The speech itself spoke powerfully to all the things I consider to be unique and great about this country and it’s people. His oratory was amazing but even more was his humbleness. This man has an easy gait. Some call it the greatest speech since MLK’s I have a Dream. I don’t know about that and comparisons are always tricky.
He created, through his words, the picture of a united, tolerant, compassionate and hopeful America. Since 9/11, the country has needed that voice – a voice coming not from steely-eyed determination but misty-eyed compassion. His personal story, perhaps, was the most effective to me on a personal level.
It is easy enough to say the word “hope”. It is not possible to show what it means in 18 minutes. The hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores. There is power in those words that everyone in America can grasp, especially, people like me who did set out with hope.
We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, weíve got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. Not just hope, his speech illustrated what havoc the Red/Blue idea is playing with the fabric of social life in America. The assumption that being a Republican or Democrat is genetically pre-ordained and that what either party does is uniformly good or bad. Ok, right now, everything the Republican party does IS bad. Even Obama cannot convince me otherwise.
All I can say is that I am thrilled that he is from HP and UChicago and will be representing Illinois. I am thrilled that he will be on the national scene and I say again. OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT
My fav. part of the speech:
It is that fundamental belief, it is that fundamental belief, I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisterís keeper that makes this country work. Itís what allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one American family.
E pluribus unum. Out of many, one.
Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America- there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America – there’s the United States of America.
The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we donít like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.
We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope?
John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope.
I’m not talking about blind optimism here – the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just donít think about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. Thatís not what Iím talking about. Iím talking about something more substantial. Itís the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs. The hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores. The hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta. The hope of a millworkerís son who dares to defy the odds. The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.
Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is Godís greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.