Politrix: American Promise

Um, yeah: Goosebumps. Then hot flashes. The chills. And a final flush of pride. That’s what I felt last night, watching Barack Obama accept the Democratic party’s nomination to the presidency. I’m obviously too young to have been personally privy to the soul-defining moment that was Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. No, I’ve had to absorb the emotion second-hand, from grainy television clips and my daddy, via osmosis. So last night was the first time that I felt, in a very real way, that I was a part of history, that I was an eyewitness to greatness. We will all remember where we were when Obama spoke to the nation about the promise that America has made to us, and the promise we need to make to America. It was amazing.

But I’m not just struck by his oratory skills, his ability to move crowds, his supposed celebrity. I’m truly excited because he effectively built upon the momentum of the week and hit all the crucial points that were so necessary to touch upon in front of this national audience:
He let folks know that he’s just like them; he dismissed the notion that he’s a celebrity; he outlined exactly what change means; he plainly laid out why his judgment is impeccable; he directly linked McCain to Bush; he denounced partisan patriotism as BS; he talked about the tough issues (abortion, guns, same sex marriage and immigration); he let it be known that he’s ready, and that McCain is the risk; he reminded America that it’s made up of fundamentally good people; and he reminded folks that he is a man of faith. And he did it all in less than an hour. Whew.

The best line of the night? I can’t even pick just one; they were flying faster than I could scribble them down. But I’m pretty partial to: “It’s not that John McCain doesn’t care. It’s just that John McCain doesn’t get it.” Oh, and: “We cannot meet 21st Century promises with 20th Century bureaucracy.” Ooo, and just one more, and I’m done, I promise: “What the naysayers don’t understand is that this election has never been about me. It’s about you.” As we say where I’m from, “Hell, naaaaaaw!”

Earlier in the evening, Al Gore reminded us of an African proverb: “When you pray, move your feet.” Go out there and move your feet to prove Obama right.
—Kenrya

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Missed this historic speech? Watch it below…

Last 5 posts by kenrya

  • lemu

    The last time i got the tingling feeling in my stomach like the one I had last night was when I was there for when my mom was told she would receive her PHD, watching the video of the mars lander touching down, and when Mandela was released from Prison (we got it on vhs).

    As I sat there with some friends watching and chatting about the speech, I couldn’t help but feel hopeful for the future, and bringing back the prestige of being American. These are great days to be alive my friends.

  • Meghan

    I felt the same feelings as you; my eyes were tearing up, the goosebumps, the excitement, the pride. What John McCain doesn’t understand is that he doesn’t represent the average American.

    When you cannot remember the amount of homes you own, or realize that this country is in dire economic straits, and yet you want to continue this war, and drill for more oil, it is not change. America’s greed escalates with each new republican that comes into office. The desire for more financing towards big business, the tax cuts for the rich, the depletion of the earth’s natural resources, continue to bring us to natural disaster after natural disaster.

    If McCain is elected, we will be asking ourselves, women’s rights? What’s that? The middle class? Who are they? The new neighbors? Oh yes, they’re the polar bears. America? Where’d it go?

    Let’s not be fooled by his recent choice for Vice President: an Alaskan governor, with 2 years under her belt, a mayoral background of a city of less than 10,000, anti-choice, and oh yes, ZERO foreign policy experience. That’s a change we can believe in, alright.

    Don’t be impressed, be disgusted.

  • Jody

    The line of the night was “..this election has never been about me. It’s about you.” As soon as he said it, I said so, out loud to my friend at our little speech-viewing party. I feel like it’s about me; he feels like it’s about him; you feel like it’s about you…. And that’s why he’s right. It’s about US. Now let’s just hope there are enough of us.

  • JULIE

    Ok, yes, goosebumps. I even got chocked up a little, during the part of his speech where he was talking about his mom, and his grandparents. The part where he said that he was always thought that if you work hard enough, and take on all the obstacles head on, you will accomplish anything you desire, that is, if you live in America. Not anywhere else in the world, but in America—a country of great opportunities. The reason I had tears in my eyes is because I am a living proof of that, and so are my parents. I came here when I was 16, didn’t speak an ounce of English, we had about $200 to get by (for the entire family of 3, my mom, my dad and I, to eat and to pay for housing) and our suitcases. 17 years later…we all are well off. My parent own a home, and so do I. We all have good paying jobs that afford us to be able to live comfortably and travel the world. But we worked hard to accomplish that. Really hard. For many years.
    That is not the point though. The point is, we got there.
    This was exactly why we dropped our comfortable lives and good paying dead-end jobs, and our coop home, and our friends, and everything else we knew and loved in Ukraine, and moved to America. So, not to sound corny, but American dream is alive and kicking. And no amount of Bushes can change that. And we need people like Obama to remind us that this is our way, we just forgot about it for a little bit, because we are so busy worrying about our jobs being shipped to other countries, about our economy going nowhere else but down, our poorly poorly planned involvement with other countries’ politics (and neglect of our own domestic issues and international relationships), about budget deficits and people’s inability to afford medical insurance and food. The fact is—people are still working hard to make it, but our government is not working at all towards providing a positive environment for a potential to grow. It rather screws with our jobs and social security funds. As Obama said, you cannot take accountability away from every individual for their own lives, but what government can do is to ensure that while you bust your ass chasing American Dream, you actually can afford to see a doctor and not spend ALL your hard-earned cash on seeking medical attention—that “our government should work FOR us, not AGAINST us”
    Sorry for a long response, I’m really passionate about this one.

  • Van

    Emotions. . .disbelief, pride, joy and hope because the look on Michelle Obama’s face as she clasped her hands together to listen to her husband was priceless. It made me feel that he was trust-worthy. Even though he was my candidate of choice, I wanted to hear him strongly tell me and all of America the issues he stood for. Now it is all clear for me and many others. In the time he was allotted, he rallied his troops and if anybody did not have enough, he assured us that “Eight was Enough”!!

    Now all I have to say is just as Obama stated last night about how it was never about him, but about us, the American People. . . We see the headlines today, and we must remember not to be manipulated by dramatics, as well as manipulated into thinking that he made a mistake in not putting Hiliary on the ticket. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize!!

  • Kia

    Choked up? I cried like a baby. A baby yearning to be parented. I cried like a mother, always having faith, but now knowing for sure, that my sons may one day run my country. I cried like an American, which I have never really done (except for a brief time after we had been attacked). I cried because somehow a people rose from being considered less than human, to key members of the ruling class of the most powerful nation on earth…… in only 45 years. I cried because he was humble, because he was truthful, because he was honorable, because he took the high road, and because he gave America a reminder of who we are truly meant to be!

  • TAhad

    That’s the way; Uha, Uha, I like it. Be ready, the world is getting ready to change; power is coming back to the people. Obama Power Rules!