Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Barack Obama

I didn't think it was possible, but my respect and reverence for Senator Barack Obama has increased even more today. I have been a supporter of Obama for President since before he ever announced his intention to run.

In July of 2004, my dad heard snippets of Obama's Democratic National Convention Keynote Address on the radio, along with the praise from commentators. He stepped into the house saying something along the lines of "this young senator just gave a speech for Kerry and it was so good that they all ended up cheering for him. I guess he's a really eloquent speaker. It was really good." My dad couldn't rightly recall the senator's name and offered up some chopped up form of it, but it caught my attention.

Two years later I read his first book, Dreams From My Father, for a class I was in. I was in love with the book from the beginning. Not only is Obama and idealist after my own heart, but he's a very good writer. From a creative standpoint, some of his passages were beautiful. His rhetoric was sound and built upon hard-earned wisdom. I was so overjoyed that someone with such clear, hopeful ideals was in our government. I wished he would be President.

Then talk of the 2008 elections rolled around. I joined a group urging him to run. In February of 2007 he officially announced his intention to run for President of the United States of America. I watched the video and shouted it through the house. I've had a picture of him delivering his announcement speech in on my wall ever since. If you don't like Obama... don't go to my MySpace.

The past few months have been exhilarating as Obama's message of Hope and Change have spread across America. Yes we can.

And now, Obama has delivered a speech which, in its solemnity and nuances, has spoken to the very heart of his message for Change in a way that the eloquent language of his past speeches may have not. He is candid and bold. He is critical, honest, and brave. This is a speech that will be remembered for many years, decades, even. It should be remembered for centuries. If you have not seen it yet, it is by far worth viewing in its entirety. These are 37 minutes that you will not regret and will leave even the daftest mind somewhat enlightened as to the state of America at this moment in our history.

Damn, that man has balls.

There it is - the harrowing and the beautiful - the truth about race in America. The anger is real. The divisions exist. The wounds are still festering. But the opportunities to heal are many, if only we reach out for them. Thank the gods for you, Barack Obama, for taking this step - for removing the veil of fear surrounding the political correctness of discussing race in a public forum. If this doesn't attest to his readiness to be President, to unite - if this doesn't prove that he has the experience needed to lead this beautiful nation, in spite of what critics have said, then I'm not sure what will. He has been tested and he has more than answered the challenge - he has risen above the ping pong game of American politics and has looked this nation in the eye.

America, it's time that we had the courage to look back.

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