had a great interest in sports. I had three older brothers who were great athletes. I was not.
In every society in human history, including the United States, those in power seek to imbue themselves with the attributes of religion and patriotism as a way of getting greater support for their policy and insulating themselves from any criticism.
First, the American legislative process isn't well suited to large and complex measures.
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