?

Log in

No account? Create an account
The Mad Schemes of Dr. Tectonic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Beemer

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Is this what patriotism feels like? [Mar. 19th, 2008|12:27 am]
Beemer
There's a lot of linkage today to Barack Obama's speech about race in the U.S. I don't usually talk about politics much, but I have to say that I think this is really something quite extraordinary.

Normally I try to stay as far away from political speechifying as I can, because it makes my brain itch and fills me with annoyance. This is something different. I read it -- I haven't listened to it, just read it -- and it's like, oh my god, he's actually saying something. Something other than "vote for me", which yes, was in there, but alongside some very interesting statements about how American society works or doesn't, and ways to think about a set of problems, and observations about people, and...

It's like he's saying "Okay, fine. You want to talk about race? Let's talk about race." And then he pulls out the race card and tears it into tiny pieces and throws it on the floor because people need to stop freaking out about it and focus, people, focus on all this other big important stuff because then we could actually accomplish something, and I don't think I've quite processed it all yet.

Somebody who can say things like this is actually running for president? As in, might actually be elected? Not just in theory, but, like, actually elected in reality? That... doesn't really fit into my worldview at the moment.

To be honest, I'm kind of afraid to let that idea in, because if I do and he doesn't get elected, I'll be heartbroken, and if he does, I might have to, y'know, abandon my hip and jaded Gen-X cynicism about American politics and actually care about stuff, and I'm really not sure what to do about that.

Even now I'm distancing myself from it with humor and irony because I think that speech may have actually moved me, and I just... don't know how to react to that.
LinkReply

Comments:
From: chaosqueen42
2008-03-19 03:30 pm (UTC)
I haven't had time to listen to / read the speech yet, but I've read some of the commentary.

Here's my problem. As you say, he's saying "Okay, fine. You want to talk about race? Let's talk about race."

But I don't want to talk about race, actually. I want to talk about 5 years in Iraq, with continually mounting death tolls of soldiers and civilians. I want to talk about the collapsing economy. I want to talk about why we haven't managed to catch, try, and execute Osama Bin Laden yet. I want to talk about the on-going corruption in our government because it's beholden to corporations. I want to talk about why we are pulling federal funding from sex-ed programs that want to talk about anything other than abstinence, when 1/4 of our teenage girls have STDs. I want to talk about why we have such a messed up health system, where people cannot get basic care, in one of the wealthiest companies in the world.

All this snarking about whether or not Clinton, or Obama, or their advisers, or their pastors, are racist -- not to mention all the articles about how New York governors can't keep it in their pants and whether their wives should stand next to them making a frowny face when they admit it to the press -- seems to me to be distracting from the issues that are hurting our country more.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2008-03-19 03:44 pm (UTC)
You should go read it, because that's pretty much exactly the point he's making: "This is not what we should be talking about, but apparently we need to, so fine, let's spend five minutes on it and be done with it."
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nematsakis
2008-03-19 04:07 pm (UTC)

I don't want to talk about race, actually. I want to talk about 5 years in Iraq, with continually mounting death tolls of soldiers and civilians.


Obama is giving a speech on Iraq today, the 5th anniversary of the start of the war. I'm not sure what he'll say about the economy, but I expect he'll discuss that soon too. The speech on race was really a response to a lot of media coverage an commentary on Wright.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: boat_of_car
2008-03-19 05:24 pm (UTC)

have i mentioned lately

That you're wonderful?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)