Sen. Booker: 'Rugged Individualism Didn’t Defeat the British, It Didn’t Get Us to the Moon'

By Susan Jones | July 26, 2016 | 6:58am EDT
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

( - "I respect and value the ideals of rugged individualism and self-reliance," Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) told the Democrat National Convention Monday night.

"But rugged individualism didn’t defeat the British, it didn’t get us to the moon, build our nation’s highways, or map the human genome. We did that together."

Booker said Americans "can't love your country without loving your countrymen and countrywomen."

"We don’t always have to agree, but we must empower each other, we must find the common ground, we must build bridges across our differences to pursue the common good," he said.

"We can’t devolve into a nation where our highest aspiration is that we just tolerate each other. We are not called to be a nation of tolerance. We are called to be a nation of love. Tolerance says I am just going to stomach your right to be different. That if you disappear from the face of the earth, I am no better or worse off.

"But love – love knows that every American has worth and value, no matter what their background, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Love recognizes that we need each other, that we as a nation are better together, that when we are divided we are weak, we decline, yet when we are united we are strong – invincible!" he said.

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