Don’t be surprised if many of the young people enthusiastically supporting Paul today wind up crossing the line in a general election and using some of that enthusiasm in support of Obama. I’m sure there are many who gravitate to Paul because of individual issues or out of anger against the establishment. Those followers will drift to third-parties or sit out the election altogether. But there are more, like me, who gravitate to him because of his faith in personal freedom and in the fundamental belief in the human spirit such conviction implies. Obama may not satisfy our thirst for liberty, but he certainly appeals to the human spirit.A mighty fortress is Obama,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper he amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
I am blessed to be standing in the city where my own extraordinary journey began. A few miles from here, in the shadow of a shuttered steel plant, is where I learned what it takes to make change happen.Through many dangers, toils and snares...
I was a young organizer then, intent on fighting joblessness and poverty on the South Side, and I still remember one of the very first meetings I put together. We had worked on it for days, but no one showed up. Our volunteers felt so defeated, they wanted to quit. And to be honest, so did I.
But at that moment, I looked outside and saw some young boys tossing stones at a boarded-up apartment building across the street. They were like boys in so many cities across the country - boys without prospects, without guidance, without hope. And I turned to the volunteers, and I asked them, "Before you quit, I want you to answer one question. What will happen to those boys?" And the volunteers looked out that window, and they decided that night to keep going - to keep organizing, keep fighting for better schools, and better jobs, and better health care. And so did I. And slowly, but surely, in the weeks and months to come, the community began to change.
we have already come.
T'was Barack that brought us safe thus far...
and Barack will lead us home.
We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. We are the hope of those boys who have little; who've been told that they cannot have what they dream; that they cannot be what they imagine.Just one touch and He makes me whole,
Yes they can.
We are the hope of the father who goes to work before dawn and lies awake with doubts that tell him he cannot give his children the same opportunities that someone gave him.
Yes he can.
We are the hope of the woman who hears that her city will not be rebuilt; that she cannot reclaim the life that was swept away in a terrible storm.
Yes she can.
We are the hope of the future; the answer to the cynics who tell us our house must stand divided; that we cannot come together; that we cannot remake this world as it should be.
Because we know what we have seen and what we believe - that what began as a whisper has now swelled to a chorus that cannot be ignored; that will not be deterred; that will ring out across this land as a hymn that will heal this nation, repair this world, and make this time different than all the rest - Yes. We. Can.
Speaks sweet peace to my sin sick soul,
At His feet all my burdens roll,
Cured by the Healer divine.
That is who we are. That is the Party that we need to be, and can be, if we cast off our doubts, and leave behind our fears, and choose the America that we know is possible. Because there is a moment in the life of every generation, if it is to make its mark on history, when its spirit has to come through, when it must choose the future over the past, when it must make its own change from the bottom up.
This is our moment. This is our message - the same message we had when we were up, and when we were down. The same message that we will carry all the way to the convention. And in seven months time - right here in Denver - we can realize this promise; we can claim this legacy; we can choose new leadership for America. Because there is nothing we cannot do if the American people decide it is time.
So I run to Obama
Please help me Obama
Don't you see me prayin'
Don't you see me down here prayin'
I ask you to take this second path - this harder path - not because you have an obligation to those who are less fortunate, although you do have that obligation. Not because you have a debt to all of those who helped you get to where you are, although you do have that debt.When Barack's folk was in Red State land
I ask you to take it because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on our collective salvation. And because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.
Let my people go!
Disenfranchised so they couldn't stand
Let my people go!
I've now listened to and read dozens of his speeches, on television and in person and in print. Tonight was, in my judgment, the best. He was able to frame the attacks on him as a reason to vote for him. He was able to frame his foes as the status quo - beyond the Clintons or the Bushes, Democrats or Republicans. He was able to cast his candidacy as a rebuke to the Balkanization of the American public, a response to the abuse of religion for political purposes, a repudiation of the cynicism that makes all political commentary a function of horse-races and spin. It was an appeal to Democrats, Republicans and Independents to say goodbye to all that. It was a burial of Rove and Morris. And it was better than his previous speeches because he kept bringing it back to policy specifics, to the economy and healthcare and, movingly, to this misbegotten war. The diverse coalition he has assembled - including an ornery small-government conservative like me - is a reflection of the future of this country, its potential and its irreplaceable, dynamic cultural and social mix.Go, tell it on the mountain!
This is the America we all love. He is showing us how to find it again. That's leadership.
And, yes. We can.
Over the hills and everywhere!
Go, tell it on the mountain!
That Barack Obama is born!
It is extremely disturbing to hear, not that Obama admires Reagan, but why he does so. Reagan was not a sunny optimist pushing dynamic entrepreneurship, but a savvy politician using a civil rights backlash to catapult conservatives to power. Lots of people don't agree with this, of course, since it doesn't fit a coherent narrative of GOP ascendancy. Masking Reagan's true political underpinning principles is a central goal of the conservative movement, with someone as powerful as Grover Norquist seeking to put Reagan's name on as many monuments as possible and the Republican candidates themselves using Reagan's name instead of George Bush's in GOP debates as a mark of greatness. Why would the conservative movement create such idolatry around Reagan? Is is because they just want to honor a great man? Perhaps that is some of it. Or are they trying to escape the legacy of the conservative movement so that it can be rebuilt in a few years, as they did after Nixon, Reagan, and Bush I?Obama, Obama, lama sabachthani?!
I don't know. But if you think, as Obama does, that Reagan's rise to power was premised on a sunny optimism in contrast to an out of control government and a society rife with liberal excess, then you don't understand the conservative movement. Reagan tapped into greed and fear and tribalism, and those are powerful forces. Ignoring that isn't going to make them go away.