Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Dream is Alive

While watching a televised speech that Barack Obama gave yesterday, a colleague pointed out that when speaking in public Obama never says he's running for President. Rather, Senator Obama always makes a point of saying he's running for President of the United States. As the candidate who is working to bring the country and all of its diverse interests together, it's a deliberate and powerful rhetorical device; united being the key word.

So, on this historic night when the Democratic Party has nominated an African-American man as its standard bearer for the first time, in a year that the party has seen the most diversity among its candidates, it's important that we understand that while Barack Obama is black, he is not the black candidate. He is our candidate.

And when his opponents inevitably start to beat him down, remember these words from Barack Obama's July 27, 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention:
For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we are all connected as one people.

If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child.

If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent.

If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper -- that makes this country work.

It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: "E pluribus unum," out of many, one.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America.

There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.

The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.
After all the fear, angst and hate of the past 8 years, isn't it time that we are reminded of all that brings us together, gives us hope and helps us dare to dream of a better future for all of us?

Nearly 45 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. I'm here to tell you that on this night in 2008, with Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee, the dream is still alive. But that dream isn't just for African-Americans, it's alive for every American.


Post a Comment

<< Home