August 28, 2008

Yeah, We Dream As Big As We Want To

Tonight I watched the closing of the Democratic National Convention. Barack Obama spoke for about 42 minutes--42 minutes. The entire speech was eloquent and hopeful. It really is amazing how he was able to put such force behind the word change.

I had no doubt that I wouldn't be voting for John McCain, but there were times that I went back and forth between Hilary Clinton and Obama. However, I'm happy how things turned out. Obama's speech tonight, was probably one of the best he's ever given--maybe one of the best ever given. And how cosmic that he was to give this acceptance speech exactly 45 years after MLK, Jr. gave his famed 'I Have a Dream' speech.

Quotes from his speech (with my comments on some of them):
  • "More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach." (I believed he pegged the majority of the country with that line.)
  • "America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this."
  • "We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes."
  • "...To Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough!...Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third...On November 4th, we must stand up and say: 'Eight is enough.'" (The audience appropriately started chanting 'Eight is enough!' These last eight years really have been too much for this country.)
  • "But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change." (Enough said.)
  • "And when one of [John McCain's] chief advisors...was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, 'a nation of whiners.'" (I don't want a president who thinks we're all whiners, but that's just me.)
  • "Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know." (And, that's right, he doesn't.)
  • "It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it."
  • "In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own."
  • "Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves...Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us."
  • "...I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America....I will cut taxes...the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class...I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East."
  • "America, now is not the time for small plans."
  • "I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support...And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education."
  • "Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need."
  • "If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have." (Bring it, haha.)
  • "John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives." (Ooh, sick burn.)
  • "We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country."
  • "The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America."
  • "...Don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.
  • I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination."
  • "This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores. Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise..."

He finished out his speech talking about the words of MLK, Jr. I urge anyone who is looking for a bit of inspiration, to read the closing words of his speech. I've posted a lot of it already, but he said plenty more--it was a long speech. He finished the night with his wife and daughters walking to meet him on stage. Then he was joined by Joe Biden and his wife. All to the tune of "Only in America." There were also fireworks and red, white & blue streamers and confetti--how can you not want to stand on your seat and salute?

You can read his full speech here. It's definitely worth it to check out, no matter who you're voting for.

I'm not usually the one who talks about politics, but it's a hard year not to get somewhat involved, right? It'll probably be the last time I write about them until it gets closer to November 4th, though.

Title Song: 'Only in America' by Brooks & Dunn

1 comment:

Don said...

Good post. I too agree that on the 45th anniversary of MLK's I Have A Dream speech, Barack Obama's speech brought justice to a dream which is on the verge of becoming a reality for Obama.