This started as a response to billysumday's excellent diary, Why this 28 year old white guy doesn't get Ferraro, but it went far longer than a reply should. I should probably learn to not start writing things at 1:30am.
I've stolen my title here from the brilliant words of emacd and hope that does not cause offense. I guess the text of this is entirely below the fold.
"Hope is the rocket fuel for change" is the best I've heard it put anywhere.
The problem that I've been unable to put my finger on with this election is why the spin has been "Sure, Obama talks a good game, but he doesn't really stand for anything," when from the very beginning that was flatly untrue.
And I've come to realize that concepts like "hope" and "change" take on an entirely different shape when it's an African-American who can bring a grown man to tears with his words.
And the diarist has it right on, as far as my opinion is concerned. As a 27-year-old white male who started this crazy election as an Edwards supporter, race and gender played absolutely no role in the decisionmaking process. I saw these three candidates and said, "Wow, I'd love to have any of these people in the Oval Office." And then I saw Obama speak live, and it was an incredible thing.
And while Obama speaks beautifully both of abstract change and concrete things to bring about change, Hillary's campaign has been trying to inject the old politics of cynicism back into the campaign.
I'm 27 years old. The first campaign I followed was Bill Clinton's 1992 election. I have not seen anything from politics but attempts to divide and conquer. I'm tired of the politics of cynicism. I'm tired of being divided. I've been waiting for a politician to speak like John Kennedy, or Martin Luther King.
At this time in our history, it's not a question of whether we need words or actions. We desparately need both. We need a President who will build us up with his words, one who will bring us together to fight for a common cause, and drive us forward into action. Inspiration is not a static impulse. Inspiration drives us forward to make our world just a little bit better every day. No one ever improved anything by tearing good men and women down. Nothing good ever came from dividing us.
The American people I know are not easily defined into neat little groups. We must remember that the opposition is not necessarily the enemy. Almost all of us share that same goal of giving our children more than we had. We need a President who will speak to that most noble part of the American spirit, that voice that says "Today was good. Tomorrow will be better." And then we need to get to work to make it happen.
So let's get to work.