Field of Science

The speeches

Well its over and Im mostly happy. Maybe ecstatic is a better word. No I do not think I am kidding myself with what Obama can get done in the next four years. I am mostly happy in that I believe this presidential election, while being about many things, was primarily a national referendum on the course of our country. The choices being continuing down the road towards anti-intellectualism increased theocracy and intolerance or changing course and embracing rationalism and secular principles to promote the rights of all Americans.

First John McCain's concession speech:


This is the John McCain I remember. This is the John McCain I disagree with on many policies, but have the utmost respect for. This is the John McCain who I will argue cares more about his country than himself. This is the John McCain who, I feel, abandoned his principles and took on the rethuglican playbook written by Rove during much of this election. This is the McCain that Bush and company tried to smear by suggesting his adopted child was due to a wartime dalliance. I guess since this approach worked for Bush, McCain was convinced it would work for him when a straight approach wouldn't. This is why negativity was the highlight. I am not suggesting negative ads are improper, but there are lines. Attacking a policy position and putting it in a bad light is stock and trade in an election. Ads stating your opponent wants comprehensive sex education for kindergarteners is evil. Divisiveness "Real America" "Pro-America" etc, is not uncommon in an election, but it is draining and depressing to see the level we can be reduced to. Of all the speeches I do not recall hearing catcalls from the audience of Obama's supporters, scratch that I do remember a number of boos at one televised speech and Obama immediately saying something to the effect of 'we don't need that, we need to vote.' I will also give credit to McCain when he immediately shut down the woman stating her distrust of Obama because he was Muslim. But the rift caused by the tone of the McCain/Palin campaign will be difficult to heal. We elected a president with an immediate African lineage, however racism is strong and ugly and I believe the tone from the republican campaign fueled those fires. I understand the disappointment of McCain supporters, but the boos during McCain's speech were saddening.

Second Barak Obama's acceptance speech:


Saying that Obama gave an excellent speech is redundant at this point. However, for me, this was the highlight:

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight's about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons -- because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America -- the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.


Yes we did, but now the real work begins. The solutions to our problems are not solved by an election, are not solved by one man, are not solved by one party. We have taken one step in a long trip, but damn this was one nice step!

2 comments:

"Who turned off the shaker?" said...

Reading words to that speech bring tears to my eyes--and I think they always will. While I am not naive enough to think that just by electing Sen Obama that we have solved our problems, I did feel an immediate sense of hope and pride. Some people very close to me (relatives and friends) have experienced racial discrimination in their lifetime and I know how deeply this election result touched them. I just really hope that Sen Obama can get the rest of the congressional Dems on board with his policies so that we can unite the country and fix some problems...without further dividing us. I agree that it was the republicans that caused the divide--but it is now (rightly or wrongly) up to the Dems to bridge that divide so that we can ALL move forward. Even though it kills me a little inside--I think that means offering an olive branch to Joe Lieberman instead of ostracizing him. But for now I'm going to continue feeling good about the election and worry about the other stuff another day.

As if I'd put my real name on here... said...

You know, sometimes I wish I didn't spend 2 years of my life trolling ultra-conservative blogs reading all the negative Nancy nonsense about Barack Obama. I wish I could have been deliriously happy about the election results at the time that it happened instead of being torn between my obnoxious desire to appease my conservative friends by taking the high-road and not rubbing it in their faces that the Dems and the liberals won and my desire to well...rub it in their fucking faces and say, "Tough shit homeslice- now you know how I felt in 2004!"

As the time has gone on, I have learned to become more at peace about the results of the election and have decided I'm going to be optimistic about the next 4 years and no longer pander to my conservative friends/family members. Because you know what? Why should I? They certainly don't take the effort to temper their occasionally bigoted, ass-hatted beliefs around me, why should I temper my "satanic" and "evil liberal ZOMG" beliefs around them?

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is yay for Barack Obama. Yay for the Dems for managing to not fuck up this election. Yay for McCain making the fucktarded choice of Sarah Palin for his runningmate and subsequently alienating just about any independent voters he had going for him. Yay for making the fundies miserable for the next 4 years (and even longer than that if FOCA gets passed- which I hope to Darwin it does). Yay for no longer being the laughingstock of the western world. Yay for working towards not looking like a bunch of mouth-breathing twats to our allies. And a massive YAY for showing Karl Rove that he is destroying the Republican party with his fucktarded campaign strategies.

Fin.