In The Audacity of Hope, Senator Obama calls for a more unified nation and less bipartisanship in politics. Although he's hopeful for America's future, he believes that democracy has gone awry in recent years.
"Sometimes [Americans] make progress—the Civil Rights Movement or abolition—and then sometimes we go into dark times," he says. "But, the general trajectory is upward. Martin Luther King once said, 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.' You can't always see it, but out on the horizon, it's moving in the direction of justice."
Senator Obama says many Americans are troubled because they're cynical about government and worried about issues like education, healthcare and the energy crisis. As a senator, husband and father, he is concerned about America's growing obsession with materialism—something he calls a "coarsening of the culture."
"I see it all the time," he says. "You see it in our youth, and you see it in the highest reaches of government—a sense that it's more important to be powerful and to be wealthy than it is to do right."