Skip to main content

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.

Comments

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.

pooh.

there. I said it.

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.
sigh.
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.

Popular posts from this blog

#thoughtsandprayers

i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

vote. and pray. but do not be afraid (the King is alive).

i'm not sure how many americans right now are feeling optimistic about the government.  i know i'm not.  in fact, while i didn't live through the civil war or anything, i have to think that faith in our elected leaders - indeed the whole system of electing them in the first place - is at one of its lowest points.  i just don't have a great deal of confidence in those individuals who have been elected, or in those who want to be.  i find myself slipping at times into what feels like a swamp of apathy: sinking, to be sure, but not sure that i care enough anymore to do much about it.  i see this attitude all around me: in conversations, on social media, and in popular culture.  perhaps there is no more clear indication of our nation's view of the government than this current election season, when we would teeter on electing liars and thieves, crooks and clowns. 

which is why i was so startled as i sat down to read psalm 72 this morning. as i read the ancient song, i…