The Art of Making What Appears to Be Impossible Possible

(All emphasis mine)

Part of the problem with just empathy with professed goals is that empathy doesn’t do us anything. We’ve had lots of empathy; we’ve had lots of sympathy, but we feel that for too long our leaders have viewed politics as the art of the possible. And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible possible.

Hillary Clinton, 1969, Student Commencement Speech, Wellesley College

We passionately rejected the notion of limitations on our abilities to make the world a better place. We saw a gap between our expectations and realities, and we were inspired, in large part by our Wellesley education, to bridge that gap. On behalf of the class of 1969, I said, “The challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible.” That is still the challenge of politics, especially in today’s far more cynical climate.

Hillary Clinton, 1992, Commencement Address to the Wellesley College Class

Now, the journey ahead will not be easy. Some will say we can’t do it, that it’s too hard, we’re just not up to the task. But for as long as America has existed, it has been the American way to reject can’t-do claims and to choose instead to stretch the boundaries of the possible through hard work, determination, and a pioneering spirit.

Hillary Clinton, 2008, Concession Speech

Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer, and stronger.

None of us can do it alone.

I know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine how we’ll ever pull together again.

But I’m here to tell you tonight – progress is possible.

Hillary Clinton, 2016, Acceptance Speech


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