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Is this what patriotism feels like? [Mar. 19th, 2008|12:27 am]
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.

[User Picture]From: ancawonka
2008-03-19 05:10 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm listening to the speech now - it's pretty amazing.

I've been hearing about the speech for two days now - from people who were stunned at the line "I am married to a black american woman who has the blood of slaves and slave owners in her veins", to MoveOn.org and you and dpolicar in LJ.

I've more or less stopped reading the papers when it comes to election coverage. Their take on what's going on is too self-centered (what makes a good story?) rather than what's really going on, which may not make good sound bites, but is far more important.

You've gotta have hope. Clothing yourself in irony so you don't feel the pain will not make things any better.
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