Thursday, August 28, 2008

Totally Unconventional

So, politics aside (if that's possible), I thought Obama gave a very strong, impassioned speech tonight. Believe it or not, I'm actually one of those coveted undecideds. As I write that I'm sure Dems and GOPers are trying to decipher my identity so they can win me over to their side. I'm holding out to see who McCain's veep choice is. I want to see the GOP convention. But most of all, I want to see McCain and Obama debate.

What struck me as most interesting about the speech was how unconventional it was (pun intended and meant to reference my previous post). For one thing, it was in a stadium! He's the first Black man to head up a party ticket for President! It's 45 years to the day of MLK's "I have a dream" speech! But most importantly, there were no balloons! How can you have a convention without balloons?!

OK, seriously though, I was struck by the imagery and beauty of the language invoked to convey his points. If you haven't heard the speech, I strongly suggest doing so if for no other reason than it will make you proud to be an American. And the points he made were not the typical democrat or liberal talking points and they certainly not what you'd expect from a politician given how divisive and partisan this country has become

Some great quotes:

"government cannot solve all our problems...That's the promise of America -- the idea that we are responsible for ourselves...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 to provide love and guidance to their children...Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility -- that's the essence of America's promise."

"Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and each other's patriotism. The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. 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."

"We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than they are for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but 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. You know, passions may fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers."

"I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington. But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's about you. It's about you."

He also made some policy statements which is also not typical. Here are some:

1) 95% of working families will receive a tax cut

2) No oil from the middle eat within 10 years

3) $150 billion over the next 10 years for renewable energy

4) More teachers, paid more, and in exchange higher standards and more accountability

5) Lower health care premiums for all and those uninsured will have same plan as congress

So, what did people think? Inspired? More of the same? Did it make you see Obama differently? What concerns did you have that were or weren't addressed?

What does McCain now have to do

Buy his book already. (And then buy one for me)

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