January 02, 2008

One voice! Your Voice! Every Voice!

Friends. We love Barack Obama.

I am not totally sure what tomorrow, or the next year, will bring. I know that my parents and family, Iowans all, are doing their best.

But I do know that in a long Iowan childhood of listening to many many political speeches, shaking many hands, being inspired by many people, few things have moved me as much as this person and this campaign. Maybe none. I don't remember anyone, even Jesse Jackson, and he was always a great stump speaker, doing such a great job of inspiring an audience not to follow, but to LEAD THEMSELVES. Ourselves.

This morning Elliot was having (yet another) melt down related to the acquisition of his last few painful molars. He was sobbing and drooling onto my shoulder when I started watching this video, but became completely riveted almost immediately. So we watched it three times. By the end, he had stopped crying, and I had almost started.

What I would like in this world is to teach my son this lesson: that it is better to unite than to divide, and that it is bolder to hope than to fear.

5 comments:

TH said...

I too have settled on Barack. Mainly because of his vote against the war.

sarah said...

So some friends of mine have also been talking about Barack! I was writing a comment on Matt P's blog, but it got too long. So I thought I'd move over here where it won't get in other people's way.

************

As one of your Obama Ladies (indeed, I'm considering buying an ObamaMama t-shirt), I just wanted to say that it's not that I'm completely without reservations about Obama, whose lack of executive experience does give me moments of concern (or that I don't see the appeal of other candidates, Edwards particularly, who's probably not viable any more but is still a really well spoken guy).

But still: here’s my pitch. First, Obama is smart and principled. He excels at the essential diplomatic skill of framing moral and practical debates within the terms of common needs, and that is what is needed in a global leader.

But second, and almost more importantly, Obama does something I find to be completely critical to the future of the US: he returns patriotism to the realm of the intellectual, the young, and the progressive. Post Vietnam, it seems to me, the best, brightest, and most cosmopolitan among us have felt that America is a bit of embarassment. Thus, the intellectual left has ceded control of and connection to the world's most resource-rich nation—we’ve just handed America to the right wing. And that is a sorry and a dangerous state of affairs. Others (namely Howard Dean) have tried to energize the young around their sense of disillusionment, but have done it from a position of critique and judgement which is ultimately self-defeating: you cannot lead a country you disparage and malign.

In as much as Obama reminds the best of us that America is amazing, one of the greatest experiments in progressive society that the world has ever known, and inspires us to participate in its society fully and generously, he will be a watershed leader—one who teaches us, and motivates us, to be leaders ourselves.

Camera Crazy said...

Thank you Sarah from Momma P. This is so well written and genuine--I hate to tell you that I'm a Republican but I've given much thought to the Obama phenom. One thing that stands out is that I take advice from the young people in my life about many things, maybe I should do so regarding politics as well.

Roxanne said...

Yeah for our man in Iowa!! Yippeee!!!

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