The race in Wisconsin is going to be very close...so I was happy to witness Barack Obama's visit to the Milwaukee Convention Center and help pass the word that Change is in the air and our time is now.
I was very surprised and happy to see so many young college girls and guys all doing their part to support change in Milwaukee. What struck me also about the crowd was its diversity, channeling all aspects and varieties of the American Dream right there in Badgerland. You have to understand that my college days were in the age of Reagan, and our standard bearers were Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis, honorable and able men, but a tad remote to me and my idealistic friends.
How things have changed. Since 1992 our country has been caught in an era of partisanship and viciousness that promotes the politics of fear and features a media that lives for the "gotcha" moment, for our inspirational moments have been so few and far between, that to make news, you had to make noise and drama. Somewhere along the way as we drifted apart from our goals of helping those who work hard and play by the rules (A great Bill Clinton line)we got caught up in the Bush years and blindsided by a NeoCon agenda we neither saw nor sought.
But Barack Obama came to Milwaukee today, along with about 6,000 of his best friends, to say that Hope is on the way, that if we want it, and if we work real hard, and let our ideas match our ideals...Change that we can believe in will be on the way. As I said, it was a great crowd, full of enthusiasm and completely on Obama's side as he let us know that change will not be easy, it won't come without work. That universal health care, great public schools, a green economy...if these things were easily accomplished...they'd already be done. Amazing, the only speech I've ever attended where the crowd truly wanted an encore, I had the feeling that we've been in this rut w/o hope for so long, that when someone gets us to believe again, we just can't get enough. This is where Obama stands apart from a crowded field now echoing his message, his hope is authentic, real. His hope, born of success and failure, and a long line of service to those who thought society and the spiritual emptiness of modern politics and "free market mantras" had left them behind, is tangible. It's interesting, to someone whose done some research at the JFK Library, that he has Jack's cool presence on stage, but speaks with Bobby's intensity of belief. I hope ya'll (with an eye toward Texas) enjoy my first diary.