Obama in his own words

This afternoon I took a half-hour break from work to read the entire text of Barack Obama’s amazing speech (see link below) he gave today in Philadelphia.

Nothing else I’ve read or heard expresses so well, so succinctly — and so reasonably — the state of race in the US today. And how it relates to just about all of the other significant questions before the country as well — education, health care, jobs, the economy — for all Americans of all colors.

Reading this speech also reaffirmed to me why Obama truly is so different from anybody else I can think of who has ever before run for president. He’s not just spouting platitudes or repeating stock political phrases that have been focus-grouped for their acceptability. He clearly wrote this speech himself. It’s incredibly thoughtful and personal — as Christopher remarked, “it’s a speech he’s been writing all his life.” And it expresses an understanding or a belief, an optimistic belief, in America’s dynamic, progressive history — and its future potential — that’s very close to my own.

He’s also expressing a faith in the American people that they’re ready for someone running for president who’s truly different — and who tells them they need to think seriously about a serious topic, and to see both sides, and all the gray areas in between, of these issues.  As well as to see that it’s possible to love and honor an important mentor in your life, even while you disagree strongly with some of his opinions and with the theatrical way he sometimes expresses them.

I’d encourage everyone to take the time to actually read (or watch) the entire speech, and see if it doesn’t make sense to you. I’m just afraid that all that’s likely to be repeated on the news or in most papers will just be a few, potentially unrepresentative sound bites.


Video: = Barack Obama in Philadelphia




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