Friday, August 29, 2008

barack obama's acceptance speech

i don't often write about politics, mostly because i usually feel overwhelmed and way out of my league in that arena. i also have always had this sense that politics are primarily personal and ultimately private. i probably need to do some soul-searching to understand why i have this tendency towards privacy, but i can't help but write today about barack obama's acceptance speech last night.

here are some of my thoughts:
first, i thought it was interesting that the event was held in a packed stadium. i was amazed at the sheer number of people who would come to sit in an upper deck to hear a speech. it reminds me that people really REALLY care about what this man is saying. when they chant, "yes we can," whatever it is that they think they can do, they seriously believe it. i thought it was a gutsy move by obama to have this speech in that stadium. yes, there is energy there, and the numbers look impressive, but it sure is a great deal of space to fill with your voice and your ideas.
second, i thought it was interesting that he came out to the podium to U2's "city of blinding lights." apparently, he uses this song often in his campaign, but i don't really follow it closely, so i didn't know that. so when i heard that song playing last night, i thought it was fascinating. a candidate for the united states president chooses to walk out to a song by an irish rock band (after the speech they played a brooks and dunn song, and that was more what i had expected). but the stadium, the screaming crowd, the U2 song all came together to weave what felt like a rock show. i'm not sure of the significance of the song for obama, but you can see the lyrics to that song here.

third, i loved the speech. i loved it. again, i'm a political baby. i don't know much about it, nor do i feel particularly connected to one political party. but i loved the speech. he just makes sense to me. i love his story, and i want to believe (i want to make sure that is clear - i want to believe) that what he says is true: that it was never about becoming president for him, but about serving people. i want to believe that he wants to unify our country. i want to believe that he is not just a figurehead for onngoing political stalemate in our country, but that change really is possible. i want to believe that under his leadership, america can. america can unify some and forgive some and remember some and rethink some and move forward in ways we have been paralyzed from. i want to believe it. but i'm not sure. if you want to read the full text of the speech, you can read it here.
my one fear of the whole thing was that it had a flavor of style over substance. the skeptic in me sees it as a charasmatic leader who has won a passionate following and is adept at working them into a frenzy in which they will chant "yes we can" over and over and will give him whatever he asks. but who will tell them what they can do? and what will they be told? it scares me a little bit.
but, in the end, at least right now, my desire to believe seems to be winning the day.
there. now i've gone and done it. no more politcal privacy. oh well.


Redbank Billy said...

I hear what you are saying and agree with you on alot of your writing,but, and here goes the "but", after following so many of these things in my 48 years, I take everything they say with the proverbial grain of salt. I laugh when they say, we will give all of those who have no health insurance the same benefits as those who are in congress, yea... right!!!
Well enough for now, I hate politics!!

Crafty P said...

I have a nice little article link on my blog, mr. milinovich.

I do not believe him. never have and sorry to say, probably never will.


there. I said it.


greg. said...

i read your article, and i think noonan's biases are all over it. i'm not particularly interested in listening to people who are toeing a party line, or have a vested interest in one party or the other.

here's what i am interested in: the well-being of our country and the people who live in it. i am extremely disgusted with the politics we've had over the last 16 years, and, despite the skeptic in me, if want to believe that change is possible. if i can't believe that obama can deliver, i certainly can't believe that mccain can. and noonan's article didn't help do anything at all except make me feel like, again, that nothing will change at all.

Redbank Billy said...

I agree with you Greg, to a point, I wish the politics of late would really and truly be about the well being of our country and people, but it seems to me its mostly about greed , etc.... Maybe thats cynical, but if you look at it historically, most of them do the same thing, just in different ways, seems the little guy is always on the short end of the stick. (never understood where that expression comes from) enough rant from me again.

Peace to all

Jennifer (aka JJ) said...

The thing I find so cool about Barack Obama (one of the many) is that he graduated at the top of his class from Harvard Law School and could have had a six-figure job at any law firm in the country, but he chose to work as a community organizer in Chicago for crappy pay. To me, that says that it's about more than money and power, it's about genuine care for real people and the issues they are dealing with on a daily basis. I love the guy. Absolutely love him.